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14 JUL 2023 Seminar

A Decision Support Tool for Building Societal Resilience to Drought under Climate Change

Professor Abdullah Konak

Professor Abdullah Konak

Abstract: Over the past 50 years, natural disasters have surged due to climate change and more extreme weather events. Research on environmental risk modeling relies on numerous indicators to quantify the magnitude and frequency of extreme climate events, their ecological, economic, and social impact, and coping mechanisms that can reduce or avoid their adverse effects. Index-based approaches greatly simplify the process of quantifying, comparing, and monitoring risks associated with natural hazards because a large set of indicators can be summarized into a few key performance indicators. Data fusion techniques are frequently used along with expert opinions to create natural risk and resilience indices. This presentation introduces a BELMONT FORUM-funded project for developing a new drought resilience index and a decision support tool based on the data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate and compare policy decisions for reducing drought's negative impact on people’s livelihoods. DEA is a linear programming methodology that quantifies the relative efficiency of multiple decision-making units with multiple inputs and outputs. Alternative DEA models for integrating expert opinions in the calculation of relative efficiency will be presented along with the findings regarding the data quality of some drought resilience indicators.

Bio: Abdullah Konak is a Distinguished Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University, Berks. Dr. Konak also teaches graduate courses in the Master of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations program at the College of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State World Campus. Dr. Konak’s primary research focuses on modeling, analyzing, and optimizing complex systems using computational intelligence combined with probability, statistics, data sciences, and operations research. His research also involves active learning, entrepreneurship education, and the innovation mindset. Dr. Konak published numerous academic papers on a broad range of topics, including network design, system reliability, sustainability, cybersecurity, facilities design, green logistics, production management, and predictive analytics. Dr. Konak held visiting positions at Lehigh University and Cornell University, as well as at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he taught engineering innovation for over a decade. He has been an investigator in sponsored projects from the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency, the U.S. Department of Labor, and Venture Well. He is a member of INFORMS, IISE, and ASEE.


14 July 2023 (Friday)




Professor Abdullah Konak


HW 8-28

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