Seminars & Colloquia

Emily Berglund

NCSU Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

"An agent-based modeling approach to simulate sociotechnical dynamics for managing urban water resources systems"

Tuesday October 01, 2013 10:00 AM
Location: 3211, EBII NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)



Urban water infrastructure is designed to deliver resources and services to a population. The performance of infrastructure depends, however, on the temporal variation and adaptations of consumer demands and not on infrastructure management decisions alone. Feedbacks occur in water resources systems as consumers adjust their water use in response to messages from utilities and changes in the quality and availability of water. This research simulates urban water resources and water infrastructure systems as sociotechnical systems using an agent-based modeling approach. Consumers, water users, and utility managers are simulated as agents that interact with one another and infrastructure to influence the availability of water. Engineering models of pipe networks and surface water reservoirs are coupled within an agent-based modeling framework to simulate feedbacks among social and technical systems. Two applications are presented to explore the influence that a population of consumers may exert on the security and sustainability of urban water resources. Management strategies that protect public health and preserve water sustainability are developed by explicitly incorporating feedbacks between social and technical systems.

Short Bio:

Emily Zechman Berglund, Ph.D., P.E., joined the North Carolina State University Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering in July 2011. She is a proud graduate of North Carolina State University, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2005. She was an assistant professor at Texas A&M University for four years before returning to NCSU to teach and conduct research in systems analysis methods for water resources planning and management.

Dr. Berglund's research interests are in the development of new computational methodologies to explore the influence of feedbacks among social and infrastructure systems. Her research creates new socio-technical models by integrating Complex Adaptive Systems modeling approaches with engineering models to simulate feedback mechanisms and adaptive behaviors among consumers, infrastructure, and environmental systems. Evolutionary Algorithm-based approaches are coupled with socio-technical models to identify optimal adaptive strategies for managing sustainability, security, and resilience of complex infrastructure and water resources systems. Dr. Berglund teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in water resources engineering, hydrology, and systems analysis for civil engineering. She received Best Research-Oriented Paper Awards in 2010 and 2011 for her publications in the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.

Host: Munindar Singh, Computer Science, NCSU

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