Rice U. experts available during 2014 hurricane season

David Ruth

Media Advisory: Rice U. experts available during 2014 hurricane season

HOUSTON – (June 11, 2014) –Rice University experts in engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, public policy and business are available for interviews throughout the 2014 North Atlantic hurricane season.

Rice’s 2014 hurricane experts include:

Phil Bedient, professor of civil engineering and director of the SSPEED Center, can discuss flooding issues that arise from tropical depressions or hurricanes. In his 2012 book, “Lessons from Hurricane Ike,” Bedient and more than 20 other researchers gave a 194-page account of what they learned from studying the 2008 storm that caused nearly $25 billion in damages and killed dozens.

John Anderson, professor of Earth science, director of Rice’s Shell Center for Sustainability and author of the book “The Formation and Future of the Upper Texas Coast,” can explain how hurricanes have impacted and helped draw the modern coastlines of Texas, Louisiana, Florida and other Gulf Coast states.

Leonardo Dueñas-Osorio, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, can comment on the way that power grids, communications networks, utilities and other “lifeline systems” respond to natural disasters. He can also speak about the city of Houston’s Storm Risk Calculator, which he helped develop at Rice.

Bob Stein, professor of political science, can talk about government reaction to a storm and the politics that are in play. He also can speak about the city of Houston’s Storm Risk Calculator, which he helped develop at Rice.

Mark Jones, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, can discuss government reaction to a storm and the politics that are in play.

Ken Medlock, director of Rice University’s Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, can specifically address what can happen to gasoline prices around the country when refining and pipeline infrastructure is negatively affected for an extended time.

Jamie Padgett, associate professor in civil and environmental engineering, has assessed dozens of bridges in the Houston-Galveston area and created a map and database of bridges that are most vulnerable to failure during a hurricane. Padgett can also comment on the integrity of oil storage tanks subject to flooding and hurricane surge.

Satish Nagarajaiah, professor of civil and environmental engineering, can speak about the threats hurricanes pose for offshore drilling platforms.

Terry Hemeyer, adjunct professor in Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business and a crisis communications expert, can discuss the ongoing communications challenges and public relations strategies that government agencies and corporations face in times of disaster.

Pedro Alvarez, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering, can discuss the environmental impact and the cleanup efforts communities could face when large hurricanes strike.


Images courtesy of Rice University/Shutterstock.

Related VIDEOS from Rice include:

Protecting the Houston area from the next hurricane

Bridge integrity and hurricanes

Houston unveils a storm risk calculator

A more sustainable Galveston

Planning Galveston’s Future – In Depth

2014 North Atlantic storm names:


Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

This release can be found at news-network.rice.edu/news.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.