U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) PhD student Tom Logan is one of the 2018–2019 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship winners. The Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship is one of the most prestigious awards granted by the Rackham Graduate School. Doctoral candidates who expect to graduate within six years since beginning their degrees are eligible to apply, and the strength and quality of their dissertation abstract, publications and presentations, and recommendations are all taken into consideration when granting this award.
The abstract Tom submitted was titled “Integrating Risk Analysis and Urban Planning: Preparing Our Communities for Uncertain Futures.” He describes the research as follows, “The damage Hurricane Harvey wrought on Houston should not become commonplace. This damage, and ofttimes damage from other natural events, is severely exacerbated by inadequate conceptualization and integration of risk into urban planning. We must address this knowledge gap and ultimately improve the resilience of our cities to climate change. I present a fundamentally new way of conceptualizing risk for climate adaptation planning. My dissertation addresses how we understand and model risk evolution; how we plan for uncertainty that is so vast that both the direction and magnitude of change is debated; and how we integrate the risk and uncertainty of natural events in a way that is plausible to decision makers. I explicitly model urban regions with synthetic natural hazards to develop a risk-based decision-making framework incorporating uncertainty. My research provides actionable information with which cities, such as Houston, can evaluate planning alternatives in preparation for future climate conditions.”