Human-centered Approach to Build Resilient Infrastructure and Communities under a Changing Climate ----For Humans, With Humans, By Humans

Haizhong Wang, PhD


School of Civil and Construction Engineering

Oregon State University

Friday, April 26, 2024 | 11 a.m. | 140 Ketter Hall


Haizhong Wang.

According to NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information’s report (2023), the United States experiences a billion-dollar weather and climate disaster every three weeks on average in the past decade comparing to every four months in the 1980s. The Earth’s climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, with far-reaching consequences for human settlements and infrastructure systems. Adapting to these changes requires a fundamental shift in how we assess systemic climate risks to plan, design, and build our communities and infrastructure. Traditional top-down, technocratic approaches are found insufficient. Instead, human-centered approaches that place people at the core of risks identification and resilience building efforts are urgently needed. This seminar focuses on the principles, approaches, and practices of human-centered resilience, emphasizing the importance of co-creation, community engagement, and human-focused solutions. Leveraging the PI’s decade-long research experience in integrating social, natural and engineered systems to enable integrated and interdisciplinary solutions, the PI will delve into interdisciplinary system modeling, and real-world case studies that demonstrate the necessity and benefits of working for human, with human, and by human in creating resilient infrastructure and communities. Through understanding and identifying the risks and vulnerabilities from a human-centered perspective, integrating human needs, knowledges, and experiences, we can develop risk mitigation and resilience strategies that are inclusive, equitable, and effective in response to future extreme events. The seminar will equip audience with innovative ideas, practical tools, and inspiration to champion human-centered resilience in their respective areas involving community and infrastructure resilience and a pathway for communities to foster a paradigm shift that prioritizes human well-being, empowerment, and collaboration in our collective efforts to build a more resilient future.


Haizhong Wang is a Professor within the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. Dr. Wang received MS and PhD degrees from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Applied Mathematics and Civil Engineering (Transportation), and BS and MS degrees from Hebei University of Technology and Beijing University of Technology, China. Wang’s overarching career goals are to educate and inspire engineering students and guide their development into the world’s future leaders in providing innovative solutions and addressing complex global problems related to climate change, resilience to extreme events, people health, and decarbonization to promote social, economic, cultural, and environmental progress of all people. Wang is also actively involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Infrastructure Resilience Division (IRD) and serving on the Critical Infrastructure and Lifeline System Committee (CILSC). He serves as the associate editors for ASCE Natural Hazards Review and Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives. He is the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Reviewer for ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, and the recipient of the 2023 PacTrans Researcher of the Year Award. Wang has published over 95 journal papers and 80 major conference papers, he has attracted 5.5 million (his share) external funding from ten different federal or state funding sources in which nine projects are from the US National Science Foundation. He has graduated six PhD graduates so far and currently has four PhD students with another three PhD students expected to start in Fall 2024. Notably, Wang have had multiple NSF or ASCE supported reconnaissance data collection trips including the 2017 Mexico Earthquake, the 2018 Indonesia Palu Earthquake and Tsunami, the 2018 Attica Wildfire in Mati, Greece, and the 2023 Maui Wildfire.