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Hiba Baroud

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Expert in risk, reliability and resilience of critical infrastructure against climate change and natural disasters, particularly flooding.

Biography

Baroud is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Littlejohn Dean's Faculty Fellow. Her work explores data analytics and statistical methods to measure and analyze the risk, reliability, and resilience in critical infrastructure systems. In particular, she has studied data-driven Bayesian methods to predict the occurrence of disruptive events in infrastructure systems and stochastically model the recovery process of the physically disrupted system as well as other interdependent and indirectly impacted systems. She also developed decision analysis tools to assess different preparedness and recovery investment strategies for the protection of civil infrastructures. Baroud holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. She has a Master of Mathematics from the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo where she focused in her research on the application of statistics, particularly time series models, to analyze financial data. Prior to that, she obtained her B.S. in Actuarial Science from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. In the summer of 2013, she had an internship with IBM at the Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, and she spent the summers of 2014 and 2015 at the Summer Doctoral Institute organized by the Center for International Business Education and Research at the George Washington University. In Fall 2014, she was a visiting student scholar in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, working with the Guikema Research Group. Her work has twice been awarded the Best Paper Award in the Homeland Security Track of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Student Merit Award of the Engineering and Infrastructure Specialty Group of the Society for Risk Analysis, she discusses one aspect of her research in this video that was produced for the award. Baroud is part of the Infrastructure Resilience Division (IRD) in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She is a member of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA), Institute for Industrial Engineers (IIE), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Media Appearances

  • How Government Decisions Left Tennessee Exposed to Deadly Flooding

    “These extreme weather events will become more intense and more frequent,” said Hiba Baroud, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville who specializes in resilience. “We need to be more proactive, and think about ways to prevent or at least mitigate the impact of these events.”

    August 26th, 2021

  • Natural Disasters & Climate Change

    We are seeing a lot more extreme weather patterns, but are those related to climate change? What can we do to mitigate the damage? On today's MorningLine we talk to Hiba Baroud, professor of civil & environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University to talk about possible solutions. Be sure to watch to learn more.

    August 25th, 2021

  • Vanderbilt expert urges government to prepare for extreme weather events

    A Vanderbilt University extreme weather expert weighed in on the lessons from this year’s severe weather events. For instance, weather disasters were becoming more frequent, intense, and costly, according to Hiba Baroud, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University.

    August 30th, 2020

  • In aftermath of devastating floods, Germans wonder what more could have been done

    Hiba Baroud, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University, said that early-warning systems and evacuation plans are “crucial” to saving lives during extreme weather events, especially storms and floods, but they need to constantly evolve.

    July 20th, 2021

  • Low insurance payouts after natural disasters push longtime residents from communities

    It’s something Vanderbilt University’s Hiba Baroud says we’ve seen after many disasters in Nashville and across the country. “You have displaced people who either cannot afford to rebuild or they just end up not returning to their neighborhoods for other reasons,” Baroud said.

    March 2nd, 2021

  • More dams will collapse as aging infrastructure can’t keep up with climate change

    “A lot of the country’s infrastructure systems were built during a time when these kind of weather events were considered rare and didn’t present a significant threat,” said Hiba Baroud, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University.

    May 21st, 2020

  • ‘Everything is gone’: Japan left reeling from worst storm in decades

    “Economic impact in disasters can quickly cascade through different sectors of the economy,” says Hiba Baroud, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University. “Production can be affected either by direct impact from the disaster or through interdependent effects resulting from disruptions in the supply chain. “Local and national authorities need to account for all these aspects in assessing the damage to identify the best recovery strategy for the city.”

    October 19th, 2019

  • Japan Questions Flooding Defenses After Severe Weekend Typhoon

    “Warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea level are expected to intensify the impact of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons,” said Hiba Baroud, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University. She said, however, that researchers don’t know yet whether the number of hurricanes is increasing.

    October 15th, 2019

  • Florida bridge that collapsed was touted as 'engineering feat come to life'

    Hiba Baroud, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University, does not have specific knowledge of the bridge that collapsed in Miami but told ABC News that there are "a number of reasons why a bridge might fail." "At this point, we would have to have a plan to go back and look at the design parameters that were used to design this bridge," Baroud told ABC News.

    March 15th, 2018

  • Rebuilding after disasters: 5 essential reads

    Modernizing infrastructure is expensive, but failing to do so is worse, writes Hiba Baroud, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt: “The U.S. infrastructure was built according to high standards 50 years ago, but they are no longer enough to ensure protection from today’s extreme weather. Such weather events are becoming more frequent and more extreme. That has a severe impact on our infrastructure, as cascading failures through interdependent systems such as transportation, energy and water will ultimately adversely impact our economy and society.”

    September 15th, 2017


Education

Ph.D., University of Oklahoma

M.Math., University of Waterloo

B.S., Notre Dame University



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