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Civil and Environmental Engineering Professors Lead Flood Prediction and Response Research

Dr. Seri Park and Dr. Virginia Smith
Dr. Seri Park and Dr. Virginia Smith

Each year, roadway and bridge flooding has significant economic impacts and is a major contributor to deaths during flood events, leading state departments of transportation and other agencies to implement a variety of integrated flood warning, storm prediction and response systems. Determining the extent and severity of flooding events remains a challenge, however, and recent floods also have revealed communication gaps within and between agencies.

Villanova University’s Drs. Seri Park and Virginia Smith in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have been awarded funding by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board to document “Practices for Integrated Flood Prediction and Response Systems.” In developing this synthesis, Dr. Park says, “We are basically looking at the impact of flooding roadways, specifically traffic flow and safety, as well as infrastructure sustainability levels.” This knowledge is critical for staging personnel, inspecting bridges, and flood tracking through the state.

Dr. Park, PI of this project, is a transportation engineering expert, and Co-PI Dr. Smith’s expertise lies in water resource engineering.