Name: Kanglin "Connie" Chen Title: How far has the US population traveled during the pandemic and post-pandemic era? Discipline: Urban
Amy Knowles, Chief Resilience Officer
City of Miami Beach
As the Chief Resilience Officer, Amy Knowles leads strategic and resilience planning and special projects and works across city departments and stakeholders. Resilience planning includes Resilient305, a unique resilience strategy for Greater Miami and the Beaches, and the Miami Beach Strategic Plan through the Lens of Resilience, both unanimously adopted by the City of Miami Beach in 2019. Innovative projects include the Urban Land Institute Panel on Stormwater Management and Climate Adaptation, the Business Case Analysis of the Stormwater Program, and working with the City’s Floodplain Manager on the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.
Ms. Knowles was recently selected to be on the North American Steering Committee for the Global Resilient Cities Network. She participates in in the work of Southeast Florida Climate Compact, Resiliency Florida, and countywide planning
Ms. Knowles holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Binghamton University in New York. Ms. Knowles is a graduate of Leadership ICMA, the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute, and the Harvard Kennedy School’s executive program
Dr. Jeff Carney
Jeff Carney is associate professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Florida and incoming director of the Florida Institute for Built Environment Resilience (FIBER) where he also leads the Florida Resilient Cities program (FRC). He is a registered architect and certified city planner working at the interface of housing, neighborhoods, and ecosystems with a focus on climate change adaptation. Jeff’s work in Florida is focused on the resilience of communities achieved through transdisciplinary and community engaged design processes. His current projects include a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funded effort to design post-disaster modular housing, and FRC projects to assist the City of Port St. Joe to recover from Hurricane Michael and Jacksonville to reduce flood risk that balances health, environment and housing needs.
Michael Hess, PE, LEED Fellow
Director of Future-Ready, City of Orlando
Mike is a mechanical engineer who is focused on creating smart and sustainable cities. He currently leads smart city efforts for the City of Orlando, including their first Future-Ready Master Plan. He previously worked as VP of Smart and Sustainable Buildings for Panasonic’s smart city team. He has worked on several smart city projects across the U.S., including projects with connected and autonomous vehicles, carbon neutral micro-grids, and other emerging technologies.
Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice
Sameh Wahba is the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice. The Practice has over $30bn in lending commitments and 400 staff. Mr Wahba holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Harvard University and has 25 years’ experience in urban development, land, housing, disaster risk management, infrastructure and sustainable development. He co-authored the World Bank’s flagship publications on “Regenerating Urban Land: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Private Investment” and “The Hidden Wealth of Cities: Creating, Financing, and Managing Public Spaces”, as well as “Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery” (jointly with UNESCO). He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization and he sits on the boards for Cities Alliance, Resilient Cities Network and the WRI Ross Center for Cities.
Connect with him at linkedin.com/in/SamehNWahba. Follow him on Twitter @SamehNWahba
Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice
Stewart is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development and advices the North American region at the Resilient Cities Network. He previously served as Senior Advisor in Resilience Finance, Acting Director for Europe and the Middle East, and Acting Director and City Relationship Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. He was also the lead on the 100RC prize challenge, and Resilience Coordinator for Context Partners.
Stewart served on President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and was Director of the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is the Senior Advisor and member of the advisory committee for several global programs including the Global Island Partnership, SeaAhead, The Policy Academies, and Small Island Organization [SMILO]. He is the founder of Precovery Labs, where creativity and community drive impact and awareness for clients such as Ocean Conservancy and the Intertribal Agriculture Council.
Dr. Karla Saldaña Ochoa
Karla is an Ecuadorian architect and researcher with a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture. In June 2021, she finished her Ph.D. at ETH Zurich in the Department of Architecture with Profesor Ludger Hovestatd. Her dissertation investigated the combination of Artificial and Human Intelligence to have a precise and agile response to natural disasters. Since August 2021, Karla is a Tenure Track Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Florida; her teaching and research focus is applying Artificial Intelligence in architectural practices at building and urban scale.
Dr Agapaki is an Artificial Intelligence Assistant Professor in the Rinker School of Construction Management. She brings 7 years of academic and industry experiences in AI in civil engineering, infrastructure computer vision, Digital Twinning and automation in construction. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2020, where her research pioneered the automated generation of geometric Digital Twins of existing industrial facilities from Lidar data at a commercially viable level. She conducted part of her PhD research at MIT and was awarded the U.S. National Academy of Engineering grant for addressing one of the 14 Grand Challenges in Engineering of our century. She also holds an MSc in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering from UCLA and a BSc in Civil Engineering. She has extensive industry experience working as Innovation Lead at PTC Boston and AVEVA, where she led innovation projects on computer vision and deep learning applications in the manufacturing industry.
Julie Mah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Her research focuses on affordable housing issues, evictions, gentrification and displacement, and equitable development approaches. She received a PhD in planning from the University of Toronto and she has worked as a planning consultant on community improvement plans, cultural plans, and economic development strategies in small and mid-sized cities in Canada.
I joined the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management in Fall 2021. Before that, I worked as a consultant at World Bank and a postdoctoral scholar at NSF NHERI SimCenter at UC Berkeley. My background is in computational mechanics, uncertainty and risk quantification, AI in urban infrastructure systems. I develop cyberinfrastructure and software platforms that leverage cloud computing, stochastic physics-based analysis, and novel sensing / data mining techniques for multi-scale simulations of the built environment. My research objective is to understand the built environment as an aggregated system under chronic and acute natural and human-made stressors.
Maria Watson is an Assistant Professor in the M.E. Rinker, Sr, School of Construction Management and the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies. Before coming to the University of Florida, she was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and Hazard Reduction Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. She has degrees in Urban Planning from The Ohio State University and Texas A&M University.
Dr. Watson’s research focuses on the factors impacting community recovery after disaster events, particularly interdependencies between infrastructure, housing, and businesses. She is particularly interested in the effectiveness of disaster programs and how these programs can be structured to better meet recovery needs. Watson has been a part of multiple interdisciplinary disaster recovery research efforts in Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina after Hurricanes Ike, Harvey, Matthew, Florence, Laura, and Delta. She has received grants from NSF, NOAA, and FEMA for her work.