Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Decision-support; emergency management; agent-based modeling; life cycle assessment; point-of-use water treatment

Major Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Mellor

Associate Advisor

Dr. Emmanouil Anagnostou

Associate Advisor

Dr. Christine Kirchhoff

Associate Advisor

Dr. Farhed Shah

Associate Advisor

Dr. David Wanik

Field of Study

Environmental Engineering


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Decision-support tools can provide insights to emergency managers when the situation exceeds their past experience. The intensity of extreme storms is increasing, which leads to more widespread damage. This study developed an agent-based model (ABM) to allow emergency managers to model and test the decisions made in storm restoration. The key factor for using an ABM is that managers can assign specific crew behaviors to simulate different strategies to use in restoration. This study covers the development of an ABM and then applies the model to a specific case study of Hurricane Sandy in a climate-enhanced future. The case study uses 30 different scenarios of climate-enhanced Hurricane Sandy based on IPCC AR4 scenarios to produce 90 different restoration scenarios. The ABM was utilized to study the predicted restoration time based on resources used in restoration from 2012 and then proposed one method to increase the number of crews. The ABM could provide insight to emergency managers on the required number of crews to reach a goal restoration time.

Many developing countries suffer from serious environmental problems. Burning wood can lead to the formation of photochemical smog and pose a health risk to humans by damaging the respiratory system. It is therefore important to consider the environmental impact that water treatment can have and to choose the best technology. For governments to determine which water technology to target for a specific location, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was developed to compare four different technology options: boiling water, ceramic water filters, BioSand filters and chlorination (sodium hypochlorite). The LCA compared the global warming potential, energy use, particulate matter, water use, smog formation and land use. The LCA included boiling water as a technology because it is widely used and the purpose of the LCA was to compare the environmental impacts if communities were to switch from boiling water to a possibly more sustainable technology. The environmental impacts as well as cost of each technology were considered. Effective decision-support tools can result in more confidence in decision-making.

Available for download on Tuesday, January 26, 2021