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Campus Advisories

MEDIA CONTACT: Nick Massella
(202) 994-3087;


The following faculty members from The George Washington University are available to comment on earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters.

Earthquakes and Civil Engineering

Majid Manzari
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Majid Manzari has served at GW since 1994.  In addition to research in geomechanics, Manzari has conducted research on active control of structures and soil-structure systems during earthquakes, constitutive modeling of ferroelectric ceramics with domain switching behavior, and behavior of mixed finite elements in hyperbolic heat conduction.  From 1986 to 1990, Manzari held a faculty position in the School of Engineering of Tehran University.  Manzari received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Civil Engineering from Tehran University in Iran, and a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Davis.  He has been a visiting researcher at Sandia National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.
Office: (202) 994-5970

Pedro F. Silva
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Pedro Silva’s areas of specialty include development of performance-based procedures for the seismic design and retrofit of civil structures; blast resistance of structures; use of fiber-reinforced polymers for the structural rehabilitation of structures.  He received a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego.
Office: (202) 994-7446

Shahram Sarkani
Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
Author of more than 100 technical publications and presentations, Shahram Sarkani is a civil engineer who focuses his research on the study of how earthquakes and other natural forces affect buildings, bridges, and other human-made structures.  Using a National Science Foundation grant, GW’s Laboratory for Infrastructure Safety and Reliability constructed an earthquake simulator in 2001 to study earthquake forces and their effects on buildings and other structures.  From these studies, the laboratory develops cost-effective ways to protect people against the destructive power of earthquakes.  Known simply as the “shake table,” this simulator moves with six degrees of freedom and is capable of producing every motion a building or structure may experience during an earthquake or severe vibration.  The platform weights two tons and supports weights of up to 18 tons.  Hydraulic power is used to move the table moves about 8 inches in each of the 6 directions. 
Office: (888) 694-9627

Sameh Badie
Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Science
Sameh Badie specializes in advanced concrete materials, corrosion resistant reinforcement, and the application of pre-stressed concrete in buildings and bridges.  Badie earned a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is affiliated with Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, American Concrete Institute, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Office: (202) 994-8803

Kim Roddis
Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Kim Roddis specializes in civil and structural engineering; bridge, industrial, and commercial building design, frame stability; and the fatigue of highway bridges.  She also studies the application of artificial intelligence and advanced computing to civil engineering, Web enhanced teaching of engineering design, nondestructive testing and evaluation of structures, and the design of computer-aided tools for civil engineering.  Roddis received a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is affiliated with the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Office: (202) 994-8515

Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management

Daniel Kaniewski
Homeland Security Policy Institute
Kaniewski served on the White House staff from July 2005 to August 2008, most recently as special assistant to the president for homeland security and senior director for response policy.  Just one month after joining the White House staff in July 2005, he witnessed first hand the failures at responding to Hurricane Katrina.  He then served as a co-author and editor of the White House report The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned. Later, serving as special assistant to the president for homeland security and senior director for response policy, he worked to improve the nation's response capabilities and advised the president and White House senior staff during domestic incidents (including both man-made and natural disasters). 
Cell Phone: 202-423-4940

Jonathan Deason
Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
Jonathan Deason’s areas of expertise include national parks, water resources, environmental sustainability and management, alternative and fuel efficient vehicles, energy policy, hydrogen economy, national parks, and water resources.  Deason received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and is affiliated with the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Engineering Management, and the American Water Resources Association.
Office: 202 994-4827

Joseph A. Barbera, M.D.
Co-Director of The George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management and Associate Professor of Engineering Management
Professor Barbera was the lead medical consultant for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the development of the National Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Response System, and participates as a medical officer for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance International Search & Rescue Program and the FEMA US&R Incident Support Team.  He has participated in responses to hurricanes, mine disasters, earthquakes (Baguio City Philippines, Northridge California, Tou-Liu Taiwan), mass terrorism (the Oklahoma City Bombing and the 9-11 Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks), and biological terrorism.  An M.D. by training, Barbera has completed multiple research projects focusing on health and medical systems in emergency preparedness and response.
Office: (202) 994-8424

Global Humanitarian Response and Nonprofit Involvement

Amitai Etzioni
GW University Professor and Professor of International Affairs  
Professor Etzioni is the author of over thirty books, including The Monochrome Society (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), The Limits of Privacy (New York: Basic Books, 1999), The New Golden Rule (New York: Basic Books, 1996), which received the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 1997 Tolerance Book Award, The Spirit of Community (New York: Crown Books, 1993), and The Moral Dimension: Toward a New Economics (New York: Free Press, 1988).  Outside of academia, Etzioni’s voice is frequently heard in the media.  He appears often on radio and television programs, and is regularly consulted by print media as well.
Office: (202) 994-8190

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