RESIN Research Team

The research team consists of senior researchers from business, organizational behavior, energy resource development, engineering, public policy, and law. They are supported by a team of undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral researchers.  The researchers collectively have considerable, broad research, experience and consulting in the thematic areas of this research. They also have considerable experience in the conduct of interdisciplinary research.


Senior Researchers

Robert Bea (, Principal Investigator. Professor Bea began the stream of research that underlies this proposal in 1988 as a lead investigator of the catastrophic fires and explosions onboard the Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea. This work built on Professor Bea’s 35 years of worldwide engineering and management experience with the international offshore oil and gas industry. A two decade long research collaboration with Professor Karlene Roberts resulted in more than 12 jointly authored refereed journal and conference publications, more than 15 doctoral and masters student theses and dissertations, and development of three undergraduate and graduate engineering courses that address the subjects in this proposal. This research has involved investigations of the grounding of the Exxon Valdez and the tanker Braer, sinking of the passenger ferries Herald of Free Enterprise and the Estonia, failure of the NASA Columbia shuttle, and the British Petroleum Texas City and Exxon Longford Australia refinery fires and explosions. Specializations: Risk Assessment and Management of Engineered Systems, Reliability, Human and Organizational Factors, Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Design, Construction, Maintenance, Operations, Decommissioning of Engineered Systems.

John Radke
(, Co-PI.  Radke specializes in the development of spatial decomposition algorithms for characterizing, indexing and comprehending spatial data. He will develop the spatial components of the hazards and risk models used in this project. Professor Radke is recognized for his contributions to pattern recognition, specifically the development of metrics and methods for characterizing spatial structure, association and relationships between objects embedded in the landscape. His metrics, embedded in graph theory, attempt to eliminate scale and density constraints common to many popular spatial metrics and produce a more sophisticated definition. The applied results of his research occur within Geographic Information Science and seek to solve real world problems common in planning and design. One such metric has brought us a powerful new tool for delineating boundaries and transition zones (or ecotones) in very complex heterogeneous distributions. This metric allows us to define boundaries and detect change in complex patterns in the landscape that up until now was not possible. Another of his metrics generalizes the notion of neighborly and provides a tool for defining an entire spectrum of neighborhoods where spatial relationships between objects (plants) grow more complex. Specializations: GIS, Computational Morphology.

Karlene Roberts
(, Co-PI. For more than two decades, Karlene Roberts has studied the design and management of high reliability organizations and systems of organizations. Professor Roberts is recognized nationally and internationally as the principal founder of High Reliability Organization Theory. (HROs are organizations in which the potential fatal errors are high, but which avoid them). She also has a considerable amount of experience with complex organizations and systems of organizations that failed (e.g. Exxon Valdez, space shuttle Columbia, the U.S.S. Greeneville sinking of the Ehimi Maru). Robert’s work during this time has involved a large number of collaborative basic and applied engineering research projects including human and organizational factors in operations of offshore platforms and commercial tankers and management of rapidly developing crises in operations of hydrocarbon refining facilities. She will help identify the important psychological, sociological and political issues in this research.

Howard Foster (, Senior Researcher, Geographic Information Science.  Howard Foster specializes in the development of digital library technology to support, access, and retrieve spatial data. He will develop the formation systems supporting this study and also be responsible for development and maintenance of the project's online database that will contain information and documentation resulting from this research.

Emery Roe
(, Senior Researcher. Emery Roe is a practicing policy analyst working on science, technology and environmental controversies. He specializes in developing better management strategies in large technical systems for the provision of high critical services, such as electricity and water. He is author or co-author of many articles and books, including Narrative Policy Analysis (1994), Taking Complexity Seriously (1998), Ecology, Engineering and Environment (2002) and High Reliability Management (2008). has helped design and direct initiatives on, among others, agriculture and urban sprawl in California’s Central Valley, indicators of ecosystem health in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region, campus/community partnerships in underserved urban minority neighborhoods, and research on issues at the intersection of global population growth, natural resource utilization and the environment. Specializations: Policy Analysis, High Reliability Management, Critical Infrastructure Reliability, Implementation, Science and Technology.

Paul Schulman (, Senior Researcher.  Schulman is a Professor of Government at Mills College in Oakland, California.  He has a BA from Tulane University and an MA and PhD from Johns Hopkins University.  He has done extensive research on large-scale technical systems and high-reliability organizations, including NASA and the Apollo project, nuclear power plants, air-traffic control systems and most recently, the California electrical grid.  He has been a consultant to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada and the California Independent System operator.  He has written Large-Scale Policy Making (Elsevier, 1980), numerous articles in academic journals and, with Emery Roe, High Reliability Management (Stanford University Press, 2008).  Paul will be researching the interconnections among a number of critical infrastructure control rooms during normal operations and crisis periods.  This research will be focused on methods for characterizing and assessing the risks of interconnected failure among these infrastructures, as well as cooperative strategies necessary for mutual recovery.

Rune Storesund (, Senior Researcher.  Rune Storesund is a registered civil and geotechnical engineer with over 10 years of engineering planning, design, and construction experience and has worked on a variety of projects throughout California and the United States.  He has participated in all aspects of engineering projects; from preliminary reviews to detailed analyses to construction observations and post-project monitoring.  In addition to a BA in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Rune holds both a BS in civil and environmental engineering and a MS in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  Rune also holds a D.Eng degree from the University of California, Berkeley where he wrote the dissertation, “Life-Cycle Reliability Based Design and Management of Urban Creeks and Rivers (2009).”  He specializes in the application of reliability and risk-based approaches to engineering projects, with a particular emphasis on environmental restoration and flood control projects.  Rune will be utilizing this expertise to help develop a new interdisciplinary methodology for risk-based assessment and management of critical flood control systems. 
Specializations:  Civil Engineering, Ecological Restoration and Sustainability, Geotechnical Engineering, Risk and Reliability Engineering, Water Resources. 

Bas Jonkman (, Post Doctoral Researcher/ Visiting Scholar (Feb – Aug 2011). Bas Jonkman’s research focuses on natural hazards and risk management, with a specific emphasis on flood risks.  His PhD, completed at Delft University (the Netherlands), examined loss of life estimation and flood risk assessment in the year 2007.  He has worked for the Dutch government (Rijkswaterstaat) and Royal Haskoning (an engineering consultant) and currently serves part-time as an assistant professor of Hydraulic Engineering at Delft University.  After hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005, Bas was involved in advisory and research activities that followed the disaster, including the analysis of levee failures and impacts (loss of life and building damage).  Bas has done flood risk management research and consulting in the Netherlands, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Romania.  At UC Berkeley, Bas will use his expertise to assess the risks of interconnected infrastructure systems in the delta.
Specializations: Civil Engineering, Risk Assessment and Management of Engineered Systems, Flood Risk Assessment, Consequence Analysis

Hamed Hamedifar (, Post Doctoral Researcher. Hamed Hamedifar’s research focuses on natural hazards and risk management of geotechnical systems, with a specific emphasis on Risk Assessment and Management for Interconnected and Interactive Critical Flood Defense Systems.  His PhD, completed at University of California, Berkeley, developed risk base methodologies for interdependent, interconnected and interactive critical infrastructure systems of California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region. In addition to a PhD, from the University of California, Berkeley, Hamed holds both a BS in civil and environmental engineering and a MS in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked as an R&D consultant for Slope Reinforcement Technology and engineering consultant for GEI Consultants. Hamed has done several complex numerical modeling projects in UC Berkeley under the supervision of Professor Juan Pestana.
Specializations: Civil Engineering, Risk Assessment and Management of Engineered Systems, Flood Risk Assessment, Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering Risk Analysis, Numerical Modeling

Research Staff & Students

Henri de Corn (, Research Specialist, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Hamed Hamedifar (, PhD Candidate/ Research Specialist, Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering Risk Analysis

Lynn Hiel (, Research Specialist, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Research Advisors

Raymond Seed (, Senior Research Advisor, Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering

Carmen Cheung (, Research Advisor, Geotechnical Engineering Risk Analysis

Jessica Ludy(, Research Specialist, Environmental Planning


NFS logo round This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, Grant # EFRI-0836047. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.