Student Merit Competition

About the Student Merit Competition

EISG organizes a student merit competition to promote excellence in risk analysis research for engineering and infrastructure management. Students at any level are encouraged to submit an extended abstract on their research during the SRA call for presentations at the Annual Meeting (occurs in the spring). Finalists are selected and invited to submit a video presentation, usually in the late summer. Each finalist should also be prepared to present his or her research during the SRA Annual Meeting in December. The winner is announced at the EISG business meeting at the annual meeting.

Jinzhu Yu Wins 2017 Student Merit Competition

Congratulations to Jinzhu Yu for winning the student merit award given by EISG at its business meeting during the SRA Annual Meeting in Arlington, VA, on December 11, 2017.

Mr. Yu is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University. Before joining Vanderbilt, Mr. Yu received his M.S. degree in Civil Engineering at Tongji University, China. His research is focused on the quantification of community resilience using statistical methods. Due to the nature of extreme events, a big challenge in this problem is the lack of data. As such, the objective of his work is to develop statistical learning tools that provide accurate predictions of parameters describing a community’s recovery trajectory in order to inform resource allocation before, during, and after a disaster. Jinzhu has been working on a new class of models, hierarchical Bayesian kernel methods, and testing it on a case study assessing the recovery rate of communities from power outages. This work will ultimately help risk managers and disaster responders in identifying effective recovery strategies for communities that are bouncing back from disruptions.

Jinzhu also takes great interest in the fields of uncertainty quantification, and decision making.

Watch the Videos of the Student Finalists for the 2017 Student Competition!

Mr. Yu won based on his YouTube videos describing his research. In addition to Mr. Yu, three other finalists submitted YouTube videos. Members of the EISG community were invited to watch the videos and vote for the winner based on several criteria. All four finalists produced excellent videos and demonstrate some of the wonderful research produced by graduate students in engineering and infrastructure risk. The EISG executive committee wishes to congratulate and thank all of the finalists, and we were extremely impressed by their videos and presentations. You can watch their videos by clicking on the links:

Past Winners with Links to Their Videos

Many students can also receive travel awards from SRA to help reimburse travel and conference fees for the Annual Meeting.

Please contact a member of the EISG executive committee for more information about the specialty group's student merit competition. Professors should encourage their graduate students and research assistants to submit their research abstracts for this competition.