Name: Debora Maia Silva
School: Purdue University
Department: Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Advisor: Professor Roshanak Nateghi
Debora (Debs) Maia Silva is the 2020 winner of the Engineering and Infrastructure Specialty Group Student Merit Award. She won based on her excellent submission for her video presentation entitled “The Goldilocks Zone in Cooling Demand: what can we do better?”
You can watch the video for yourself here. A big congrats to Debs!
We are also featuring her as a student spotlight, with her answers to our questions below:
Briefly describe your research and the impact it may have:
Data analysis on climate and energy data to improve energy demand prediction. Accurate predictions lead to better guidelines and decisions, and it is an important factor to avoid outages and price surges.
How did you become interested in infrastructure and risk analysis?
My bachelor is in Civil Engineering and it was when I learned that engineers have the mission to be “builders of the human well-being”. Infrastructures are at the center of this well-being. My senior thesis involved risk analysis in infrastructures, and since then I’m in this world!
How has SRA contributed to your growth as a researcher?
Good advice and networking.
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years in the future?
In my own company.
What is one topic in risk that you’re not working on, but wish you were?
There’s so much I haven’t explored. But watching some of the SRA panels, I am very curious about behavioral decision science. For someone so used to working with engineering, adding the human side to the equation fascinates me.
When you’re not doing research, you are…
Writing, playing with the cat—great pandemic companion— watching soccer, playing some PS4 (maybe after graduation I can upgrade that) or, more recently, watching youtube workout videos (and sometimes actually doing the exercise).
Previous Student Spotlights:
Name: Huiling Hu
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Department: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Professor Bilal M. Ayyub
My research focuses on using big-data analytics and statistical methods to study extreme climate change and its future trend. The primary goal is to design systematic ways to predict future extreme precipitation so that future design standards can be resilient to climate change.