International Issues

Panel: Food, Energy, Water Nexus

Monday, June 4
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Lake Superior B

The food-energy-water (FEW) nexus panel will provide a venue to discuss state-of-the-art FEW nexus research approaches and associated opportunities and challenges in terms of framing FEW nexus problems, data, modeling, interdisciplinary nature, and policy implications.

Ali Mirchi

Research Assistant Professor
University of Texas at El Paso

Ali Mirchi is a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering and Center for Environmental Resource Management at the University of Texas at El Paso. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University, U.S.A., a Master’s in Water Resources Engineering from Lund University, Sweden, and a B.S. in Civil/Water Engineering from the University of Tabriz, Iran. Dr. Mirchi’s work primarily focuses on the application of systems thinking, systems analysis techniques, simulation, and optimization modeling to advance understanding of water resources and environmental management problems at different scales, informing resource management frameworks and policies that promote sustainability.


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David W. Watkins, Jr., PhD, PE

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michigan Technological University

David Watkins, Jr., PhD, PE, is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech University. Dr. Watkins' teaching interests include hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, water and environmental systems analysis, and international service learning. His research interests include sustainable development and the application of decision theory and information technology to environmental and water resources problems in both the developing and industrialized world. He serves as a faculty advisor to the Michigan Tech student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA and co-coordinator of the Peace Corps Master’s International Program in civil and environmental engineering. He also directs an international capstone design program in Panama. Dr. Watkins is active in the ASCE/EWRI International Council, Environmental & Water Resource Systems Committee, and River Basin Planning, Policy, and Operations Committee.


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Greg Characklis

Philip C. Singer Distinguished Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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Meghna Babbar-Sebens

Associate Professor
Oregon State University

Dr. Meghna Babbar-Sebens conducts interdisciplinary, computational research in the field of Hydroinformatics to develop innovative and effective solutions for sustainable planning and management of water-based systems. Her research investigates innovations in a wide variety of Hydroinformatics approaches, including computational modeling of complex water-based systems, multi-objective optimization, interactive optimization, noisy optimization, evolutionary computing, multi-agent models, Markov decision processes, neural networks, human-computer interaction, data assimilation, high performance computing, etc. These innovations help solve a variety of problems, such as:
> How can communities collaborate via web-based technologies to plan and design conservation practices or green stormwater practices on their landscape?
> How can high performance computing and optimization algorithms be used to design short term and long term watershed adaptation alternatives, for communities combatting flooding, droughts, and/or water quality impacts due to changing climate and anthropogenic drivers?
> How can observations from different types of sensors (e.g., in-situ instruments, satellites, and unmanned aerial systems (UASs), etc.) be used to improve data assimilation in water quality models?
> What types of data-driven, machine learning models are useful for simulating complex water systems when we don't know the exact mechanistic process in the system?


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Landon Marston

Assistant Professor
Kansas State University


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Panel: Food, Energy, Water Nexus

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