Elise Miller-Hooks

PhD Student:
Mercedeh Tariverdi

Mercedeh TariverdiPhD 2017, Civil and Environmental Engineering,

Disaster Risk Management Economics | Analytics Unit
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery at
The World Bank

Email: mtariverdi@worldbank.org

Dissertation Title:

Time-Critical Decision Making in Rescue Resource Deployment and Health Care Systems

Recipient of the Graduate Scholarship from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (2013) and the ITS Maryland Graduate Scholarship (2014)

M.S. Thesis Title (Completed May 2012):

Standardizing and Simplyfing Safety Service Patrol Benefit-Cost Ratio Estimation


Continuing population growth and increased urbanization within disaster-prone areas have led to greater numbers of mass casualties and economic losses caused by natural or human-made disasters. Efficient decision-making processes are crucial in all phases of a disaster life cycle, from mitigation and preparedness to response and recovery. The overarching goal of this dissertation is to contribute to region-wide disaster operation management capabilities by creating a set of tools to facilitate fast, life-saving decision-making. The dissertation begins with initial responders’ assignments to affected structures and spans health care and infrastructure preparation and response. In mass casualty incident (MCI) circumstances in particular, situations are complicated, networks are often large, and conditions are transient and time-dependent. Thus, tools developed in this thesis evaluate and update decisions based on available information at each point in time to the system.

The functioning of various response networks, whether in the disaster scene or at the health care facilities, is conceptualized mathematically. Each model can be viewed as a type of queueing network in which MCI victims are customers and responders or health care facilities are servers. Each queueing network is employed to: (1) test developed protocols, acting as queueing system operational policies to support disaster response, (2) assess tactics developed otherwise, or (3) optimize regional disaster preparedness and response actions. Using queueing network conceptualizations, discrete event simulation and simulation-based optimization techniques (metamodels) are developed to propose and evaluate protocols that guide responses and for assessing performance and resilience of these systems.


Elise Miller-Hooks, Ph.D.
Bill & Eleanor Hazel Chair in Infrastructure Engineering

Phone: 703.993.1685
Email: miller@gmu.edu

Office: 4614 Nguyen Engineering Building

Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 6C1
Fairfax, VA 22030


Additional Resources




Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University