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Disaster Resilience in the Digital Age: Debayan Mandal’s Preliminary Exam

On November 28, 2023, I, Debayan Mandal, successfully presented my preliminary dissertation proposal, aimed at shaping our approach to disaster resilience in the current age. My work, titled "Toward Smart and Resilient Communities: Advancing Multiscale Disaster Resilience in the Age of CyberGIS and Digital Twins" leverages novel technologies to tackle the cascading challenges of natural disasters.


Debayan presenting his Preliminary Proposal

My research proposal focuses on understanding the dynamics of disasters across various scales - from large regions to neighborhoods and individuals. This identifies the three key challenges towards holistic resilience: Lack of a Customizable Resilience Framework, Barriers in User Accessibility, and The Need for a 3D Perspective. This led my research direction to two deliverable objectives - A customized framework for analyzing disaster resilience levels and a robust digital twin-city model for understanding various levels of resilience in the city.


During the process of the exam, I presented my work on the development of the empirically validated customizable framework hosted in a CyberGIS platform - Platform for Resilience Inference Measurement and Enhancement for the fulfillment of my first objective.


Graduate committee members during the exam

For my second objective, I shared a detailed plan, stages of completion, and tentative timeline for completing a robust digital twin model for understanding infrastructural, social, and individual resilience in pluvial and fluvial flood scenarios. Alongside, the work on Algorithmic Uncertainties in Geolocating Social Media Data, which was crucial to deciding the workflow on the individual aspect of the Digital Twin.


Academic and Service Achievements till date

As I reflect on this milestone of my Ph.D. journey, I am deeply grateful for the support and guidance of my mentor and advisor, Dr. Lei Zou. His insights and expertise have helped shape my research path and intellectual growth.


Thanks to all My Professors

I extend my heartfelt appreciation to my graduate committee membersDr. Burak Guneralp, Dr. Galen Newman, Dr. Heng Cai, and Dr. Nasir Gharaibeh. Their valuable comments and suggestions have enriched my perspective and understanding of the aims I hope to achieve through this research.


Thanks to all My Labmates and Collaborators

A special note of thanks goes to my labmates and collaborators, who have been pillars of support and sources of constructive critique. I am particularly thankful to Mr. Rohan Singh Wilkho, Mr. Joynal Abedin, Mr. Bing Zhou, Mr. Mingzheng Yang, Ms. Reetu Singh, Ms. Binbin Lin, and Dr. Furqan Baig, among numerous others. Each of them has contributed uniquely to my research journey, offering insights, encouragement, and camaraderie.


I am truly grateful for the role each person has played in this journey, and I look forward to the next chapters of this PhD journey.

 

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