Spring 2023 – CREATE News and Updates

Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Threats and Emergencies

Spring 2023

News and Updates

Friends of CREATE,

As director of America’s first Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supported University of Center of Excellence, I write with gratitude for the more than $80 million in support we have received since inception.  20 years ago, Detlof von Winterfeldt and I were in the final phases of writing the proposal to establish CREATE as an interdisciplinary national homeland security center.  We were picked from among a group of more than 70 university applicants, each offering the creative talents of faculty, staff and students to understand and prepare for the threat of domestic terrorism.  As recommended in the 9/11 Commission Report, we have, since 2004, helped serve the need for “assessment of risks and vulnerabilities," offering rigor and objectivity to prepare for the threats facing the nation.

CREATE’s selection was announced in December of 2003.  Since then, we have been a think tank to study risks, consequences and interventions to protect against catastrophic events, both human-caused and natural in origin.  Our research has had wide reach and impact, helping understand both direct and indirect consequences for actual and potential disasters caused by terrorism, pandemics, extreme weather, cyber-attacks and weapons of mass destruction.  We have a distinguished alumni serving on university faculties, at national labs and at other high impact organizations.

We will commemorate our many accomplishments over the coming year as we continue our research on catastrophic health risks, terrorism, supply chain resilience, and disasters induced by climate change.

Randy Hall

Director, CREATE

New Grants

CREATE Director Randolph Hall, along with Viterbi professor Bhaskar Krishnamachari and Price professor Genevieve Giuliano, have received a $352,809 grant from USC’s Research and Innovation Office. The grant will be used for research toward creating an interdisciplinary center for integrated, resilient and trusted supply chains. It will also seek additional funds from the federal government and private sources. 

Adam Rose received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a study on Resilient Supply-Demand Networks.

External Senior Research Fellow Jun Zhuang was awarded a $300k grant by the National Science Foundation to study wildfire management, “Quantifying the Impact of the Prescribed Burning on Mitigating Wildland Fire Risk.”

External Senior Research Fellow Samrat Chatterjee is Principal Investigator for a new DHS-Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency project on multigraph analysis for quantifying risk to critical infrastructures and National Critical Functions (NCFs). He is also Co-Principal Investigator for a new DHS-SENTRY Center of Excellence project on machine learning for risk mitigation and deterrence at soft targets.


Economic Analysis

Zhenhua ChenAdam Rose, and Dan Wei used the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) computable general equilibrium model in “Economic Impacts of Russia-Ukraine War Export Disruptions of Grain Commodities,” published in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy.

Terrie Walmsley, Adam Rose, Richard John, Dan Wei, Jakub HlávkaJuan Machado and Katie Byrd estimated the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the U.S. by implementing a dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model in their “Macroeconomic Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic," published in Economic Policy.

Decision and Risk Analysis

Senior research fellows Robin DillonVicki Bier and Richard John examined the underuse of Decision Analysis during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how DA can be better utilized in a future pandemic in their, “Closing the Gap Between Decision Analysis and Policy Analysts Before the Next Pandemic," published in Decision Analysis.

Samrat Chatterjee co-authored “Disaster Risk and Artificial Intelligence: A Framework to Characterize Conceptual Synergies and Future Opportunities" in Risk Analysis, which looks at the current and future applications of AI in disaster relief fields.  He also co-authored “Role of Reinforcement Learning for Risk-Based Robust Control of Cyber-Physical Energy Systems" in Risk Analysis.

Samrat Chatterjee was awarded the Best Paper Award in the Climate and Homeland Resilience Track during the IEEE Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security for his “Resilience of Urban Rail Transit Networks Under Compound Natural and Opportunistic Failures". This simulates train networks, constructs resilience curves for urban rail transit, and leverages network science and engineering principles for decision-support under uncertainty.

Media and Presentations

Bryan Roberts authored a piece in The Hill about Ukraine and the eastern flank of Europe, and their reliance on the United States. Also, Jakub Hlavka and Adam Rose authored “COVID-19’s total cost to the economy in US will reach $14 trillion by end of 2023,” in The Conversation. The Article was circulated by more than 100 media outlets. A related Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times. also addressed the economic costs of COVID-19. 

Gilberto Montibeller spoke in the Society of Decision Professionals and Decision Analysis Society series on “Decision Making for Enhanced Health Security" in February. 


Samrat Chatterjee

Dan Wei

Congratulations to External Fellow Samrat Chatterjee for his promotion to Chief Data Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. After 12 years at USC and CREATE, Dan Wei has accepted a new position as economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. In addition to being a Research Fellow at CREATE, Dan was a Research Associate Professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Her research focused on economic consequence analysis of natural or man-made hazards, modeling of economic impacts of climate mitigation policies, and analysis of market-based mitigation policies. We also say goodbye to staff member Jen Sosenko, who has joined the Viterbi School of Engineering’s recently established Office of Research. In her role as an Administrative Project Specialist, she is responsible for providing project support and coordination for new and ongoing initiatives focused on enhancing research development and training strategies. Jen was instrumental in the development of CREATE’s recent Engineering Research Center proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation.


Mingdong Lyu

Adam Rose with his Students

Mingdong Lyu, USC doctoral student mentored by CREATE Director Randolph Hall, has been awarded the PhD Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering.  His research on “Pandemic Prediction and Control with Integrated Dynamic Modeling of Disease Transmission and Healthcare Resource Optimization” developed and applied new mathematical methods based on Covid-19 data for the United States. Dr. Lyu will continue his research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.
CREATE would also like to congratulate three of Adam Rose‘s students, Denton CohenKelly-Anne Moffa, and Anna Singer, on their completions of the Master in Public Policy. Denton joins the United Auto Workers as a labor organizer, Kelly-Anne joins ICF as an economics specialist and Anna will work at the Brookings Institution as a research assistant. 

New Student Worker

Please welcome Hayden Ranshaw, student worker supporting website maintenance, communication and special projects. Hayden is a sophomore in USC’s Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. As a first assignment, Hayden updated CREATE’s project report webpage, so that it now includes all projects since CREATE’s 2004 inception. Hayden is also supporting CREATE’s research on supply chain resilience.