The George Mason University Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC) and the Volgenau School of Engineering invite applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in resilience assessment. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment.
About the Department:
The Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities has been chartered by the Office of the Provost as part of a university-level initiative for establishing Transdisciplinary Centers of Advanced Study. The vision for C-RASC is to develop, implement, test, and refine a framework for communities world-wide to create life-changing social and economic opportunities through locally led, bottom-up resilience and sustainability initiatives supported by effective, replicable models.
Coping with accelerating rates of technological, social and climate change requires integrated approaches that build the capacity to absorb disruptions and emerge stronger. C-RASC pursues transdisciplinary, translational, integrated research to help communities build the capacity to absorb disruptions and emerge stronger. C-RASC draws transdisciplinary talent from across Mason and external partners, including experts in governance, sociology, economics, diverse kinds of engineering, and scientific analysis. Research includes basic, translational and applied efforts at multiple scales (multiscale)—international, national, regional, and specific communities.
A Postdoctoral Research Fellow is sought to support a Strategic Environmental Research & Development (SERDP) Project on Adaptive, Complex Threats which considers a combination of cyber attacks in conjunction with natural disasters, with emphasis on disruptions that could lead to environmental damage and other negative impacts. Mason is one of the primary performers on this contract. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will focus on Mason's responsibilities under this project, which include establishing and executing a project management plan to perform the following duties:
Establish a novel and dynamic multi-phase resilience assessment framework, capable of modeling and quantifying the resilience of physical, network and system infrastructuresbefore, during and after extreme disruptions. Estimate the compounding effects of climate and cyber threats mathematically and computationally through modelling and emulation;
Mathematically quantify the different components of the proposed framework at the macro-level to calculate the compounding effects of climate and cyber threats, and track the increases and decreases in levels of resilience. This involves mapping the interdependencies of the different phases of resilience and the various components involved such as infrastructure systems, military operational, and social systems. This should include reference to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential factor;
Address the complex interactions between physical, social, technological, and economic systems and infrastructures, including impacts of the novel coronavirus.
Grant writing duties:
There should not be significant grant writing associated with this project unless changes are needed at the beginning of year 2.
Research administration duties:
Develop and maintain the budget for this project, coordinate financial and research progress reporting, coordinate with the Office of Sponsored Programs and post-award support personnel across academic units, and work with C-RASC faculty to coordinate and support interdisciplinary research and educational initiatives.
Consistent with the primary responsibilities outlined above and as required by the contract, have at least one paper ready for submission for peer-review by the end of year 1, and facilitate and host at least one workshop during year 2.
Doctoral degree in a relevant field such as systems engineering, civil engineering, or mathematics; with modeling and simulation experience, and familiarity with cybersecurity;
Enthusiastic and energetic individual who is comfortable working in highly interdisciplinary research settings with a diverse team;
At least one publication in a peer-reviewed journal;
3-5 years of experience working in interdisciplinary teams and supporting team science.
Experience developing and implementing research development or support programs;
Expertise in one or more of the following areas: cybersecurity, climate modeling, risk assessment, infrastructure modeling;
Strong interest in resilience research.
Mason Engineering: The Future of Engineering is Here
The Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University is a fast-growing force for innovation in research and education, with approximately 250 full-time faculty. The school boasts more than 8,170 students in 36 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degree programs, including several first-in-the-nation offerings. The total anticipated value of VSE's active research grants and contracts exceed $400M in a variety of emerging technologies, including big data, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, healthcare, sustainable infrastructure, advanced materials, and mobile communications.
George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia, classified at the Carnegie R1 highest research activity level, with an enrollment of over 38,000 students studying in over 200 degree programs. Mason is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. Mason, located in the City of Fairfax in Northern Virginia at the doorstep of Washington, D.C., has unmatched geographical access to a numerous federal agencies and national laboratories. Northern Virginia is also home to one of the largest concentrations of high-tech firms in the nation, providing excellent opportunities for interaction with industry. Fairfax is consistently rated as being among the best places to live in the country and has an outstanding local public school system.
In conjunction with Amazon's decision to establish a second headquarters in Northern Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia announced a multi-year plan to invest in the growth of degree programs in computing, and George Mason University has committed to accelerate plans to grow capacity in computing and high-tech fields. Among the exciting initiatives being undertaken by the university are the launch of the Institute for Digital InnovAtion, a university think tank and incubator to serve the digital economy, and the expansion of its Arlington Campus with a planned 400,000 square foot Digital InnovAtion Building. These initiatives reflect hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment by Mason that will rapidly elevate Mason's already leading national position in computing and related areas.
Salary: Commensurate with education and experience.
Location: Fairfax, VA
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About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia's largest public university located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, public policy, economics, visual and performing arts, life sciences and biotechnology, Mason prepares its alumni to succeed in the workforce and meet the needs of the region and the world.