Headshot of Luis Ceferino
Headshot of Luis Ceferino
  • February 18, 2020
    11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Please join NYU CUSP for our new seminar series, featuring leading voices in the growing field of Urban Informatics.

Our next seminar will feature Luis Ceferino, Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University,  for a discussion on “Disaster resilience of hospital systems and modern power systems in urban centers.”

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020
11:00am to 12:00pm

1201 Seminar Room
370 Jay Street
12th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The event is open to the public. Please RSVP below.

Disaster Resilience of Hospital Systems and Modern Power Systems in Urban Centers

Natural disasters cause catastrophic consequences for multiple systems of urban centers. For example, earthquakes can injure tens or even hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of minutes, creating overwhelming demands for medical treatment on the hospital system as in China in 2008 and Turkey in 1999. Also, disasters severely affect the power grid. The medium-size Napa earthquake left 70,000 residents without power in 2014 and Hurricane Maria caused blackouts in multiple major cities in Puerto Rico that lasted for months in 2017. This two-part presentation shows models and applications for evaluating the impact of earthquakes on urban systems. The first part will describe a formulation to capture key processes that govern the emergency response of complex urban centers to large earthquakes. The formulation identifies the neighborhoods that will most likely be underserved by healthcare services after an earthquake. The formulation uses an optimization procedure that designs strategies for patient transfers, ambulance usage and deployment of field hospitals to make treatment more effective during the emergency response. A case study in Lima, Peru, shows that high-coordination emergency plans can reduce patient waiting times by a factor of three, potentially preventing additional loss of life. The second part of the presentation will present a model that captures how modern power system such as distributed energy resources (DERs) increase the resilience of the grid to natural disasters. DERs introduce multiple power-generation (e.g., rooftop solar panels) and storage units in close proximity to users, reducing the dependency of the power grid on vulnerable power distribution and transmission lines. The proposed model is used to capture the post-disaster power accessibility gained from the recent adoption of solar panels and the potential deployment of microgrids in San Carlos, California. Results show that the current adoption of 8.5% is insufficient to supply enough power to households in San Carlos after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. However, if adoption is higher than 20%, microgrid clusters can effectively provide sufficient post-earthquake power accessibility during the summer season. These tools and applications for hospital systems and modern power systems aim to help resilience officers and emergency planners to develop more robust risk reduction programs and protect their most vulnerable residents from earthquakes.

Headshot of Luis Ceferino

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University investigating the resilience of urban systems to natural hazards in large urban centers. I earned my Ph.D. in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Stanford University, where I evaluated policies to improve the resilience of cities to disasters using cutting-edge earthquake engineering, statistical and machine learning techniques. During my Ph.D., I also developed tools for effectively redistributing resources and transferring patients in hospital systems during an earthquake emergency response to minimize waiting times. I have also coupled models for distributed energy resources (DERs) with earthquake analytics in order to measure the increase in post-earthquake power accessibility due to solar panel adoption. My research projects have been benefited from collaborations with researchers from different institutions such as Caltech, University of Pavia in Italy, and the National University of Engineering in Peru.

I also have consulting experience in seismic risk and structural engineering in Peruvian and U.S. engineering firms and in the World Bank. More recently, I have developed Yanapay, a comprehensive platform for earthquake and tsunami risk visualization in Peru.