Maria Robson, a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern
University, was awarded for the best graduate poster at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Summit on May 31.
Robson presented the poster with Lizzy Warner who is also pursuing her PhD at Northeastern University.
“We saw an opportunity for interdisciplinary research – blending Lizzy’s engineering expertise with my political science and security background – to address complex challenges to resilience,” said Robson. “At the DHS COE Summit, a key theme was the challenge that research often operates in silos; our project takes a ‘system of systems’ approach to critical infrastructure resilience. In the event of a disaster, law enforcement officials need to know which stakeholders will require access to affected areas in order to restore critical assets. In addition, the owners and operators of those assets need a comprehensive understanding of how their systems are relied on by other systems. If, for example, my building reopens its doors, but my employees can’t come to work because Lizzy’s construction firm couldn’t repair the roads, then there is no point in me reopening. Our project aims to provide stakeholders with an understanding of critical infrastructure interdependencies and how a shock to one system can cascade to another.”
The DHS COE Summit recognizes the value of contributions from students who collaborate with experts in fields like Terrorism, Emergency Response, and Critical Infrastructure Protection while working in Center of Excellence University Enterprises. COE students help to develop solutions to complex and challenging homeland security concerns.
The Summit aims to Facilitate collaboration among DHS COE researchers, homeland security enterprise leadership and component end-users and industry participants