DRC-Disaster Research Center

Dr. Rachel Davidson

Core Faculty
360B Dupont Hall
Newark, DE 19716-2581
Phone: (302) 831-4952
Fax: (302) 831-3640
Email: rdavidso@udel.edu
Click here for a PDF version of Rachel's Curriculum Vitae

Teaching Schedule
CIEG 211; Statics; Tuesday and Thursday; 2:00pm-3:15pm

Office Hours
By Appointment


Rachel Davidson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware. After completing her B.S.E. from Princeton University and M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, she spent two years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, then six years at Cornell University, both as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering. Following a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University, she joined the faculty at the University of Delaware and the Disaster Research Center in 2007.

Davidson conducts research on natural disaster risk modeling. Her work involves developing new engineering models to better characterize the impact of future natural disasters, and use that understanding to support decisions to help reduce future losses. It focuses particularly on lifelines (e.g., electric power, water supply) and risk from a regional perspective; on earthquakes and hurricanes. Problems in this field typically involve a great deal of uncertainty, a long time horizon, multiple and competing objectives, and sometimes numerous and conflicting constituencies. They are often spatial and dynamic, and the technical aspects must be understood in the social, economic, political, and cultural context in which they exist. In addittion she is a mentor for the NSF-funded project "Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disaster Researchers" program

Current Studies

DRU: Integrated Optimization of Evacuation and Mass Care Sheltering for Hurricanes

Investment Planning for Regional Natural Disaster Mitigation

Methods for Measuring, Monitoring and Evaluating Post-Disaster Recovery

Modeling Natural Disaster Risk Management: A Stakeholder Perspective

Modeling the Interactions between Development and Regional Disaster Risk

Modeling the Spread of Post-Earthquake Fires

NEES-SG. NEESWood: Development of a Performance-Based Seismic Design Philosophy for Mid-Rise Woodframe Construction

RAPID: Assessing Community‐Scale Disruption and Restoration of Basic Needs in Post‐Earthquake Haiti

RAPID: San Bruno CA Sept. 9, 2010 Gas Pipeline Explosion and Fire

Selected Publications

Black, G., Davidson, R., Pei, S., and van de Lindt, J. Empirical loss analysis to support definition of seismic performance objectives for woodframe buildings. Structural Safety, in press.

Brink, S., Davidson, R., and Tabucchi, T. Strategies to reduce durations of post-earthquake water service interruptions in Los Angeles. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, in press.

Lee, S., and Davidson, R. Application of a physics-based simulation model to examine post-earthquake fire spread. Journal of Earthquake Engineering, in press.

Lee, S., and Davidson, R. Physics-based simulation model of post-earthquake fire spread. Journal of Earthquake Engineering, in press.

Davidson, R. Modeling Post-earthquake fire ignitions using generalized linear (mixed) models. Journal of Infrastructure Systems, in press.

Legg, M., Nozick, L., and Davidson, R. Optimizing the selection of hazard-consistent probabilistic scenarios for long-term regional hurricane loss estimation, Structural Safety, In press.

Vaziri, P., Davidson, R., Nozick, L., and Hosseini, M. Resource allocation for regional earthquake risk mitigation: A case study of Tehran, Iran, Natural Hazards, In press.

Tabucchi, T., Davidson, R., and Brink, S. Simulation of post-earthquake water supply system restoration.Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems, In press.

Liu, H., Davidson, R., and Apanasovich, T. 2007. Spatial Generalized Linear Mixed Models of Electric Power Outages due to Hurricanes and Ice Storms. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, in press (available online).

Liu, H., Davidson, R., and Apanasovich, T. Statistical forecasting of electric power restoration times in hurricanes and ice storms. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems 22(4), 2270-2279.

Çağnan, Z., and Davidson, R. 2007. Discrete event simulation of the post-earthquake restoration process for electric power systems. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management 7(8), 1138-1156.

Xu, N., Davidson, R., Nozick, L., and Dodo, A. 2007. The risk-return tradeoff in optimizing regional earthquake mitigation investment. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 3(2), 133-146.

Jain, V., and Davidson, R. 2007. Application of a regional hurricane wind risk forecasting model for wood-frame houses. Risk Analysis 27(1), 45-58. Winner of Best Paper Award, Society for Risk Analysis.

Jain, V., and Davidson, R. 2007. Forecasting changes in the hurricane wind vulnerability of a building inventory. Journal of Infrastructure Systems 13(1), 1-12.

Dodo, A., Davidson, R., Xu, N., and Nozick, L. 2007. Application of regional earthquake mitigation optimization. Computers and Operations Research 34(8), 2478-2494.

Çağnan, Z., Davidson, R., and Guikema, S. 2006. Post-earthquake restoration planning for Los Angeles electric power. Earthquake Spectra 22(3), 1-20.

Liu, H., Davidson, R. Rosowsky, D. and Stedinger, J. 2005. Negative binomial regression of electric power outages in hurricanes. Journal of Infrastructure Systems 11(4), 258-267.

Dodo, A., Xu, N. Davidson, R. and Nozick, L. 2005. Optimizing regional earthquake mitigation investment strategies. Earthquake Spectra 21(2), 305-327.