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International SSPEED Conference
Urban and Coastal Flooding: Building a Resilient Future
October 12 & 13, 2023

Day 1            Thursday, October 12, 2023

8:00 - 8:30           REGISTRATION & COFFEE (THE COMMONS)

INTRO                  Welcome and Overview

8:30 - 8:45           Philip Bedient, Director, SSPEED Center & Professor, Rice University

8:45 - 9:00           Luay Nakhleh, Dean of Engineering, Rice University

9:00 - 9:15           Reginald DesRoches, President, Rice University


SESSION I.           How Do We Build a Flood Resilient Future

9:15 - 9:35            A Resilient Future in the Time of Climate Change

                              Philip Bedient, Director, SSPEED Center & Professor, Rice University

9:35 - 9:55            Challenges and Opportunities for the Implementation of Flood Resilience: Reflections from England

                              Sally Priest, Professor, Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University

9:55 - 10:15          Harnessing Nature for a Flood Resilient Future

                               Mary Anne Piacentini, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coastal Prairie Conservancy


10:15 - 10:35       BREAK (THE COMMONS)


KEYNOTE             Towards a Resilient Future with Nature-Based Solutions. Examples from the Netherlands and Beyond

10:35 – 11:00      Petra Dankers, Leading Professional Nature-based solutions, Royal HaskoningDHV


SESSION II.           Coastal Protection for Galveston Bay

11:00 – 11:20        Infrastructure for Our Next Century

                               Rob Rogers, FAIA, ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers

11:20 - 11:40        Modeling the Galveston Bay Park Plan for Storm Surge Mitigation

                               Clint Dawson, J.J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering, University of Texas

11:40 – 12:00        Houston Ship Channel Gate Design

                               Charles Penland, Managing Principal, Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc.


12:00 – 1:00          LUNCH (THE COMMONS)


KEYNOTE               International Experiences of Megaprojects as Inspiration for Houston-Galveston Bay Area

1:00 – 1:25            Marcel Hertogh, Chair Infrastructure Design and Management, Delft University of Technology


SESSION III.          Impact on Future Storms

1:25 - 1:45            Weather Extremes along the Gulf Coast in a Changing Climate

                              Sylvia Dee, Assistant Professor, Rice University

1:45 – 2:05           Tropical Cyclones in a Changing Climate: Climatology, Hazards, and Impacts

                              Avantika Gori, Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University

KEYNOTE             Flood Protection in the Dutch Delta – A Matter of Organization    

2:05 – 2:30          Pieter Janssen, Chief Executive Officer, Water Authority (Hoogheemraadschap) of Delfland


2:30 - 2:50           BREAK (THE COMMONS)



                             A.  International Approach to Flood Mitigation (Auditorium)

                                  2:50 – 3:15        International Approach to Flood Risk: The Netherlands

                                                             Baukje “Bee” Kothuis, Chief Representative, NBSO Texas

                                  3:15 – 3:40        Integrated Urban Barrier Design – Opportunities for the Galveston Ring Barrier

                                                             AnneLoes Nillesen, Professor, Delft University of Technology & Founder, Defacto Urbanism

                                  3:40 – 4:00        International Research Education for the Next Generation

                                                             Yoonjeong Lee, Associate Research Scientist, IDRT, TAMUG

                             B.  Meteorology and Climate Change (ACC 108)

                                   2:50 – 3:15        Communicating weather forecasts in an era of frequent extremes

                                                              Matt Lanza, Managing Editor, Space City Weather

                                   3:15 – 3:40         Forecasts of a Warming Climate

                                                               Daniel Cohan, Associate Professor, Rice University

                                   3:40 – 4:00         Development of Design Storms for Large Watersheds in Texas

                                                               David Curtis, Senior Technical Advisor, WEST Consultants, Inc.


RECEPTION            Please Join Us for Appetizers & Drinks

4:00 – 5:30             Generously sponsored by AECOM, DEC, Institute for a Disaster Resilient Texas and Walter P. Moore.

Day 2            Friday, October 13, 2023

8:00 - 8:30           REGISTRATION & COFFEE (THE COMMONS)


8:30 - 9:00           Raymond Hofer, Dutch Water Prevention


SESSION V.          Governmental Flood Control & the Future

9:10 - 9:30           Meeting Opportunity with Bold Solutions

                             Scott Elmer, Chief Partnerships and Programs Officer, HCFCD

9:30 - 9:50           Resilience in Urban Infrastructure – Opportunities and Challenges

                             Carol Haddock, Director, Houston Public Works, City of Houston

9:50 - 10:10         Update on USACE Activities Related to Flood Risk and Dam Operations

                             Jerry Cotter, Water Resources Branch Chief, USACE


PANEL                  Perspectives on Flood Control & the Future

10:10 - 10:40       Moderated by Larry Dunbar, Project Manager, SSPEED Center

                              Tina Petersen, Executive Director, HCFCD;

                              Carol Haddock, Director, Houston Public Works, City of Houston;

                              Jerry Cotter, Water Resources Branch Chief, USACE;

                              Jim Blackburn, Co-Director, SSPEED


10:40 – 11:00       BREAK (THE COMMONS)



                               A.  Building Flood Resilient and Sustainable Communities in Texas (Auditorium)

                                     11:00 - 11:20       Integrating Transportation and Stormwater Infrastructure for Sustainable and Smart Growth                                                                     with Optimization in the Upper Trinity River Basin

                                                                   Nick Fang, Robert S. Gooch Professor, University of Texas at Arlington

                                     11:20 - 11:40       The Role of Regional Flood Planning in a Resilient Future

                                                                   Glenn Clingenpeel, Executive Manager, Trinity River Authority of Texas

                                     11:40 - 12:00        Assessment of Flood Risk in the Context of Actual Hazard Indicators

                                                                    Hanadi Rifai, Moores Professor, University of Houston

                                     12:00 - 12:20        Effects of Climate Change & Urbanization on Bridge Vulnerability to Flood Hazards in Harris                                                                      County, Texas

                                                                    Michelle Hummel, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington

                               B.  Advanced Floodplain Analysis using 2D HEC-RAS (ACC 108)11:00 - 11:20         

                                     11:00 - 11:20       MAAPnext & Urban Flooding

                                                                   Ataul Hannan, Director, Planning Division, Harris County Flood Control District

                                     11:20 - 11:40       Adapting the USGS Basin Development Factor Methodology to Harris County MAAPnext                                                                               Watershed Studies

                                                                   Duane Barrett, Water Resources Program Manager, HDR Engineering, Inc.

                                     11:40 - 12:00        Transitioning from a 1D to a 2D World

                                                                    Laurian Cuba, WRE Team Director & Andy Yung, Principal/Chief Hydrologist, Walter P. Moore

                                     12:00 - 12:20        ADCIRC and 2D HEC-RAS Coupled Modeling in Clear Lake, TX

                                                                    Catherine Jackson, Graduate Student, SSPEED

12:20 - 1:20          LUNCH (THE COMMONS)



                               A.   Machine Learning for Flood Prediction and Management (Auditorium)

                                      1:20 - 1:40           Linking Robust Trends in Observations and Models to Develop Nonstationary Rainfall                                                                                  Frequency Grids for the State of Texas

                                                                   James Doss-Gollin, Assistant Professor, Rice

                                      1:40 - 2:00           AI-Empowered Digital Twin for Urban Resilience to Flooding

                                                                   Ali Mostafavi, Associate Professor, Director, UrbanResilience.AI Lab, Texas A&M

                                      2:00 - 2:20           ChatGPT in Action: An Experimental Investigation of Its Effectiveness in NLP Tasks

                                                                   Xia (Ben) Hu, Director, Data to Knowledge Lab (D2K) & Associate Professor, Rice University

                                      2:20 - 2:40           Flood Prediction with Graph Neural Networks

                                                                   Arlei Silva, Assistant Professor, Rice University

                               B.   New Approaches To Flood Resilience (ACC 108)

                                      1:20 - 1:40           Evaluating coupled social-physical resilience metrics in Galveston using IN-CORE

                                                                   Jamie Padgett, Stanley C. Moore Professor & CEE Chair, Rice University

                                      1:40 - 2:00           Supporting Texas Communities: Predictive Tools for Compound Flooding and Compound                                                                             Hazards

                                                                   Paola Passalacqua, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin                                                                                2:00 - 2:20           Geospatial Methods for Distributed Flood Attenuation

                                                                   Federico Antolini, Postdoctoral Researcher, IDRT, TAMUG

                                      2:20 - 2:40           Remote Sensing Applications in Hydrology

                                                                   True Furrh, Graduate Student, SSPEED, Rice & Nick Diaz, Graduate Research Assistant, IDRT

KEYNOTE         Assessing Houston's Flood Vulnerability Six Years After Harvey

2:40 – 3:05      Jim Blackburn, Co-Director, SSPEED Center


CLOSE              Thank you for attending SSPEED’s 11th Conference

3:05 – 3:10       Phil Bedient, Director, SSPEED Center

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