Different Disasters, Common Risks: How do you prepare for tragedy?

Mark Abkowitz
Nashville, TN

Security & Defense Science


Mark Abkowitz, PhD
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Vanderbilt University
Mark Abkowitz is a leading expert on risk management and emergency response and preparedness when it comes to man made accidents like Fukushima, oil spills or natural disasters or terrorist attacks. He also looks at managing risks associated with hazardous material transportation and nuclear waste.
Interview Language:
ISDN Line available On-site Flash/Recording studio available
Contact Information:
Nashville, TN 37240
United States
More contact detail.


Mark Abkowitz specializes in managing the risks associated with accidents, intentional acts and natural disasters. His recent book analyzes what went wrong during major natural disasters, man-made accidents and terrorist attacks, including Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the London transit bombings and the Sumatra Tsunami. That book, Operational Risk Management – A Case Study Approach to Effective Planning and Response, was published by John Wiley & Sons. Abkowitz has a specific interest in hazardous materials transportation safety and security, and in risk mitigation using advanced information technologies.

Abkowitz has appeared on National Public Radio, Fox National News and CNBC discussing emergency response during major disasters. He is a member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, having been appointed to this position by President George W. Bush in June 2002. He has previously served on several other national and international committees, including as Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board Committee on Hazardous Materials Transport and as a member of the National Research Council, Committee on Disposal of Transuranic Waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Abkowitz is also the recipient of the 1996 Distinguished Service Award from the National Academy of Sciences for his leadership role with the Transportation Research Board.   


Story Pitch

The worst environmental disaster to hit the U.S. occurred in part because of BP’s institutional arrogance, pushing a technology beyond its limits and basic communication failures, according to emergency preparedness and response expert and Vanderbilt University Professor Mark Abkowitz. Abkowitz, who has written a book analyzing man-made and natural disasters, including the Exxon Valdez and Bhopal, says BP’s corporate culture clearly put profits ahead of safety concerns.
Recent Publications/Appearances


March 21, 2011 The Monday Risk Report "Maintaining a Perspective on Radiation Dose"




August 19, 2011 ResearchNews@Vanderbilt "Time to begin anticipating and adapting to climate change"

NPR  "Chemical Hazmat Transport"


©2010 NewsCertified Exchange All Rights Reserved Terms of Use  |  Join our Mailing List  |  Sitemap