Pegah Farshadmanesh

Photograph Pegah
Title Research Scientist
Department Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering

Dr. Pegah Farshadmanesh is currently a Research Scientist in the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Farshadmanesh conducts and leads interdisciplinary research that crosses boundaries between various engineering disciplines (e.g., civil, nuclear, and systems engineering) and data science, supported by different organizations, including National Science Foundation (NSF) for incorporating data analytic techniques into PRA, and Department of Energy (DOE) for integrating safety risk and financial risk supporting Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) of complex technological systems. Since 2019, Pegah has served as an Associate Editor of the Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction ASCE Journal. Dr. Farshadmanesh’s professional desire is to improve the safety and reliability of complex technological systems, including nuclear power plants, to withstand natural and technological hazards and develop technologies to mitigate the impact of hazards on the public and the environment. Pegah’s primary research interests include:

  • Leveraging probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) and risk-informed methodologies to assess the impacts of single and multi-hazard events, such as tornadoes, earthquakes and subsequent fires,
  • Evaluating the impact of social factors (e.g., human and organizational factors) on the performance of systems and structures during natural hazards,
  • Integrating advanced machine learning techniques (e.g., text mining) to discover underlying causal factors for improving response and recovery,
  • Supporting risk-informed decision-making under uncertainty

Pegah received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in May 2017 from the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) and joined SoTeRiA in October 2017 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Pegah was a structural engineer for nine years, working on numerous diverse projects including the design of hydraulic structures, such as water treatment facilities. As part of her Ph.D. research focusing on quantifying the risk of fires caused by earthquakes, Dr. Farshadmanesh developed an innovative post-earthquake fire risk model that considers the underlying causal factors of ignitions, including human factors, to estimate the increased likelihood of fire in residential buildings across a region after an earthquake. Dr. Farshadmanesh is the recipient of the 2019 Zonta International Women in Technology District award, the recipient of the 2019 outstanding reviewers award of the Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction ASCE Journal, was selected as a participant for the 2019 Rising Stars Women in Engineering Workshop in South Korea, and the recipient of the 2020 Mary Fran Myers Scholarship for her contribution to disaster research.

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