Catastrophe risk-modeling in an era of climate change
It was at SNRE that Nina Shestakovich discovered an abiding interest in catastrophe risk-modeling. Shestakovich now works for AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe modeling firm whose software estimates losses from natural hazards and other catastrophic events such as pandemics and terrorism. Her job is to analyze the properties of buildings, infrastructure, and populations at risk and estimate the value of those assets. This data, termed "exposure data" in the industry, allows Shestakovich and her team to generate the exposure module of AIR’s software. Catastrophe modeling allows insurers, businesses, public agencies, and other organizations to evaluate the risk associated with catastrophic events. Recent projects involving AIR’s models include analyzing flood risk associated with Brazil’s complex river system and providing a more comprehensive picture of seismic risk along the west coast of South America. The project of which Shestakovich is most proud has an impact much closer to home; commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Shestakovich created the infrastructure exposure database of Canada. This project was intended to evaluate the risk of impact on Canadian infrastructure and property from earthquakes and tsunamis. Currently, Shestakovich is researching methods of three-dimensional building modeling. Perhaps her most significant contribution to her position is her penchant for bringing new ideas to the table. In her own words, “Academia is many years ahead of the industry in terms of advanced knowledge and concepts. The real trick is to transform the ideas into methods that can be adopted by the industry.” [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFfnlcKq1HU[/embed] Photo courtesy of AIR Worldwide.