Engineering for the Next Disaster: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi River Floods and Super Storm Sandy

Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick, US Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, US Army Corps of Engineers

Friday, November 1, 2013, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

Since the late 1800s, the US Army Corps of Engineers has been involved in disaster response and recovery efforts, both at home and abroad. During the early part of the last century, often known as the Golden Age of Infrastructure, the U.S. government invested billions of dollars in projects designed to reduce damages from hurricanes, flooding, and coastal storms. Yet three recent natural disasters – Hurricane Katrina, the 2011 Mississippi River Floods, and Super Storm Sandy – taught the Nation costly lessons about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to facing Mother Nature. In an era of constrained funding, aging infrastructure, and more frequent extreme weather events, how can we help better protect our communities? Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick (US Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, US Army Corps of Engineers) will explore the intersection of engineering, science, planning, and policy related to reducing risk from natural disasters and share how the Corps of Engineers is working with other federal agencies, state and local governments, industry partners, and academia to better prepare us for the next disaster.

About the Speaker

Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick is a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and holds Master of Science Degrees in both Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He is currently the U.S. Army’s 53rd Chief of Engineers and Command General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for most of the Nation’s civil works infrastructure and military construction. Prior to this assignment, Lieutenant General Bostick served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, responsible for total Army personnel and manpower; Commanding General, U.S. Army Recruiting Command; and as the Assistant Division Commander-Maneuver; and then Assistant Division Commander-Support of the 1st Cavalry Division. He deployed with the Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before commanding the Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division, where he was responsible for over $18 Billion in reconstruction in Iraq. Lieutenant General Bostick also served as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at West Point and was a White House Fellow, serving as a special assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.