ASCE has honored Bilal M. Ayyub, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, with the 2019 Le Val Lund Award for Practicing Lifeline Risk Reduction for his contributions to resilience enhancement and risk reduction for lifeline-networked systems through measurement science and associated economics toward informing policy and decision-making practices.
Ayyub’s work is highly aligned with the intent of this award. It covers many aspects of risk analysis and management, with a focus on resilience measurement and metrics and the economics of resilience directed at lifelines, such as urban tunnels and metro systems. Ayyub is uniquely qualified for this honor. This nomination letter provides examples of his accomplishment and recognition on national and international levels based on the importance of his scholarly achievements with practical uses and implications.
After Hurricane Katrina, Ayyub was appointed as the lead risk analyst to develop a risk model to assess and quantify the flooding risk of a protected city, such as New Orleans. The results of this work are published as U.S. Corps of Engineers (COE) reports and in the pages of Natural Hazards Review. Ayyub received the U.S. Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service in 2007 for leading the development of the risk model for the hurricane protection system of New Orleans, the fourth-highest honor the Department of the Army can bestow upon a civilian. Additionally, he completed many COE-funded projects on flood damage assessment to meet the needs of economists, the safety of dams and navigation locks, and recovery after disasters. These efforts resulted in several guides and software packages currently in use by the COE.
Presently, Ayyub serves as the chair of two executive committees of ASCE, the Infrastructure Resilience Division and the Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate. In addition to being the editor-in-chief of the ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, he is an engineering associate editor of ASCE’s Natural Hazards Review. These efforts well cover hazard identification and quantification, scenario development, probability assessment, consequence analysis, and risk management using cost-benefit analysis.
The Le Val Lund Award for Practicing Lifeline Risk Reduction recognizes an individual for contributions to the practice of reducing risks to lifeline systems and preparing communities for natural and man-made hazards.