Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India
College:College of Engineering and Computer Science
Degree Program:Civil Engineering PhD
Research Focus:Multi-hazard risk assessment and analyzing impacts of climate and weather extreme events
Javed Ali’s academic journey began in India, where he witnessed the challenges of water resources and disaster risk management firsthand. After experiencing the impacts of the June 2013 flooding in his home state Uttarakhand, one of the most disastrous flooding events in India, he came to understand the risks of climate change and appreciate the value of protecting natural resources to prevent such incidences. Now, he is driven to find new methods of coping with natural hazards sustainably.
These experiences inspired Ali to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering, with an emphasis on Water Resources Engineering, from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in India. Later, he received a prestigious Erasmus Mundus Fellowship from the European Commission to complete a joint master’s degree program in Water Science and Engineering, specializing in Flood Risk Management, at four different European universities in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Slovenia.
Ali also worked with Resurgence in London and the GFDRR Innovation Lab of the World Bank as a research lead on risk modeling, risk visualization, and risk communication projects for designing an interdisciplinary impact framework that integrates open data and risk communication for decision-making. Before moving to Florida, he was working at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France as a “Make Our Planet Great Again” Laureate Researcher on assessing flood risk as well as population exposure and vulnerability dynamics to predict potential socio-economic impacts of natural hazards.
Wanting to further his studies, Ali chose to continue his education at UCF, pursuing a PhD in Civil Engineering. “I chose UCF because of its excellent reputation for cutting-edge research, state-of-the-art facilities, and the opportunity to work with renowned water resources and environmental engineering faculty members,” he says. He also appreciates how UCF’s location allows him to study water resources with unique hydrological challenges, such as rising sea levels and flooding.
Currently, Ali is conducting research focused on multi-hazard risk assessment and analyzing the impacts of climate and extreme weather events. He has been involved in several major research projects funded by organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Through his research, he has been able to help communities develop strategies and plans to increase their resilience to natural disasters, which will ultimately save lives and protect property.
Ali is passionate about his field of study because of the wide-ranging impacts such climate changes will have on a global scale. “I am driven by the knowledge that my research can contribute to better understanding and addressing the challenges posed by natural hazards, climate change, and environmental degradation,” he says. Having experienced the devastating impacts of natural disasters firsthand, he is committed to mitigating the effects of these tragedies in the future.
“The ever-increasing weather and climatic extreme events around the world and the associated socio-economic implications are my main motivation to pursue my research in this field,” Ali says. “Along with climate change, the magnitude and severity of natural hazards are expected to increase. Therefore, we must develop better, more effective, long-term solutions to mitigate hazard risks and the impact of climate change.”
Ali has won numerous awards and accolades; for his dedication to risk assessment and natural disaster prevention. This year, he received the Order of Pegasus award, one of the highest honors for students at UCF. He has also received several highly competitive scholarships and fellowships, including the ORC Doctoral Fellowship, the Frank M. Hubbard Engineering Endowed Scholarship, two Graduate Presentation Fellowships, the CUAHSI/NOAA National Water Center Innovators Program Fellowship, Graduate Research Assistantships, and the GeoPython2021 Conference Financial Aid. In addition, he was able to participate in the Climate Change and AI cohort 2022. He received third prize in the European Commission Copernicus Hackathon competition for developing an integrated framework with innovative solutions to deal with the compound impact of natural hazards and COVID-19 with the ability to increase disaster preparedness using early warning systems and humanitarian aid assessment.
After graduating next year, Ali plans to continue working in water resources and environmental engineering within a research institution, government agency, or the private sector. His goal is to continue conducting cutting-edge research that advances our understanding of natural hazards and the impact and development of effective solutions to improve community resilience against disasters and climate change. “Ultimately, I hope to make an impact in this field and help build a more resilient and sustainable world.”
- 2023 Order of Pegasus Inductee
- ORC Doctoral Fellowship recipient
- Frank M. Hubbard Engineering Endowed Scholarship awardee
- Two-time Graduate Presentation Fellowships awardee
- CUAHSI/NOAA National Water Center Innovators Program Fellow
- Graduate Research Assistant at National Center for Integrated Coastal Research (UCF Coastal)
- Multimedia Director at Coastal Risks and Engineering (CoRE) Lab of University of Central Florida
- Global Peer Leader at UCF Global
- Ambassador for UCF at UCF Global
- Global Student Ambassador at UCF Global
- EVAN2022 Conference Organizing Team Member
- Vice President at the UCF Scholastic Association of Graduates in Engineering (SAGE)
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