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Special Event: Yumei Wang "Disasters, Resilience and the Next Generation"

  • Portland State University, Room TBA (map)

Yumei Wang presents
the Le Val Lund Lecture
to be followed by Panel Discussion

Co-hosted with
PSU Department of Geology.

Panelists: Jonna Papaefthimiou, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management • Sasha Pollack, Metro Resiliency Program • Jay Wilson, Clackamas  County Department of Disaster Management

In her talk, Yumei Wang will present a challenge to develop new and transformative approaches for improving society’s resilience to future natural disasters.

The severity and consequences of disasters caused by natural hazards are greatly affected by the functionality of critical lifeline infrastructure after the events. The resilience of critical lifeline infrastructure – related to fuel, power, water, transportation, and communications – is essential for reducing the frequency and impact of future disasters.  Currently, various lifeline systems are designed and operated independently; yet many systems depend on each other to function. A single failure in one lifeline system can lead to multiple failures across multiple systems and escalate into a much larger and more complex disaster. To prevent severe critical infrastructure failures and minimize the detrimental societal effects of major and regional disasters such as a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami, as a society we need to develop new coordinated approaches to control the delivery of lifeline services.

Ms. Wang, P.E. has been honored by The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) with the 2018 Le Val Lund Award for Practicing Lifeline Risk Reduction for her outstanding contributions to the field of lifeline engineering and for promoting seismic lifeline resilience and fuel resilience in Oregon, including the development of a statewide resilience plan.” The Le Val Lund Lecture is given to (1) promote interaction between engineering professionals, community leaders and organizations, educational and research institutions, and students, and (2) improve lifeline infrastructure resilience to support resilient communities. Read more about the Le Val Lund Award.


Yumei Wang is a resilience engineer at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). She focuses on building resilience to natural hazards and earthquake risk management, including on schools, emergency response facilities and critical lifelines infrastructure. She periodically works on special projects for the Oregon Governor and the Chief Financial Office at the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS CFO) on long range resilience planning. She serves on the Board of the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup, and has been an advisor to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), to the National Academies liquefaction committee, to the National Institute of Building Sciences tsunami methodology development project and to the 2013 Oregon Resilience Plan, as well as co-led post-earthquake damage assessments on the 2011 Tohoku, Japan, 2010 Maule, Chile and other disasters.

Wang has been a guest on PBS NewsHour, been interviewed by The New York Times, and appeared in documentaries produced by Oregon Public Broadcast (“Unprepared: Will We Be Ready for the Megaquake in Oregon”), NOVA, National Geographic, and Discovery. Wang served as a Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate in Washington DC, and worked as a geotechnical consultant in California, including on the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. She received the 2018 Le Val Lund Award for Practicing Lifeline Risk Reduction. Wang has over 100 publications.


Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

Cascadia Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) 

Simpson StrongTie (CREW member)

Mike Harryman, State Resilience Officer in the Governor’s Office