Center for Emergency Informatics established at Texas A&M

The Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System established the Texas Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Center for Emergency Informatics (CEI) at its Aug. 3 meeting, recognizing the faculty effort in radically changing disaster response through advances in technology. 

Thirty faculty members in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University have been working together since 2008 to create unmanned systems, new sensors, wireless networks, data mining, simulation and visualization, social networking,and other technologies that can revolutionize response and recovery. The center is unlike any other in the United States as it focuses on how new and evolving information technologies can be improved, integrated, and put to use for disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

“The time is now,” said CEI director Dr. Robin Murphy, Raytheon Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M. “Texas needs the economic resilience to handle disasters, such as Hurricane Ike, which cost more than $22 billion to recover from.

“The technology exists to get better information to the responders, cities and citizens. Information technologies are literally springing up overnight, with more than 1,000 new apps being created every day. And emergency informatics can create jobs; returning veterans, for instance, are already highly skilled and they need jobs.”

CEI will serve to connect members of the Texas A&M family, including the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX); Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue; Hazards Reduction and Recovery Center; Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy; Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center; and the RFID/Sensor Lab.  The CEI will absorb the Emergency Informatics EDGE® Innovation Center, which is the nucleus for the 275-member industry consortium led by General Dynamics.

Activities will commence with a seminar series throughout the academic year and a Summer Institute at TEEX’s Disaster City ® is being scheduled for May 2013.