Domenico Amodeo Successfully Defends Doctoral Dissertation

Dr Amodeo poses with his examining committee
Dr Amodeo poses with his examining committee
February 05, 2020
On December 10, 2019, Doctoral Candidate Domenico Amodeo successfully defended his research work focused on an “Empirical Study of the Role of Human Cognition in the Resilience Management of Inland Waterway Transportation Systems.”
In his research, Dr. Amodeo examined the inland waterway system in the United States, which are complex socio-technical systems characterized by decentralized governance, dense dependency on limited collective resources, a highly interdependent network of transactional relationships, and susceptibility to natural and manmade hazards and disruptions.  Prior to Domenico’s investigation, the majority of research in this field focused on building robustness through hardening infrastructure or optimizing recovery decisions based on economic concerns or minimizing recovery time.  
However, because real-world recovery efforts are highly dependent on human operators making un-modeled decisions in the context of very specific and sometimes unique disrupted system states, the dynamic and emergent nature of the situation oftentimes is too diverse to support optimization modeling or conventional decision making. Domenico’s research, therefore, went beyond past results to include the human cognitive processes involved with workplace collaborations during disruptions to complex inland waterway systems.  
His research represents a shift from resilience management efforts that assume centralized decision-making and resource control, to resilience management that emphasizes understanding the heuristics and human cognition dynamics governing the interaction between stakeholders in a decentralized context.  While past investigations addressed some of topics, such social capital, cognitive dimensions of resilience and technical-cognitive interactions, hat are relevant to resilience management, Domenico extended past efforts by applying empirical methods to primary data, thus making an important contribution to the field of resilience management.
Domenico’s previous educational background includes a B.S. in Mathematics (2006) from Fordham University; an M.S. in Quality and Applied Statistics (2012) from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. in Business Administration (2013) from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
His dissertation work was directed by EEM Associate Professor Royce Francis. Also serving on Domenico’s Research Committee were Professor Jonathan Deason (Examination Committee Chairman), Professor J. Rene van Dorp, Associate Professor Erica Gralla, and Associate Professor Russell Korte of GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.