Baecher Named Center for Disaster Resilience Director

news story image

Gregory Baecher, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, is the new director of the Center for Disaster Resilience, a research hub that works to assist individuals, communities, and governments in understanding and mitigating the risks posed by natural hazards.  

“I welcome this opportunity to support research that can foster a resilience-based approach to severe weather events, natural disasters, and the effects of climate change,” Baecher said. “It’s becoming more and more clear that simply reacting to these events will not suffice. We need to look at how communities can better equip themselves to withstand disruptions—whether through construction and engineering practices, more efficient processes for allocating resources during an emergency, or better communications.” 

“Furthermore, we need to examine inequities as they relate to environmental risks, and correct imbalances that leave some populations in an ongoing state of vulnerability. With faculty affiliates spanning disciplines from hydrology to urban planning and architecture, CDR is in a position to provide the kind of data-driven research needed for real progress on these issues.”

Baecher, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has authored more than 14 National Academy reports on water resource management, risk analysis, and national security, as well as six books on risk, safety, and civil infrastructure protection, and more than 200 technical publications. He has been recognized for his work with numerous awards and honors, including the USACE Commander's Award for Public Service and the GEOSnet Distinguished Achievement Award.  

In 2019, Baecher was invited to deliver the 27th Buchanan Lecture at Texas A&M University, joining the ranks of highly-recognized civil engineers who have been tapped for this prestigious lecture series.

CDR, which is based at UMD’s civil and environmental engineering department, brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty affiliates whose combined expertise provides an important resource for risk analysis, policymaking, and environmental protection efforts. CDR experts have testified before the U.S. Congress on resilience-related issues and are consulted regularly by policy analysts, lawmakers and regulators, and agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. For more information, contact

Published March 16, 2020