Notables to Discuss Hurricane Issues at August Conference
July 20, 2010
Erin D. McKenzie

Leading academic researchers, state and local officials will convene on the University of Houston campus next month for the second annual Hurricane Conference hosted by the Texas Hurricane Center for Innovative Technology (THC-IT) and the Systems Optimization and Computing Laboratory (SOCL).

The day long, public conference will address everything from new hurricane technology to coastal protection just two months into what is predicted to be a busy Atlantic Hurricane Season.

“The goal of this conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response and recovery mitigation to save more lives in our area and elsewhere,” said Cumaraswamy “Vipu” Vipulanandan, director of THC-IT and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering. “Many issues related to hurricanes such as how a storm could effect the Gulf oil spill, disaster management, environmental impact and homeland security are all going to be discussed.”

Formed two years ago, THC-IT is a university-industry consortium that works with federal, state and local agencies and industries as well as other university affiliates, to coordinate efforts before, during and after a hurricane in the region.

This year, the conference has been expanded, Vipulanandan said, to include more guest speakers and topics. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Harris County Judge Ed Emmet, General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson as well as Ike Dike creator and Texas A&M University Professor William Merrill will be among more than 20 that will present in four panel discussions beginning at 8 a.m. and running to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at the UH Hilton Hotel.

Exhibitors from Texas universities and companies will also share research posters and new hurricane-related protection products during the lunch break.

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