Our team seeks to create robust, comprehensive, and transparent real-time power outage data measured at multiple geographic scales for the entire country to 1) deliver rapid emergency response and medical services, 2) inform public investments in grid resilience and restoration, and 3) identify which local communities are more socio-economically vulnerable to climate risk of energy infrastructure disruptions. We will also uncover multi-dimensional societal impacts of systemic energy infrastructure disruptions on such outcomes as financial and food insecurity, crime, health, and housing prices.
Issues Involved or Addressed
Our society increasingly depends on electricity, but more frequent extreme weather events are disrupting Americans’ access to power. We need robust, comprehensive, and transparent real-time power outage data measured at multiple scales such as neighborhoods, counties, and utilities. Understanding these urgent needs, our team has begun collecting energy outage data for select states at the point (xy coordinates) zip code, and county-level for every 15 mins daily for a while. Our team members include public policy, industrial & systems engineering, and computer. Our efforts respond to the recent White House Office of Science Technology Policy and Department of Energy’s call for an “Outage Data Initiative Nationwide.” We recently connected with Geospatial Science and Human Security Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which has been collecting nationwide real-time power outage data since 2014 using their supercomputers, and they have shared all historical power outage data; the ORNL scientists further want to work with us via a contractual arrangement to enhance community climate resilience and power grid systems. Our teamwork includes web scraping of real-time power outage data, collection of communities’ social and performance indicators, machine learning with big data, and whole-scale analysis. Such work requires interdisciplinary approaches through team formation, education, and training. VIP program can help accelerate our team-building efforts and growth.
Methods and Technologies
Academic Majors of Interest
- Ivan Allen
Preferred Interests and Preparation
There are no specific prerequisites, but we are interested in recruiting students with prior experience in at least one of the followings: Beginner or intermediate in Python and Amazon Web Services or similar cloud computing services; Familiarity with other statistical software such as STATA, R, SAS, SPSS would be a plus, though not a must; Web scraping skills; Experience in big dataset merging and manipulation; and A sharp eye for details
Meeting Schedule & Location
- Public Policy
- Industrial and Systems Engineering