Judith Mitrani-Reiser

Term: 2018-2021


Dr. Judith Mitrani-Reiser (M. EERI, 2001) is the Director of the Disaster and Failure Studies Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She earned her B.S. from the University of Florida, M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. During her B.S., Judy worked at Exponent Failure Analysis, where her curiosity for understanding the technical causes of failures first began.

She maintains a strong professional involvement and ensures her research has practical applications by consulting for ATC, URS, AECOM, California’s Seismic Safety Commission, Utah’s Department of Health, Oregon’s Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, the City of Baltimore, and several Ministries of Health around the world. Judy is the Director of the Disaster and Failure Studies Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where she leads a multidisciplinary staff responsible for conducting fact-finding investigations focused on: building and in infrastructure failures; successful building and infrastructure performance; evacuation and emergency response systems; and disaster recovery and community resilience. These investigations can be carried out under four different statutory authorities at NIST: National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP), National Wind Impact Reduction Program (NWIRPM), National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act, and the NIST Organic Act. The results of these investigations are intended to inform recommendations to improve codes, standards, and practice.

Judy went to NIST after serving eight years on the Civil Engineering faculty and three years on the Emergency Medicine faculty at the Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, Judy serves as the Director of the Sensor Technology and Infrastructure Risk Mitigation (STIRM) Laboratory and the co-Director of the Center for Systems Science in Engineering. Her research there is focused on the seismic safety of healthcare facilities, performance-based design, resilient-based design, community resilience, structured tool development for field reconnaissance, safety and economic impacts of hazards on the built environment, the effective communication of these risks to the public, informed decision making for use in emergency management and policy making, and the interaction of humans with the built environment.

Her multidisciplinary research program includes collaborations within the university spanning the Whiting School of Engineering, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She also collaborates internationally with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile’s Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN), and the Universities of Auckland and Canterbury in New Zealand. Judy is an Associate of the JHU Center for Refugee and Disaster Response (CRDR), a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM). She is the Vice Chair for ASCE’s Subcommittee on Multi-Hazard Mitigation, and is a member of ASCE’s Committee on Disaster Resilience of Structures and of the Committee of Critical Facilities in ASCE’s Infrastructure Resilience Division. She has served on several EERI Association and Program Committees, and also served for many years as the faculty advisor for the JHU Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers.