Laura J. Steinberg


  • B.S.E. Civil and Urban Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S. Environmental Engineering, Duke University
  • Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, Duke University

Research Interests:

  • Disaster management/resilience analysis
  • Environmental modeling
  • Environmental policy
  • Engineering education
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Critical infrastructure protection

Current Research:

I am currently working with a multi-disciplinary team to determine how best to serve the needs of veterans and active military members who are interested in using the Post 9/11 GI Bill to pursue undergraduate or graduate education. In particular, we are investigating the educational aspirations and perceived obstacles of the veterans and members of the military using quantitative and qualitative methods, including extensive on-site interviews. We are also drawing upon their experiences to design a leadership curriculum which will enhance undergraduate offerings for both traditional and non-traditional students.

Following an extensive strategic planning effort for the College, I am collaborating on a research report which will assess strategic planning in the academy and describe methods which create shared ownership of academic unit plans.

In the disaster management area, I am currently completing a study that looks at the use of municipal and county government websites to encourage the public to make preparations for, and undertake mitigation actions in the face of, potential natural disasters. Central to the research is investigating how the tenets of risk communication and e-government are used, or not used, in these public communications. In addition, I collaborate with the Moynihan Institute in the Maxwell School and the Institute for National Security and Terrorism on research on critical infrastructure and resilience.

Teaching Interests:

  • Disaster management
  • Statistical modeling
  • Environmental impacts
  • Environmental policy
  • Communication for engineers

Recent Publications:

Sengul, Hatice, Nicholas Santella, Laura J. Steinberg and Ana Maria Cruz, “Occurrence of Hazardous Material Releases Due to Natural Phenomena in the U.S,” Disasters: The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy, and Management, in press.

Santella, Nicholas and Laura J. Steinberg, “At the Intersection of Natural, and Technological Hazards: Case Studies of Natech Risk and Relevance to Terrorist Threats at Industrial Facilities,” Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Volume 8, Issue 1, Article 53, 2011.

Santella, Nicholas, Laura J. Steinberg, and Corrinne Zoli, “Baton Rouge Post Katrina: The Role of Critical Infrastructure Modeling in Promoting Resilience,” Homeland Security Affairs 7, Article 7, 2011.

Santella N., Laura J. Steinberg, G.A.Aguirre, “Empirical Estimation of the Conditional Probability of Natech Events Within the United States, Risk Analysis, Volume 31, issue 6, pp. 951-968, June 2011.

Santella, Nicholas, Laura J. Steinberg, Hatice Sengul and Christina Chermak, ”Accidental Hazardous Material Releases with Human Impacts in the United States: Exploration of Geographical Distribution and Temporal Trends,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 52(9):920-925, September 2010.

Santella, Nicholas, Laura J. Steinberg, and Hatice Sengul,”Petroleum and Hazardous Materials Releases from Industrial Facilities Associated with Hurricane Katrina,” Risk Analysis, 30(4), 635-649, 2010.

Jane Carter and Laura J. Steinberg, “Kouroi, Korai, and Statistics” American Journal of Archaeology, January, 2010.