RA Position in Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE)

Application deadline:   December 15, 2015

A Ph.D. research assistantship is available at the University of Washington to study critical infrastructure disaster resilience using natural language processing, expert elicitation, machine learning, and simulation modeling. Stipend (11mo/yr) and tuition waiver is available for a minimum of three years. The RAship will be funded by a multi-investigator, multi-institution National Science Foundation grant.

A strong preference is for the RA to be enrolled in the Ph.D. program in UW’s Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE). However, students enrolled in a different UW department will be considered (e.g., Computer Science and Engineering, iSchool, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geography, or Urban Design and Planning).

Minimum responsibilities will include 1) expert workshop design and facilitation, 2) qualitative and quantitative data compilation, 3) qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and 4) programming of a simulation of model of how various critical infrastructure are restored and recovered after minor and major disturbance events. Knowledge of Python is required (or evidence that the language can be learned quickly).

Some knowledge or past coursework related to some or all of the following topics is preferred but not required: disasters, infrastructure, urban planning, machine learning, simulation modeling, facilitation.

Evaluation of applications will emphasize technical ability, as well as demonstrating some background or potential related to social science or qualitative methods.

Since HCDE is a relatively new discipline, applicants can be expected to represent a wide range of backgrounds. For this project, some relevant degrees are computer science, geographic information science, civil engineering, applied math, and urban planning.

Anyone interested in the opportunity should contact Dr. Scott Miles (principal investigator) at milessb @ uw.edu

More information about the NSF grant can be found here:

 More information on the HCDE Ph.D. program can be found here: