CEE PostDocs Awarded 2020 SEED Awards

The Graduate School and Postdoc Steering Committee have announced the recipients of the 2020 postdoctoral research awards, which are awarded to UConn-Storrs affiliated Postdoctoral Research Associates. Despite intense competition, two of the three winners announced were from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Congratulations to Dr. Davis Chacon-Hurtado and Dr. Chesney McOmber!  

Portrait of Davis Chacon-Hurtado.Dr. Davis Chacon-Hurtado, from the Human Rights Institute, has won joint second-place with the following project:

Transportation infrastructure could be a substantial enabler or barrier to social inclusion. However, there are few established metrics to assess the effect of transportation on social outcomes, such as social deprivation. This research, first, proposes measures of transport disadvantage & equity focused on access to health, education, employment, and food, and, second, compares those measures with a multidimensional index of social deprivation based on health, education, employment, and household outcomes. To test whether the association between those two constructs is statistically significant, we will conduct a pilot case study using census data from two rapidly urbanizing middle-size cities in Peru.



Dr. Chesney McOmber, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has won joint second-place with the following project:

U.S. states respond differently (e.g., through policies, public statements, cooperative approaches) to environmental and public health crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic. These differences enable exploration not only of similarities/differences in states’ responses and what motivates those responses over time, but also of the effectiveness of different approaches for managing the crisis. This pilot study uses mixed methods to examine U.S. state COVID-19 responses in three regions and the corresponding public health impacts. We aim to advance state governance theory and translate scientific findings in collaboration with decision-makers to improve the practice and public understanding of states’ crisis response.