Using System Dynamics for Decision Support in Emergency Response: Asset Deployment to Minimize Fatalities Following a Mass Casualty Event

Tom Mackin proposes using system dynamics in a computer-aided approach to creating a maximally efficient patient triage and transport system during a mass casualty event. The system analyzes multiple data points ranging from the size, severity, and distance from response centers of the event; the number of emergency responders and vehicles available and needed; and the capacity of available care facilities to create a response model. Mackin acknowledges that there are many other variables that could impact emergency response, many of which have not yet been incorporated, but argues that the system could be expanded to accommodate those.

About the Speaker

Professor Thomas Mackin is the Chair of the Mechanical Engineering department at the California Polytechnic State University. Prior to his appointment there, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois.

He was appointed Executive Director of the Illinois Homeland Security Research Center in 2004. During 2002-2003 he served as a technology policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) under the supervision of the Science Advisor to the President. He served as White House Liaison to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Networking and Information Technology Initiative, and coordinated Federal Efforts in High End Computing. He also worked on transition planning for the Department of Homeland Security.

Mackin’s current research involves new methods for quantifying damage and predicting the service lifetime of aircraft composites as well as developing new imaging tools for measuring stresses in microelectronic packaging, MEMS, NEMS, and ferroelectrics. He has developed several new experimental methods, including: a micromechanical fiber push-out test, a thermoelastic method for assessing composite health and lifetime prediction, a thermal diffusion based method for measuring nano-scale thick membranes, an infrared grey-field-polariscope for measuring stresses in electronic materials as well as MEMS and NEMS, a finite contact membrane test, and a thermocaloric imaging method for mapping domain switching in ferroelectrics. He is the author of several book chapters and articles on the mechanics of materials.

Mackin received his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Penn State (1991), where he utilized fractal geometry to develop new methods of analyzing the failure of ceramic materials.

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