Faculty Research Round-Up: Matthias Ruth

Matthias Ruth

When our faculty aren’t busy teaching or conducting research, they’re often publishing or promoting their work.

Here’s a look at what Matthias Ruth, Professor of Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been working on this year:

The Time to Adapt is Now. Matthias Ruth and Douglas Foy Conclude Open Classroom Series on Climate Change

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Climate Change Series: Conclusion



Thu, May 02, 2013 | by Douglas Foy and Matthias Ruth



As we bring our series Climate Change. Challenges. Solutions. to a close, moderators Douglas Foy and Matthias Ruth offer their reflections on the mounting challenges presented by climate change, and the depth and breadth of the solutions that will be required in the coming years.


From a Devastating Earthquake, a Blueprint for Recovery

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By Matt Collette | News@Northeastern | March 8, 2013

Matthias Ruth, a Northeastern professor of public policy and engineering, and an international team of scholars studied how the response to a 2009 earthquake in Italy can guide future city-planning efforts.

“It looks like a war zone of the worst kind,” said Matthias Ruth, a pro­fessor with dual appoint­ments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Depart­ment of Civil and Envi­ron­mental Engi­neering.

Ruth is part of a team of about 20 researchers from the Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-operation and Devel­op­ment that has studied the after­math of the Italian earth­quake in hopes of teaching other cities how to improve their resilience to major dis­as­ters. The research team released a report of their rec­om­men­da­tions, “Building Resilient Regions after a National Dis­aster,” in Rome ear­lier this month. Read More

Climate change and national security

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By Matt Collette | Northeastern News | February 20, 2013

Cli­mate change is causing sea levels to rise, and that’s a serious con­cern for the United States Navy, according to David W. Titley, a retired rear admiral.

“We tend to build our bases at sea level,” dead­panned Titley, who led the Navy’s first Task Force for Cli­mate Change and built a career studying the world’s oceans. “This is some­thing we’re going to have to deal with. We’re not the Air Force—we can’t build our bases at 6,000 feet.”

Last week, Titley was the fea­tured speaker at the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs’ Open Class­room series, which this semester focuses on the impact of cli­mate change.

Titley said rising seas—which he pre­dicts could increase by as much as a meter by 2100—are just one con­cern for the Navy and the nation’s mil­i­tary com­mu­nity. Rising tides and envi­ron­mental changes could for­ever alter water sup­plies, food chains, and geog­raphy that have stayed largely the same for thou­sands of years. Read More

Researchers transcend boundaries for science

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By Angela Herring | Northeastern News | February 19, 2013

To under­stand and over­come the com­plex­i­ties of cli­mate change, sci­en­tists, engi­neers, social sci­en­tists, and policy makers must tran­scend the bound­aries that have tra­di­tion­ally con­fined their work, according to North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor Matthias Ruth. He deliv­ered the state­ment on Sunday at a sym­po­sium he hosted on urban adap­ta­tion to envi­ron­mental changes.

As Con­gress races to find a solu­tion to impending cuts to research and other funding, com­mu­ni­cating across dis­ci­plines and other tra­di­tional bound­aries was a recur­ring theme at the 179th annual meeting of the Amer­ican Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence, where Ruth’s ses­sion was one of hun­dreds aimed at high­lighting the “Beauty and Ben­e­fits of Sci­ence” — the summit’s theme. An esti­mated 8,700 scholars from around the globe descended on Boston’s Hynes Con­ven­tion Center between Feb. 14–18 to share their work at the meeting, which is billed as the world’s largest sci­en­tific conference.

Throughout the con­fer­ence, North­eastern fac­ulty led pre­sen­ta­tions high­lighting their work to address real-​​world chal­lenges in areas ranging from health to tech­nology to sus­tain­ability. April Gu, a civil and envi­ron­mental engi­neering pro­fessor at North­eastern and one of three scholars pre­senting in Ruth’s ses­sion, noted that our cur­rent strate­gies for water resources man­age­ment may not stand the test of time. “Water quality reg­u­la­tion itself is not enough,” she said. “We need a gov­er­nance way beyond that.” Read More

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