PhD Defense by Paul Kerl

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday October 27, 2016
      3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Location: ISYE Groseclose 226A
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Summary Sentence: Applications of Operations Research in Public Policy

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

~~Thesis Title: Applications of Operations Research in Public Policy

Dr. Valerie Thomas
Dr. Joel Sokol

Committee members:
Dr. Ton Dieker
Dr. Craig Tovey
Dr. Armistead G. Russell

Date and Time: Thursday, 10/27/2016, 3:00PM
Location: ISYE Groseclose 226A

The production of electricity from coal, natural gas, petroleum and biomass releases air pollutants with significant impacts on ecosystems and human health. Pollutant exposure depends not only on the pollutant source emissions rate and the relative location of the power plant to population centers, but also on temperature, wind velocity, and other atmospheric conditions, all of which vary by hour, day, and season. 
Several models previously were developed that link health impacts to exposure to air pollutants, each taking a different approach and using average values for pollutant concentrations across time and space. Therefore integrating these atmospheric conditions such as wind, sunlight, temperature and cloud cover improves on these previous estimates which would have vastly under- or over-estimate pollutant concentrations and resultant health impacts.
In Chapter II, the work presented builds on these models and uses a new estimation which includes temporally resolved health impacts which account for atmospheric changes such as wind, temperature, and cloud cover. We developed a method to evaluate fluctuating pollutant formation from source emissions, which we integrate within an electricity production model. In a case study of the state of Georgia from 2004 to 2011 we show how to reduce air pollutants and health impacts by shifting production among plants during a select number of hourly periods
In Chapter III, several assumptions, mathematical models, approximations and case study input datasets used throughout the thesis are outlined in detail. These results illustrate extended results to the study shown in Chapter II.
In Chapter IV, the work uses the estimation including temporally resolved health impacts to evaluate two key policy questions: 1) if pollutant control technology installation and fuel changes from coal to natural gas were made in July 2007, what the resulting annual health impacts would be, and 2) the heterogeneity in health impacts across racial demographics. We apply the method to the State of Georgia for the month of July 2007 vs. July 2015. The analysis shows such an analysis can play an important part in evaluating the impacts of positive improvements in pollutant control and illustrate tangible benefits from pollutant control technology and fuel changes.
Overall the thesis illustrates a diversity of modeling capabilities not previously used to evaluate public policy implementation and impact, as well as provides a strategy for reducing pollutant health impacts before installing costly pollutant control technologies. Future research can apply these methods globally and can have a significant impact particularly in areas of dense populations close to pollutant emissions.

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Graduate Studies

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Phd Defense
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 14, 2016 - 10:16am
  • Last Updated: Oct 14, 2016 - 10:16am