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Mark D. Abkowitz, Ph.D.

Mark AbkowitzProfessor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Director, Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies

Office: Room 292, Jacobs Hall
Address: Vanderbilt University
VU Station B-35 1831
Nashville, TN 37235-1831
Phone: (615)343-3436
Fax: (615)322-3365

Dr. Abkowitz specializes in managing the risks associated with accidents, intentional acts and natural disasters. He has a specific interest in hazardous materials transportation safety & security, and in risk mitigation using advanced information technologies. Dr. Abkowitz has appeared on National Public Radio, Fox National News, and CNBC, discussing various risk management topics. He is also the author of Operational Risk Management – A Case Study Approach to Effective Planning and Response, recently published by John Wiley & Sons.

Dr. Abkowitz is currently a member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, having been appointed to this position by President George W. Bush in June 2002. He has previously served on several other national and international committees, including as Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board Committee on Hazardous Materials Transport and as a member of the National Research Council, Committee on Disposal of Transuranic Waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Dr. Abkowitz is also the recipient of the 1996 Distinguished Service Award from the National Academy of Sciences for his leadership role with the Transportation Research Board.

  • Ph.D: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (Civil Eng.—Transportation), 1980
  • M.S: Massachusetts Institute of Technology(Civil Eng.), 1976
  • B.S: Massachusetts Institute of Technology(Civil Eng.), 1974


Research Interests
  • All hazards risk management
  • Hazardous materials transportation safety & security
  • Applications of advanced information technology