Dr. Timothy R.B. Taylor, assistant professor, civil engineering, and the department’s newest faculty member, received the Dana Meadows Research Paper Award at the 2009 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Albuquerque, N.M.
Taylor’s paper, “Science, Engineering, and Technology in the Policy Process for Natural Systems,” proposes a theoretical model to analyze how risk awareness, scientific knowledge, public policy and technological development interact with one another in the face of environmental problems. He then analyzes this model by comparing its theoretical predictions to the ongoing problem of CFC ozone depletion.
The Dana Meadows Award recognizes the best research paper submitted to the conference by a student, and carries with it a cash prize of $1,200. Taylor wrote the paper while a Ph.D. student in the construction engineering and management program of the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. He previously earned his BSCE and MSCE degrees from the University of Kentucky.
“Although this particular paper focused on an environmental issue, the work is closely related to my research on nuclear power and public policy,” Taylor said. “It was a great honor to receive the award because the selection committee was composed of several leading experts in system dynamics modeling. To be selected from a field of 29 excellent researchers was truly humbling. In addition, Dana Meadow’s work has had a profound influence on my own research.”
The prize committee called Taylor’s model “ambitious” and noted that “the strength of the model is the very broad boundary, encompassing biogeochemical, social, and technical factors.”