In Focus contributors are distinguished subject matter specialists from AIR's multidisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers, actuaries and statisticians, software developers and business analysts. Our internationally respected experts come from many different backgrounds, with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, but they are all innovative thinkers at the leading edge of their chosen professions.

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Following are contributors for our blog:

Aaron Michel

Aaron Michel joined AIR in 2013 in the Catastrophe Risk Engineering Department in San Francisco. Prior to joining AIR, Aaron was a structural engineering doctoral student investigating sustainable building materials for the construction industry. Aaron is a licensed Professional Engineer and has a background in building and bridge design, earthquake engineering, material science, and computational mechanics. Aaron is no longer with AIR.

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Adam Reichert

Adam Reichert joined AIR in 2012 as a Scientist in our Research Department. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois and B.S. in Physics from Stanford University. Adam is no longer with AIR.

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Adrian Bentley

Adrian Bentley is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Analyze Re. He oversees the development of Analyze Re, a standalone, real-time analytics and portfolio optimization platform built to integrate with and extend the analytical capabilities of catastrophe risk modeling platforms. Prior to co-founding Analyze Re, which was acquired by Verisk in 2016, Adrian served as the Director of Software Development at Flagstone Reinsurance. Previously Adrian developed risk-based decision support and straight-through processing systems for West End Capital Management, a Bermuda-based hedge fund, and Rathgar Capital Corporation, a structured investment vehicle specializing in trading of credit risk.

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Agerneh Dagnew

Dr. Agerneh Dagnew joined AIR as an Engineer at AIR's Research and Modeling group. He was the lead engineer for the development, validation, and calibration of the vulnerability module of the U.S. and Canada Severe Thunderstorm models. He participated in the post-disaster damage surveys of the 2014 Revere, MA and the 2013 Moore, OK tornado. Prior to joining AIR, Agerneh received his Ph.D. in Wind and Structural Engineering from Florida International University. His doctoral dissertation focused on a multi-scale computational and experimental wind engineering. Agerneh left AIR in 2017.

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Aggeliki Barberopoulou

Aggeliki Barberopoulou joined AIR in 2015 as a Scientist in our Research Department. Prior to joining us at AIR, Aggeliki worked as a Tsunami Scientist for GNS Science in New Zealand and a Research Assistant Professor for the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. Aggeliki earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Computing from the University of East London, a Master of Science Degree in Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos from the University College London, a Master of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Washington. Aggeliki is no longer with AIR.

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AIR Worldwide

AIR Worldwide (AIR) provides risk modeling solutions that make individuals, businesses, and society more resilient to extreme events. In 1987, AIR Worldwide founded the catastrophe modeling industry and today models the risk from natural catastrophes, terrorism, pandemics, casualty catastrophes, and cyber incidents. Insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate, and government clients rely on AIR’s advanced science, software, and consulting services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, longevity modeling, site-specific engineering analyses, and agricultural risk management.

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Alan Frith

Alan Frith is an Assistant Vice President in the Consulting and Client Services group. He manages full service consulting projects for the Americas. Prior to joining AIR, Alan worked in the P&C consulting practice of an actuarial consulting firm in Hartford, CT. He holds a B.S. in Economics and Finance from Boston College. He has achieved the designation of Certified Extreme Event Modeler by completing the requirements of the AIR Institute Certified Extreme Event Modeler Program.

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Alastair Clarke

Alastair Clarke joined AIR Worldwide as a Research Associate in 2017. Previously he was a Catastrophe Modeler and Analyst at Zurich Insurance Group. Alastair has a BA, MEng, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. His Ph.D. was on the modeling of gas leaks from deep geological stores into shallow groundwater aquifers.

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Alissa Legenza

Alissa Legenza Fredreicks lead AIR terrorism risk modeling services as a Senior Manager in the AIR Consulting & Client Services Group. She was also responsible for assisting AIR clients with various regulatory and rating agency requirements. Prior to joining AIR, Alissa worked in actuarial consulting services for large firms, including Towers Watson and Aon. She earned the designation of Certified Catastrophe ModelerTM (CCMTM) from the AIR Institute. Alissa earned a B.S. in Astrophysics from Rutgers University. (Note: Alissa left AIR in 2016.)

Alvaro Farias Velasco

Alvaro Farias Velasco was an Engineer in our Research Department. Before joining AIR in 2013, Alvaro held a position as an Analyst at UCL Water Management Research Group, where he was responsible for building the national water network model. Previously, he held a position as a Project Officer at Engineers Without Borders UCLU, where he was responsible for organizing project teams, defining project scope, and managing the budget. Alvaro earned a B.E. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Earthquake Engineering and Disaster Management from University College London. Alvaro is no longer with AIR.

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Aman Karamlou

Dr. Aman Karamlou is an Engineer at AIR. He joined AIR in 2018. He is mainly responsible for developing vulnerability models for atmospheric perils, particularly in the Caribbean region. He earned his PhD in Structural Engineering from Lehigh University, where he focused on developing methodologies for evaluating, predicting, and enhancing seismic resilience of infrastructure systems.

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Andrew Kao

Andrew Kao was the Senior Manager of Business Development for AIR's Catastrophe Risk Engineering (CRE) Practice and joined AIR in 2005. Prior to joining AIR, he was a business systems and market analyst consultant/intern for corporations including Biogen-Idec, and Lucent Technologies. He received a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his MS/MBA from Boston University's School of Management. Andy is no longer with AIR.

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Andrew O'Donnell

Andrew O'Donnell is a Senior Engineer and Manager on the Earthquake Vulnerability team. He specializes in vulnerability assessment of structures due to ground shaking. Since joining AIR in 2014 Andrew has worked on several projects including the 2016 update to the South East Asia Earthquake Model as well as the 2017 updates to the Australia and United States earthquake models. Andrew earned an MSCE, BSCE, and a PhD from the University of Notre Dame. His doctoral dissertation was on the vulnerability of unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs) in the Northeastern United States.

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Anna Trevino

Anna Trevino joined AIR in 2013 a Scientist in our Research Department. Most Recently, Anna was a Research Assistant for Louisiana State University, where she researched on Interpolating peak gust and maximum sustained wind speeds from European storms. Prior to that, she was a Graduate Research Intern for the National Climate Data Center, where she was assisted the university corporation for atmospheric research funded project, developing a climate characterization for the local and regional scale. In addition, Anna has earned her Ph.D. in Geography from Louisiana State University.

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Anthony Hanson

Anthony Hanson is a Senior Principal Analyst in the AIR Exposures group where he assists in the development of AIR's global industry exposure databases. Over the past few years he has worked on modelling infrastructure, industrial facilities, and spatial cost indexes. Most recently he has been researching the spatial variation in construction costs following the impact of natural catastrophes. He earned his B.A., summa cum laude, in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and an M.A. in Economics from Boston College.

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Apoorv Dabral

Apoorv Dabral was a manager of research and modeling in AIR's Singapore office. He joined AIR in 2010 and was responsible for assisting clients in their understanding of the science behind AIR's Asia-Pacific catastrophe models and also supported the development of models in the region. Apoorv earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Pune University, India, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University. While at Texas Tech, he participated in damage surveys for Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

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Arash Nasseri, Ph.D.

Dr. Arash Nasseri is a Senior Engineer, Manager in the Earthquake group of AIR's Research and Modeling division. He has been involved in developing and updating AIR's earthquake vulnerability model for Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada and South America. He holds a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, an M.Sc. in Earthquake Engineering from Amirkabir University in Tehran, Iran, and a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tehran. Prior to joining AIR, Arash conducted research on the application of earthquake recordings for use in seismic performance assessment and gained extensive experience in designing residential and industrial structures.

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Ariel Dorflinger

Ariel Dorflinger joined AIR in 2017 as a Product Marketing Manager. Previously, Ariel was the Director of Marketing at OpTerra Energy Services, a nationwide engineering firm, where she was responsible for the company's B2B marketing, outreach, and communications activity. Ariel earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Northeastern University. Ariel left Verisk in 2021.

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Ashish Jain

Ashish Jain is Vice President and Managing Director for AIR's Singapore office and joined AIR in 2004 as an Analyst for the Analytics and Client Services group in Hyderabad. Ashish graduated from Gauhati University, India, and earned an MBA from ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad, India, with a specialization in Insurance; Risk Management. He has also achieved the designation of Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) from the American Institute of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

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Aykut Ayca

Aykut Ayca joined AIR in 2018 as a Scientist in our Earthquake Hazards group. Prior to working for AIR, Aykut was a research/teaching assistant at University of Southern California where he also earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a focus on Coastal Engineering. Specifically, his research was on modeling complex near-shore processes generated by tsunamis. Aykut earned both his B.S and M.S in Civil Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Turkey.

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Barbara Chang

Barbara Chang joined AIR in 2012 and is a Senior Engineer in the San Francisco office. She is a registered civil engineer and holds a PhD from UCSD in geotechnical engineering. She has worked on developing risk models for global supply networks, catastrophe engineering, and disaster risk financing.

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Bernhard Reinhardt

Bernhard Reinhardt joined AIR's Munich team in 2014 where he coordinates support activities for global reinsurers, and ILS clients. Besides that, he looks after the research activities undertaken by the Munich office. Prior to joining AIR he performed research on satellite remote sensing at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the European Severe Storms Laboratory (ESSL). Bernhard received his PhD in atmospheric sciences from the University of Munich.

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Bill Churney

Bill Churney is President of AIR Worldwide. Bill is responsible for setting global strategy and overseeing worldwide operations of the company. Bill joined AIR in 2002 and has extensive experience working with companies to better understand their risk management processes and to identify ways to implement analytics to improve catastrophe risk management. He has led teams that have significantly increased the use of models in many markets, including in the U.S. and Latin America. Bill holds a B.A. in Economics from Haverford College and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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Bill Walker

Bill Walker joined AIR in 2010 as a Risk Consultant in our Consulting and Client Services Department. Prior to AIR, Bill worked as Senior Product Analyst in which he was responsible for all data analysis of company's homeowner insurance product. Bill has earned his MBA from Case Western University, and MIM from Thunderbird University. He also earned his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Bingming Shen-Tu

Bingming Shen-Tu has been with AIR since 2002. He is a member of Earthquake team in the Research Department. He received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook after getting two Masters degrees, one in geology from Bowling Green State University, and one in Neotectonics from the Institute of Geology, State Seismological Bureau, Beijing, China. He received his B.Sc.In Geology from Zhejiang University in Hang Chou China. Bingming has also received a certificate in Software Engineering. He has worked as a software engineer on mechanical engineering design applications and has published a number of papers on earthquake tectonics, seismology, kinematics, and the dynamics of crustal deformation.

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