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 for Verisk’s extreme event solutions team. He oversees support for reinsurer clients and cyber modeling for the Americas. He holds a BS in economics and finance from Boston College.

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Alastair Clarke

Dr. Alastair Clarke is a manager for Verisk’s extreme event solutions team. He is a team lead in the London office supporting clients with their model evaluation and research needs. He specializes in Verisk’s flood and tropical cyclone models and participates in climate change research. Alastair holds a PhD, MEng, and BA in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge. His PhD was on the modeling of carbon dioxide gas leaks from geological storage sites.

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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 a senior engineer and manager in the research and modeling group on the extreme event solutions team at Verisk. His primary responsibilities include model validation and calibration, developing vulnerability modules for Verisk models, as well as client support and training. Aman holds a PhD in structural engineering from Lehigh University. His research background includes disaster resilience assessment of structures and infrastructure systems.

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

Dr. Andrew O'Donnell is a director in the research and modeling group on the extreme event solutions team at Verisk. He has a background in the probabilistic vulnerability assessment of buildings. Since joining Verisk, Andrew has been involved in the development of numerous models, including updates to Verisk’s earthquake models for South America, Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, and the United States. for Verisk’s updated terrorism model. He holds a PhD, an MS, and BSCE.

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Anna Trevino

Dr. Anna Trevino was a scientific research manager in the consulting and client services group on the extreme event solutions team at Verisk. Previously, Anna was a senior scientist in the research and modeling group, working on the development of Verisk’s tropical cyclone models. Anna holds a PhD in geography with a focus on climate studies and disaster science management from Louisiana State University, and an MS and BS with a background in climate and environmental sciences from Texas A&M University. Anna has left Verisk.

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Anthony Hanson

Anthony Hanson is director of analytics in the research and modeling group on the extreme event solutions team at Verisk. He assists in the development of Verisk’s global industry exposure databases. Since joining Verisk, he has worked on automating the industry exposure development and validation process for more than 60 countries. Most recently he developed a spatial cost index to model regional variation in replacement costs for commercial and residential properties. He holds an MA in economics from Boston College and a BA, summa cum laude, in economics from the University of Massachusetts.

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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 manager and senior principal engineer in the research and modeling group on the extreme event solutions team at Verisk. He has been involved in developing and updating vulnerability modules for many of Verisk’s earthquake models. In addition, Arash leads the development of vulnerability modules for specialty lines of business including marine and builder’s risks. Arash has also had extensive experience in the seismic design of buildings and industrial structures. He holds a PhD in structural engineering from Northeastern University. 

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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 of Verisk’s insurance solutions office in Singapore. He oversees all the office’s operational aspects and leads the extreme event solutions team’s business development and consulting and client services groups across South and Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Australia/New Zealand. He also drives Verisk’s relationships with regional insurance regulators, associations, and governmental/non-governmental bodies in the field of disaster risk management. He works extensively with insurers and reinsurers to perform extreme event risk analyses, interpret analysis results, optimize modelling workflows, and ultimately improve risk management practices. Ashish helps grow Verisk’s presence across Southeast Asia and ANZ, to the point that his team was named a “Service Provider of the Year” at the 2020 Asia Insurance Industry Awards. He’s a Fellow of the Singapore Insurance Institute (FSII) and has achieved the designations of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. Ashish holds an MBA from ICFAI Business School (IBS) in Hyderabad with specialization in insurance and risk management and a BCom with honours in accounting and finance from Gauhati University, India.

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Aykut Ayca

Aykut Ayca was a scientist in our earthquake hazards group. Prior to working for Verisk, Aykut was a research/teaching assistant at University of Southern California where he also earned his PhD 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 BS and MS in civil engineering from Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Aykut has left Verisk.

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Barbara Chang

Dr. Barbara Chang is a senior research engineer for Verisk’s extreme event solutions team in the San Francisco office. She has worked on developing risk models for global supply networks, catastrophe engineering, and disaster risk financing. She is a registered civil engineer and holds a PhD from the University of California San Diego in geotechnical engineering.

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Bernhard Reinhardt

Dr. Bernhard Reinhardt is a director in the consulting and client services group in Verisk’s Munich office. He is responsible for client services within the German-speaking countries as well as in the Scandinavian, Eastern, and Southeastern European markets. Bernhard holds a 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

Dr. Bingming Shen-Tu is vice president and director of earthquake hazard in the research and modeling group on the extreme event solutions team at Verisk. He is responsible for overseeing the development and update of Verisk’s earthquake hazard models and the implementation of new science and technologies into the latest earthquake models. Bingming is the author of many peer-reviewed papers on geophysics, earthquake geology, and paleoseismology. He holds a PhD in geophysics from State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MS in earthquake geology from the China Earthquake Administration.

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