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:

Elliot Klein

Elliot Klein joined AIR in 2012 as a Scientist in our Research and Modeling Department. Prior to AIR, Elliot was a Postdoctoral Fellow for the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno where he worked on the Global Geodetic Strain Rate Model, which is now major component of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM). In addition, Elliot has a Ph.D. in Geodynamics from Stony Brook University. Elliot left AIR in 2018.

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Eric Dallal

Eric Dallal is a Senior Scientist in our cyber group. Prior to joining AIR in 2016, Eric was a post-doctoral scholar at UCLA where he conducted research in the application of formal methods techniques to problems in the design and control of cyber-physical systems. Eric earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering in 2007 and his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering in 2009, both from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Eric also has his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2014, with a specialization in control systems.

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Eric Robinson

Eric Robinson joined AIR in 2012 and is an Assistant Vice President in our Research and Modeling Department. Prior to AIR, Eric studied at Purdue University, where he designed, tested, and implemented a new technique for identifying severe weather events in modeling data using artificial neural networks. He also participated in the VORTEX2 field project as part of the Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) tornado pod deployment team. Eric has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science.

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Eric Uhlhorn

Eric Uhlhorn joined AIR in 2015 as a Principal Scientist in our Research Department. Eric most recently worked as a Meteorologist for NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Research Associate III for the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies for the University of Miami and a Systems Analyst for Booz-Allen and Hamilton. Eric earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Florida State Univeristy, his Master of Science Degree in Physical Oceanography from Florida Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the University of Miami.

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Dr. Gerhard Zuba

Feng Wang joined AIR in 2013 and is a Principal Scientist in our Research Department. Previously he worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California. Prior to this, he held the part-time position as Software Developer at the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCED), where he was responsible for developing a software module for using the Next Generation Attenuation models in the broadband simulation platform of SCEC. Feng has earned a B.S. in Geophysics from the University of Science and Technology of China as well as a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Southern California.

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Frank Sedlar

Frank Sedlar is an engineer in AIR’s Atmospheric Perils and Vulnerability Group. Previously, Frank owned and operated Aeronaut LLC, which provided UAV mapping and surveying services in West Africa and Indonesia. Frank earned a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Gayatri Natarajan

Gayatri Natarajan joined AIR in 2006 as a Product Consultant in our Product Management Group. Ms. Natarajan is the product manager for CLASIC/2™, AIR's detailed catastrophe risk assessment software system. She manages product releases and coordinates development activities and delivery of software products to completion. Gayatri is also the lead business analyst for implementation of key models and software enhancements into the product. Gayatri received her B.S. in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Madras University in India and was awarded the silver medal for top rank in her university.

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Gerald Galgana

Dr. Gerald Galgana is a Scientist in AIR's Earthquake Research Group, where he is responsible for developing seismic hazard and kinematic block models. In particular, he has developed the Japan, Canada, and Philippine block models. He is currently a Visiting Scientist and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association in Houston, Texas, where he worked on NASA planetary projects. He comes from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. He received his B.S. in Geodetic Engineering and Graduate Diploma in R&D Management from the University of the Philippines. He worked as a professional Geodetic Engineer and Remote Sensing Specialist in the Philippines and has published several articles on Seismotectonics and Volcanism.

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Dr. Gerhard Zuba

Dr. Gerhard Zuba was Vice President and Senior Principal Scientist in AIR's Research and Modeling group. He was responsible for developing AIR's agricultural modeling framework and helped enhance the extratropical cyclone model's stochastic catalog to better reflect the temporal frequency and spatial distribution of typical storm patterns. Gerhard was active in climate research and a co-author of several peer-reviewed publications. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the Technical University in Vienna. Gerhard passed away in 2015.

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Gian Calvesbert

Gian Calvesbert joined AIR in 2014 as a Product Marketing Manager in our Marketing Department. Prior to working for AIR, Gian worked in the aerospace industry, analyzing and designing gas turbine engine components. Gian also has gained entrepreneurial experience working with startups both in the U.S. and in Latin America. Gian has earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University's School of Engineering and Master degrees in both Business Administration and Science in Information Systems from the Boston University Graduate School of Management.

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Harry Whitel

Harry White is a Manager on AIR’s Insurance-Linked Securities team. He is responsible for working on the issuance of insurance linked-securities, as well as supporting AIR’s investor client base. Harry has worked on several bonds covering both the U.S. and Europe and recently worked on Generali’s Lion II Re DAC—the first catastrophe bond to include European inland flood risk. Prior to his current role, he worked within AIR’s Business Development team in London, leading efforts in France and continental Europe. Harry earned his B.A. in Economics with Honors from the University of Manchester. 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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Heidi Carrell

Heidi Carrell is a writer in AIR’s Marketing and Communications group. Previously, she worked for Harvard University in research coordinator and communications roles at the E.J. Safra Center for Ethics and the Joint Center for Housing Studies. Heidi earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Fine Arts from the University of New Hampshire.

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Heidi Wang

Heidi Wang joined AIR's Consulting and Client Services Group in 2010. She moved to Business Development in 2012 and has been taking the lead in agriculture modeling, especially in the Asian region. Heidi travels to China on a regular basis to meet with clients and prospects in the region. She is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, and is also an active member of various industry activities and a frequent speaker at company conferences and Casualty Actuarial Society events.

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Hemant Chowdhary

Hemant Chowdhary is a Principal Scientist in AIR's Research and Modeling group, working on the development of flood models for U.S., Japan, Canada, and India. Prior to joining AIR in 2011, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M University. Earlier, he worked as a Scientist at the National Institute of Hydrology in India as well as a consultant for the Hydrology Project sponsored by the World Bank. Hemant holds a Masters of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, both in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Water Resources.

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Hemanth Siriki

Hemanth Siriki joined AIR’s Research Department as an Engineer in 2015. Previously, Hemanth worked as a Summer Intern for M/s M.N. Dastur & Company (P) Limited, Consulting Engineers. Hemanth has worked in an Earthquake Engineering Simulation Group where he developed a framework and wrote a code to characterize stochastic seismic source models of a high magnitude earthquakes for strike-slip faults. Hemanth earned his Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, and both his Master of Science Degree and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from California Institute of Technology.

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Iacopo Carnacina

Iacopo Carnacina joined AIR in 2011 as an Engineer in our Research Department. Previously he worked as a Research Assistant for the fluvial erosion of engineering structures at the University of Pisa. Iacopo has earned both an M.S and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy.

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Ivelin Zvezdov

Ivelin Zvezdov joined AIR in 2006 and is an Assistant Vice President in the Product Management Group leading the product development effort on AIR's next generation modeling platform (NGM). He holds an M.A. in Economics from St. Andrews University, UK, and M.Phil. in EU Studies from the University of Oxford, UK. Ivelin is a Certified Portfolio Management Professional (CPMP) from the New York Institute of Finance. His previous experience includes quantitative financial modeling for structured products, commodities derivatives and fixed income trading, and risk hedging strategies.

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Jacqueline Chen

Jacqueline Chen is a Principal Scientist in AIR’s Research and Modeling group. Her focus is on modeling natural hazards that affect agriculture and crop insurance programs. She is responsible for developing and improving the AIR Multiple Peril Crop Insurance Models for China and Canada. Jacqueline earned a B.S. in Astronomy and Physics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Chicago.

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Jason Kutarnia

Jason Kutarnia joined AIR in 2015 as a Scientist in our Research Department. Prior to working with AIR, Jason was Officer in Charge of Cyber Security for the U.S. Army Southwest Asia Cyber Center where he conducted defensive cyber operations. He also worked as a Research Assistant for the Ultrasound Research Lab at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Jason earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering from The University of Massachusetts Amherst, and both his Master of Science Degree and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from WPI.

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Jay Guin

Dr. Jay Guin is AIR’s Chief Research Officer, responsible for strategic management of the AIR Research and Modeling group. Under his leadership, the group has developed a global suite of catastrophe models and continues to enhance modeling techniques. Jayanta also provides strategic input into AIR’s product development and consulting work for insurance linked securities. He has more than 17 years of experience in probabilistic risk analysis for natural catastrophes worldwide and is well recognized in the insurance industry for his deep understanding of the financial risk posed by natural perils. His expertise includes a wide range of natural and man-made phenomenon that drive tail-risk. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Jadavpur University in India. He earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the State University of New York, Buffalo, with a specialization in dynamic soil-structure interaction and computational mechanics. Jay is currently a member of the governing board for the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) initiative. He also contributes to the Research Advisory Council of Institute of Business and Home safety (IBHS).

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Jeff Amthor

Jeff Amthor is Assistant Vice President, Crop Modeling. He has written physiologically-based models of cotton and wheat crops and of deciduous forests, and has expertise in theoretical limits to transduction of solar energy into plant bioenergy. Prior to joining AIR in 2016, Jeff was Professor of Agronomy and Primary Productivity at the University of Sydney. He was an Ecologist with the U.S. Department of Energy from 2000 to 2010 and a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the Woods Hole Research Center, and the U.S. Water Conservation Lab (USDA/ARS). Jeff was also Lecturer in Forest Ecophysiology at Yale. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in agronomy from Texas A&M, and a Ph.D. in plant ecophysiology from Yale.

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Jeff Boyd

Jeff Boyd joined AIR in 2012 as a Risk Consultant in the Consulting and Client Services Group. In September 2015, he moved from the Insurance-Linked Securities team to the Business Development team, focusing on Reinsurers and ILS sponsors. Before joining AIR, Jeff was a Client Service Manager in the investment compliance segment at J.P. Morgan; he earned his B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in Classical Studies, from Gettysburg College, PA, in 2004.

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Jiazhen Peng

Jiazhen Peng joined AIR in 2013 and is a Senior Engineer in our Research Department. Most recently, Jiazheng held a position as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering/Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, where he developed a two-stage stochastic game theoretic optimization model representing insurer-homeowner and insurance-retrofit interactions in managing natural disaster risk. Prior to this, Jiazhen held a position as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Department of Control Theory and Engineering at Tongi University. Jiazhen earned a B.S. in Automation from Southwest Jiaotong University, an M.S. in Control theory and Engineering from Tongji University, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware.

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Joe Cleveland

Joe Cleveland is Director of Learning and Development. He joined AIR in 2006 as a Risk Analyst in the Consulting and Client Services Group. He has also worked in the Research team as a Senior Analyst in the Financial and Uncertainty Modeling group. He previously worked as an Accounts Payable Manager for Aramark. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Boston University, and a M.S. in Applied Statistics from Villanova University.

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John Binder

John Binder joined AIR in 2012 as a Segment Marketing Manager in our Marketing Department. His marketing segments include agriculture risk, cyber risk, and climate change risk. In addition, he is responsible for the European, Reinsurance, and Regulatory (including rating agencies and actuaries) marketing segments. Previously, John was founder and Chief Consultant of via Solutions, a marketing consulting firm that focused on transferring product marketing features to vertical industry solutions. John has earned his MBA from the University of California at Irvine, and M.S in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. (Note: John Binder left AIR in 2016.)

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