Mark Patterson, Global Resilience Institute (GRI) Associate Director, recently traveled to Asia to meet undergraduate and graduate students admitted to Northeastern University (NU) during JumpStart 2017, led by the Office of Global Services (OGS).

Patterson’s trip took him through Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, where he also met with leaders at Fudan University and the University of Hong Kong.

OGS works with the university’s admissions office to run orientation sessions for admitted students in Asia, India and Dubai, who will be arriving on campus in the fall. NU hosts over 11,700 international students and scholars from 140 different nations.

During this year’s orientation, Patterson briefed students about GRI’s launch.

“Admitted students are very eager to look for opportunities to participate in the work of the GRI through their mentors and coursework,” said Patterson.

GRI Associate Director Mark Patterson meeting with environmental engineering leaders at Fudan University
GRI Associate Director Mark Patterson meeting with environmental engineering leaders at Fudan University, Shanghai, China. From left, Professor Tianmen Chen, Dept of Environmental Science and Engineering, Professor Patterson (MES/CIVE), Professor Brian Helmuth, (MES/SPUAA), and Professor Xin Yang, Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University.

As part of GRI’s global strategy of engagement, Patterson met with leaders in environmental engineering and the environment at Fudan University in Shanghai, and at the University of Hong Kong. Patterson noted that China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative has elements that intersect directly with the goals of the GRI.

During his trip, Patterson had the opportunity to learn about new initiatives in environmental protection and societal resilience at Fudan, and about coastal resilience and sustainability at the University of Hong Kong.

GRI is already working with the shipping industry in Asia to reduce risks of disruption to the global supply chain.

GRI Associate Director Mark Patterson meeting with the academic leadership at the University of Hong Kong. From left: Professor Gray Williams, Director, Swire Institute of Marine Science, University of Hong Kong, Professor Patterson (MES/CIVE), Dean of Science, University of Hong Kong, and Professor Brian Helmuth, (MES/SPUAA).

Founded in January 2017, GRI is facilitating new interdisciplinary research collaborations and partnering with other leading academic research institutions, nonprofits and the public and private sectors to devise and apply practical innovations and solutions to resilience challenges. Together, the teams are working to help advance preparedness at multiple levels to effectively respond to slowly emerging disruptions and sudden disasters, both human-made and naturally-occurring.

Recently, GRI announced the funding of 11 interdisciplinary resilience research projects tackling a wide array of critical resilience issues. The topics include healthy aging, terrorism, critical infrastructure, use of remote systems for post-disaster damage assessments, community and urban resilience, sanctuary cities, energy system resilience, women’s networks in social crisis, coastal adaptation, and resilience modeling tools.


Interested in learning more about GRI’s work? We are always seeking to grow our international network of resilience researchers, practitioners, policymakers and students. Northeastern University faculty interested in learning more about the GRI seed grant funding program, please click here. For media inquiries or general questions, please contact us here.