Dr. Emily Berglund is a Professor in the NCSU Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. She graduated from NCSU, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2005, and she was an assistant professor at Texas A&M University for four years before returning to NCSU.  Berglund is an expert in the development of agent-based models of sociotechnical systems to simulate feedback mechanisms and adaptive behaviors among consumers, infrastructure, and environmental systems. Her research also explores optimization models and algorithms to manage the sustainability, security, and resilience of complex infrastructure systems. Dr. Berglund received NC State’s Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award in 2018, and she is an associate editor for the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. Along with co-authors, she was awarded 2019 Best Seminal Paper Award, Editor’s Choice Award in 2016, and Best Research-Oriented Paper Awards in 2010 and 2011 for publications in the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. She received Outstanding Reviewer Awards for ASCE journals in 2010, 2011, and 2018.


Berglund has experience working on interdisciplinary projects to create models that integrate behavioral factors and infrastructure management. Dr. Berglund is a faculty fellow in the NCSU Center for Geospatial Analytics and is a core team member of the University of Texas Center for Infrastructure Modeling and Management.  She has worked with on-campus centers, including the NCSU Science of Security Lablet and the NCSU Laboratory for Analytic Sciences.  Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Security Agency (NSA), and state water and transportation research institutes. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in water resources engineering, hydrology, and systems analysis for civil engineering. Find Dr. Berglund’s CV here.

Current Graduate Students

Liz Ramsey Bolton (previously Liz Ramsey) finished her M.S. at NCSU in Fall 2017 and began her Ph.D. in Spring 2018. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 with a B.A. in Peace, War, and Defense, completed an M.S. in Strategic Intelligence at the National Intelligence University in 2010, and worked as an analyst for the Department of Defense for five years before coming to NC State. Her M.S. research applied agent-based modeling to analyze the dynamics between water infrastructure and consumers in Jaipur, India, which was funded by the Fulbright-Nehru Student Grant and the National Science Foundation Graduate Student Research Fellowship. In her Ph.D. studies, she is applying agent-based modeling and inverse modeling approaches to explore the connections between drought, groundwater, migration, and social unrest in Syria. Her Ph.D. research is funded by the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.



Mohammad A. Khaksar Fasaee is from Shiraz, Iran. He studied at Shiraz University, where he earned his B.S. in civil engineering and his M.S. in structural engineering. He is especially interested in mathematical modeling, optimization, decision making under uncertainty, and socio-economic models. His research is exploring an existing dataset describing lead levels in private wells and identifying the characteristics of private wells that contribute to high risks of lead.





Morgan DiCarlo graduated with a B.E. in Civil Engineering from Stony Brook University in 2016 and her M.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2018. She is passionate about STEM engagement, and founded an engineering curriculum that has graduated more than 70 high school women.  DiCarlo was named one of America’s New Faces of Civil Engineering (2014) and selected for Nature Magazine’s Innovating Science longlist (2018) for her commitment to outreach. DiCarlo is a TEDx speaker, former NASA climate intern and a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which supports her PhD research in water systems analysis at NC State University.




Faisal Alghamdi graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering from King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2015. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a project management assistant at TWARD, a construction company. As an intern he worked on the $100 billion project, the Grand Mosque Expansion. He was also a co-founder and president of the Civil Engineering Students Club. After graduation he joined Saudi Aramco as a civil engineer in the Engineering Division – Technical Support Unit, covering 18 plants.  In 2017, he joined King Abdulaziz University as a Teaching Assistant in the water resources engineering group. Faisal was awarded a fully funded scholarship to pursue graduate studies abroad. In 2019, he joined NCSU to pursue his master’s degree in water resources engineering and joined the STSA group to further his research interests and skills. Faisal completed his M.S. and began his Ph.D in 2021. program. He is passionate about the use of new infrastructure systems such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure to apply and develop advanced water distribution management strategies and to detect leaks in water distribution networks. Photo: While working with Saudi Aramco, Faisal received three appreciation letters from the department manager.


Cade Karrenberg is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and PhD student at North Carolina State University. They earned their BS in Civil Engineering with a minor is Science, Technology and Society from North Carolina State University in 2021. Cade is interested in the relationships between urban infrastructure and communities with a focus on socioeconomics, equity and water resources engineering. Their research utilizes agent-based modeling to explore dynamic pricing in urban water management and its economic and socioeconomic impact.




Brent Vizanko completed his undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 2017. He spent two years working for an environmental consultant in St. Paul, MN, working with state and federal clients to design, commission and operate groundwater remediation systems. After this stint in consulting, Brent went to work for the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota. At MnTAP, he helped businesses around the state of Minnesota reduce water consumption, energy use, and waste generation. Throughout his time at MnTAP he worked with 100+ companies to implement $500,000+ of yearly savings. He began his Ph.D. in the Fall of 2021 with specific interests in water conservation and water resource management.




Kingston E. Armstrong completed his B.S. in Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley in the spring of 2021. While there, he studied contaminant transport mechanisms within natural groundwater profiles and critical superfund sites. He utilized deuterium/tritium dating, reactor and capture zone modeling, and colloidal interactions to practice diagnosing and hypothesizing solutions for disadvantaged communities throughout South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The overlap of sub-rural socioeconomic development and water quality dynamics drove him to initiate his graduate career. He began his M.S program in Civil Engineering in the Fall of 2021 at NCSU with a focus in water resources.

Ph.D. Students Graduated

·      Jorge Pesantez, Ph.D. 2021, North Carolina State University.  Current position: Postdoctoral Scholar, ‎University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dissertation: Using Smart Meter Data to Improve the Management and Operation of Water Distribution Systems

·      Jacob Monroe, Ph.D. 2020, North Carolina State University.  Current position: Research Analyst, ‎University of Victoria. Dissertation: Simulating Evolution of Low-voltage Electric Grids with Distributed Energy Technology Adoption: An Agent-based Modeling Approach

·      Shams Al-Amin, Ph.D. 2018, North Carolina State University.  Current position: Engineer, Vaughn and Melton Consulting Engineers. Dissertation: Agent-based Modeling to Explore Emergent Socio-Hydrologic Responses of a Shared Groundwater System Under Mandatory Restriction Policies

·       Venu Kandiah, Ph.D. 2015, North Carolina State University.  Current position: Engineer, XP Solutions. Dissertation: Agent-based modeling for simulating the effects of demand reduction on urban water resources and infrastructure systems

·      Michael (Ehsan) Shafiee, Ph.D. 2014, North Carolina State University.  Current position: Engineer, Xylem. Dissertation: Modeling sociotechnical water distribution system contamination events to evaluate and identify mitigation strategies

·       Marcio Giacomoni, Ph.D. 2012, Texas A&M University. Current position: Associate Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio. Dissertation: A complex adaptive systems approach for simulating urban water resources sustainability

·       Lufthansa Kanta, Ph.D. 2009 (co-advised), Texas A&M University. Current position: Teaching Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University. Dissertation: Hazards mitigation design for water distribution systems

M.S. Students Graduated

·     Faisal Alghamdi, M.S. 2021, North Carolina State University. Current Position: Ph.D. student, NCSU. Thesis: A Dynamic Pricing Framework for Water Demand Management Using Advanced Metering Infrastructure Data

·     Michael Skarbek, M.S. 2019, North Carolina State University. Current Position: Red Hat. Thesis: Fisher Information Methods for Detecting Shifting Regimes in Water Supply Systems

·     Elizabeth Ramsey, M.S. 2018, North Carolina State University. Current Position: Ph.D. student, NCSU. Thesis: Coupling Agent-Based Modeling and a Genetic Algorithm to Simulate Adoption of Dual-Flush Toilets Using Household Survey Data

·      Jorge Pesantez, M.S. 2017 (co-advised), North Carolina State University. Current position: Current position: Postdoctoral Scholar, ‎University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Thesis: A Multi-Step Simulation-Optimization Approach to Design District Metering Areas for Water Distribution Networks

·      Laura Garcia-Cuerva, M.S. 2017, North Carolina State University. Thesis: Exploring Low Impact Development Strategies for Marginalized Communities in Urbanizing Watersheds

·       Michelle Schmidt, M.S. 2015, North Carolina State University. Current position: Tetra Tech. Thesis: Simulating the Selection of Municipal Water Supply Portfolios to Assess Vulnerability in a Seniority-based Water Rights Program

·       Alireza Mashhadi Ali, M.S. 2014, North Carolina State University. Current Position: American Tower. Thesis: An integrated framework for assessing the dynamics of population growth and climate change for urban water resources management

·       Kristen Drake, M.S. 2011, Texas A&M University. Current position: Freese and Nichols. Thesis: Evolutionary computation approaches to address non-uniqueness in source identification of contamination in water distribution systems

·       Tommi Jo Scott, M.S. 2011, Texas A&M University. Current position: LJA Engineering, Inc. Thesis: A Stormwater Footprint Game to increase stormwater sustainability awareness

·       Chandana Damodaram, M.S. 2010, Texas A&M University. Thesis: Simulating and optimizing stormwater management strategies in an urban watershed

·       Laurel Reichold, M.S. 2008 (co-advised), North Carolina State University. Current position: Army Corp of Engineers. Thesis: Simulation-optimization framework to support sustainable watershed development by mimicking the pre-development flow regime

Undergraduate Students, with Thesis

·       Tori Ponthier, North Carolina State University, 2021. Thesis: Effects on Urban Water Consumption and Water Distribution Infrastructure During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

·       Jacob Monroe, North Carolina State University, 2016. Thesis: Genetic Programming Approaches to Identify Log Reduction Models for UV Reactors

·       Kate Mueller, North Carolina State University, 2016. Thesis: Modeling the Effects of Social Dynamics on Water Conservation Technology Adoption

·       James East, North Carolina State University, 2015. Thesis: Agent-based modeling to simulate water use adaptations in the Upper Neuse River Basin

·       Alyssa Politte, Texas A&M University, 2011. Thesis: Evaluating the effects of paver systems on urban development using a distributed hydrological model, Best Undergraduate Thesis Award, Texas A&M University, 2011

·       Avery White, Texas A&M University, 2011. Thesis: Translation, Optimization, and Parallelization of Genetic Algorithms: A Discourse of Implementation into C++

·       Ramiro Martinez, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar, Texas A&M Univ., 2010. Thesis: Climate Change Impacts on Watershed Hydrology

·       William Saour, Texas A&M University, 2009. Thesis: Feasibility Study of Rainwater Harvesting on Texas A&M University Campus