Holy Names University Establishes New Center for Energy & Environmental Risk

News Release

Media contact:
Lesley Sims, Holy Names University, 510-436-1405 or sims@hnu.edu

Holy Names University
Establishes New Center for Energy & Environmental Risk

OAKLAND, CA; November 11, 2011 – Holy Names University (HNU) announces a new Center for Energy and Environmental Risk (CEERA). The new Center seeks to become an international center of applied policy analysis for evaluating the risks of energy development on the environment.

Dr. Paolo Ricci, Ph.D. and Professor of Business and Decision Analysis at HNU, is the Principal of the project and will have oversight of supporting faculty from Holy Names University, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Bologna in Italy. Dr. Ian Sammis, Ph.D. and assistant professor of Mathematics at HNU, will be responsible for the Mathematical and Statistical Laboratory. The Center’s unique focus on risk assessment and management provides the leadership necessary to assess and mitigate socio-economic and legal constraints that have an influence on national and international energy and environmental policy.

Ricci said, “CEERA’s mission is to create a learning and research setting for students and visiting researchers using scientific research as a guide. Students who participate in the Center will benefit by improved analytical skills through practice on computer simulators and by an improved understanding of the use of statistics and mathematics in chemistry, biology, economics, financial and decision analysis. The demand for professionals who have advanced applied analytical knowledge and research skills will give these students a competitive edge in the global marketplace.”

CEERA currently has projects in place in the United States, China, Italy and other members of the European Union. As the Center expands and generates funding from the U.S., China and the European Union, summer scholarships will be made available to sister universities such as the University of Bologna, Xiamen University and Beijing Normal University.

Dr. William J. Hynes, HNU President, welcomes CEERA to HNU’s campus, “The opportunity to educate leaders who can inspire positive improvements to diminish energy and environmental risks is deeply connected to the mission of HNU. The Center is representative of a student-focused community, developing critical thinkers and transformational leaders for Oakland, California, the U.S. and beyond.”

Dr. Paolo F. Ricci is a senior Fulbright scholar and specialist in risk assessment and management (2010 -2015) and has led and conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses and experimental work for approximately 40 years in the U.S., Canada, Italy, Australia, France, Vietnam, China and the European Union. He has studied the human health risks in nuclear and non-nuclear energy technologies as well as cancer and other toxic effects caused by exposure to airborne and waterborne contaminants and microbiological agents. Dr. Ricci has served as the Head of the Environmental Technologies Clearinghouse of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – with full diplomatic status. He is a published author and has written approximately 250 papers, including papers in: Science, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of the Australian Medical Association, Ecology Law Quarterly and he is Associate Editor of Environment International.

Dr. Sammis has a background in physics and mathematics, and has published work on earth science, solar astronomy, numerical methods and decision analysis. He received his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and completed postdoctoral work at U.C. Davis working for the Naval Research Office. Dr. Sammis has an MA in Mathematics from San Francisco State University and an MS in Physics from the California Institute of Technology. He has a bachelor’s degree with a triple major in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science from U.C. Santa Barbara. He has also served as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Computational Physics and for Dose Response.

Dr. Ricci and Dr. Sammis will collaborate in the publication of environmental and energy analyses as well as the application of statistical methods to these analyses.

HNU is located at 3500 Mountain Boulevard, off Highway 13, in the Oakland Hills. Founded in 1868 on the banks of Lake Merritt near downtown Oakland, the university moved to its present campus 54 years ago. HNU offers 19 bachelor’s degrees, five degree completion programs for adults, eight master’s degrees and various certificates and credentials. HNU has been transforming people and liberating the spirit for nearly a century and a half.

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