Talk: Open Technology Approaches for Enhancing the Common Operating Picture-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Talk: Open Technology Approaches for Enhancing the Common Operating Picture

Speaker: Xavier Irias
              Director of Engineering and Construction
              East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)


A true Common Operating Picture requires that data be not only gathered, but shared; and further requires the data to be filtered, analyzed and verified to become actionable information.  All of these activities must be done quickly, and tools to do so must be robust since IT systems may be compromised by a major disaster.

Several open technologies exist that can be readily applied as tools to enhance the Common Operating Picture.  In many cases, combining multiple tools in a loosely coupled manner provides still more enhancement.

This talk will describe specific tools and technology approaches for disaster management that are based on open technologies:  open-source software, open data standards, and/or off-the-shelf commodity hardware.  The tools cover the full spectrum of disaster management, from scenario planning and scenario modeling, to rapid damage assessment, communications, documentation, mapping, response planning and execution, and more.


Xavier Irias has over twenty years experience as a professional civil engineer in California.  His emphasis is water infrastructure, including planning, design and construction of major waterworks facilities and pipelines.

Throughout his career Mr. Irias has leveraged technology, generally with a focus on infrastructure management.  To this end he has directed, and personally developed, many technology initiatives including use of CAD, GIS, databases, web applications, and modeling applications.  He is an expert in dozens of different application platforms including various dotnet and java systems.

In his current role, Mr. Irias is the Director of Engineering and Construction at East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)  a water/wastewater utility in Oakland, CA with over 1,300,000 customers.  Mr. Irias has lead responsibility within the organization to plan and execute the $1B capital program. He also plays a significant role in emergency management, with an emphasis on pre-event facility upgrades, and post-event damage assessment