Olsson Hall 102D
151 Engineer's Way
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Google Scholar Quinn Research Group


As a longtime math geek and nature lover, I was excited to learn I could make a career as an environmental systems engineer, applying concepts of mathematics to improve the management of environmental systems. My research specifically focuses on advancing optimization and simulation methods used to inform the design and management of water resources systems with the goals of protecting people from nature (floods and droughts), and nature from people (pollution and consumption). I view this as an iterative process beginning with risk and uncertainty analysis to discover which sectors and populations are most vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic hazards, followed by multi-objective optimization of the system to reduce these multi-sectoral vulnerabilities. I am particularly interested in how advanced sensing and forecasting techniques can be used to inform this optimization.


B.S. Columbia University, 2011

Ph.D. Cornell University, 2017

Research Interests

Water resources management
Multi-objective control
Stochastic hydrology
Risk analysis
Uncertainty analysis

Selected Publications

New Diagnostic Assessment of MCMC Algorithm Effectiveness, Efficiency, Reliability, and Controllability. Kavianihamedani, H., Quinn, J.D., & Smith, J.D. (2024). IEEE Access, 12, 42385-42400.
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City-Heat Equity Adaptation Tool (City-HEAT): Multi-objective optimization of environmental modifications and human heat exposure reductions for urban heat adaptation under uncertainty. Shi, R., Hobbs, B. F., Quinn, J. D., Lempert, R., & Knopman, D. (2023). Environmental Modelling & Software, 160, 105607.
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Advancing reservoir operations in the SWAT to reduce socio-ecological tradeoffs. Jordan, S.M., Quinn, J.D., Zaniolo, M., Giuliani, M. And Castelletti, A. (2022). Environmental Modelling & Software, 157, 105527.
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Guidance on evaluating parametric model uncertainty at decision-relevant scales. Smith, J.D., Quinn, J.D. And Band, l.E. (2022). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 26, 2519-2539.
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Profitability of climate-smart soil fertility investment varies widely across sub-Saharan Africa. McCullough, E.B., Quinn, J.D. And Simons, A.M. (2022). Nature Food, 3(4), 275-285.
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Courses Taught

SYS 4021: Linear Statistical Models
CE 4110/6250: Environmental Systems Modeling and Management
CE 6280: Stochastic Hydrology


Best Policy Oriented Paper Award, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 2024
UVA Civil Engineering Teaching Award, 2021
UVA Graduate Engineering Student Council Advisor of the Year, 2021
First Place, Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) Ph.D. Dissertation Award in Natural Science and Engineering, 2017

Featured Grants & Projects

Coordinating Water Markets and Critical Infrastructure Management to Build Community Resilience to Extreme Drought PI: Julianne Quinn, Co-PIs: Peter Debaere, Paul Block, Mesfin Mekonnen The goal of this project is to evaluate the potential gains of better coordinated, forecast-informed drought management of water systems and their institutional and physical infrastructure to simultaneously reduce community impacts of drought and facilitate sustainable economic growth. The work focuses on the Colorado River Basin.
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Climate Collaborative: Empowering Democratic Institutions to Address Climate Change-Induced Flood Risks PI: Sheetal Sekhri Co-PIs: Julianne Quinn, Venkat Lakshmi The goal of this project is to empower elected women representatives in India to obtain funding for water infrastructure projects to build resilience to flooding.
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Climate Collaborative: Appalachian Renewable Energy & Resilience and a Co-Designed Community Model PI: Christine Mahoney, Co-PIs: Bevin Etienne, Eric Loth, Bill Shobe, Tanya Denckla Cobb, Shannon Blevins, Julianne Quinn, Mary Asare-Addo, Joao Fereirra, Terrence Rephann, Janelle Knox-Hayes, Lori Bird The goal of this project is to explore the potential to promote environmental sustainability and revitalize the economy in Appalachian Virginia through renewable energy development.
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