Archive for April, 2016

New Research Project on Climate Change and the Arctic

April 5, 2016

I will take part in a new research project on climate change in the Arctic. The project carries the long name “ARCtic Marine Resources under Climate Change: Environmental, Socio-Economic Perspectives and Governance,” or ARC-Change for short. From the project description:

As we enter the Anthropocene, climate change moves the parameters we live within. First and foremost, these changes will take place in Arctic regions, regions that already are subject to substantial, large scale natural variability and where higher temperatures and retreating sea ice will redefine boundaries of biological life, ecological structure, and commercial and social opportunities. Complex interactions and causal mechanisms exist from the physical impact, in terms of temperature, ocean currents, via biological and ecological adaptations, in terms of habitat expansion, growth conditions, species interactions, via social and business enterprise, in terms of new fishing areas, trade routes, mineral wealth, to governance implications, in terms of pressure on existing agreements on fishing, surveillance, and commercial activity. A cross-sectorial and cross-disciplinary perspective is needed to investigate and understand climate change impacts. ARC-Change will study some of these interlinkages, from the physical and biological to the economical and governmental, while brining together expertise from an array of disciplines and institutions.

More in the press release.

Optimal maintenance scheduling for local public purpose buildings

April 1, 2016

New paper forthcoming, something other than fish this time. The abstract:

We formulate the maintenance scheduling decision as a dynamic optimization problem, subject to an accelerating decay. This approach offers a formal, yet intuitive, weighting of an important trade-off when deciding a maintenance schedule.

The optimal maintenance schedule reflects a trade-off between the interest rate and the rate at which the decay accelerates. The prior reflects the alternative cost, since the money spent on maintenance could be saved and earn interests, while the latter reflects the cost of postponing maintenance. Importantly, it turns out that it is sub-optimal to have a cyclical maintenance schedule where the building is allowed to decay and then be intensively maintained before decaying again. Rather, local governments should focus the maintenance either early in the building’s life span and eventually let it decay towards replacement/abandonment or first let it decay to a target level and then keep it there until replacement/abandonment. Which of the two is optimal depends on the trade-off between the alternative cost and the cost of postponing maintenance.

The paper provides a first formal inquiry into important trade-offs that are important for maintenance scheduling of local public purpose buildings.