Dr. Reed received his Bachelors of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1997. He then continued his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he graduated with his PhD in 2002. Dr. Reed’s first 11 years as a faculty (2002-2013) where at The Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. During his time at Penn State, Dr. Reed garnered a number of honors including the U.S. National Science Foundation’s CAREER award (2007), the ASCE/EWRI Outstanding Achievement Award (2008), and the ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (2012) for his leadership in advancing multiobjective systems design and decision support.
Since joining Cornell in 2013, Dr. Reed is now the endowed Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research group is advancing multiobjective systems engineering, decision analytics for complex systems, and adaptation of water-energy infrastructure systems to better confront deeply uncertain climate change risks and growing human pressures. His research contributions in these areas have garnered more recent major honors, which include being selected as the International Environmental Modelling & Software Society Biennial Medalist and Society Fellow (2016), the American Geophysical Union (AGU)’s Paul A. Witherspoon Lecture Award for Exceptional Mid-Career Research Achievement (2019), the Association for Computing Machinery Gold Medalist for a Human Competitive ‘Humies’ breakthrough discovery (2020), and election as an AGU Fellow (2022).
Dr. Reed is now focused on advancing our ability to navigate the tradeoffs and synergies in confronting climate change, energy transitions, and sustainability development goals. Dr. Reed is seeking to transform our critical water and energy infrastructures and better map the interconnected risks that shape their deeply uncertain dynamics. He is harnessing emerging computational, data, and algorithmic breakthroughs to advance our understanding of complex adaptive human-Earth systems and our candidate pathways to a sustainable future. In support of these goals, Dr. Reed has served as a chapter author on the Complex Systems chapters of the 4th and 5th U.S. National Climate Assessments, as a facilitator in the development of the MultiSector Dynamics Community of Practice, as a member of the congressionally chartered U.S. Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, and his role as an Editor in AGU’s Earth’s Future transdisciplinary Gold Open Access journal.
Dr. Reed's primary research interests relate to sustainable water management given conflicting demands from renewable energy systems, ecosystem services, expanding populations, and climate change. The tools developed in Dr. Reed's group bridge sustainability science, risk management, economics, multiobjective decision making, operations research, computer science, and high performance computing. Engineering design and decision support software developed by Dr. Reed has been used broadly in governmental and industrial application areas. His open source and free academic software related to multiobjective optimization has thousands of users across the world. He also coordinates Water Programming: A Collaborative Research Blog for detailing key tips and tricks for using his decision support tools in practice.
The above resources are meant to advance design and management of complex engineered systems.
Dr. Reed has taught a broad range of courses over the past decade focused on fluid mechanics, groundwater hydrology, water resources engineering, decision making under uncertainty, and systems optimization using evolutionary computation. At Cornell, Dr. Reed's teaching portfolio includes water resources systems engineering, decision framing and analytics, and multiobjective design of complex engineered systems under uncertainty.
Dr. Reed has been very active within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI). His early EWRI service from 2002-2008 strongly focused on the Groundwater Management Technical Committee and aiding in the establishment of the Groundwater Council. He chaired the Groundwater Symposia from 2006-2008 and helped to establish the Pioneers in Groundwater Award. In 2007 as the array of application areas for Dr. Reed's many-objective visual analytics and model diagnostics research broadened, he transitioned to taking a leadership role in the Environmental and Water Resources Systems (EWRS) Technical Committee as well as the Planning and Management Council within EWRI (2007-2015). Dr. Reed has also served on the editorial boards of Water Resources Research, the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management, Advances in Water Resources, and Environmental Modelling and Software (2009-2022). Recently, Dr. Reed has served as a chapter author on the Complex Systems chapters of the 4th and 5th U.S. National Climate Assessments, as a facilitator in the development of the MultiSector Dynamics Community of Practice, as a member of the congressionally chartered U.S. Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, and is now an Editor in AGU’s Earth’s Future transdisciplinary Gold Open Access journal.
- Reed et al.., “MultiSector Dynamics: Advancing the Science of Complex Adaptive Human-Earth Systems.”, Earth’s Future, 10(3), e2021EF002621, DOI:10.1029/2021EF002621, 2022.
- Giuliani, M., Lamontagne, J., Hejazi, M., Reed, P. M., and Castelletti, A., “Unintended consequences of climate change mitigation for African river basins.“, Nature Climate Change, 12(2), 187-192, DOI: 10.1038/s41558-021-01262-9, 2022.
- Hamilton, A., Zeff, H. B., Characklis, G., and Reed, P. M., “Resilient California water portfolios require infrastructure investment partnerships that are viable for all partners.”, Earth’s Future, 10(4), e2021EF002573, DOI: 10.1029/2021EF002573, 2022.
- Dolan, F., Lamontagne, J., Link, R., Hejazi, M., Reed, P. M., and Edmonds, J., “Evaluating the economic impact of water scarcity in changing world.”, Nature Communications, 12(1), 1915, DOI:10.1038/s41467-021-22194-0, 2021.
Selected Awards and Honors
- American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fellow, 2022
- AGU Paul A. Witherspoon Lecture Award for Exceptional Mid-Career Research Achievement, 2019
- Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (ACM SIGEVO) Gold Medalist for a Human Competitive ‘Humies’ breakthrough discovery, 2020
- Cornell College of Engineering Research Excellence Award, 2018
- International Environmental Modelling & Software Society Biennial Medalist and Society Fellow, 2016
- American Society of Civil Engineer’s Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, 2012
- BS (Geological Engineering), University of Missouri, 1997
- MS (Civil and Environmental Engineering), University of Illinois, 1999
- Ph D (Civil and Environmental Engineering), University of Illinois, 2002