Resilience Considerations for Science and Industry

Hilary Williams, Arup USA Inc.
Lisa Dickson, Arup USA Inc.

Resilience is a broadly-referenced term whose meaning can get lost in the breadth of its use. Quite simply, resilience is the ability to continue to function in the midst of a variety of disruptors. It does not assume a static and unchanging state but rather a system that is able to flex and rapidly adapt to changing conditions. It focuses as much on the operational aspects of a system as it does the physical properties. Finally, it is common for some of the greatest vulnerabilities be reliance on external systems (e.g., energy, water and transport systems, supply chains, regulatory drivers, etc.)

In many ways, resilience is already an inherent consideration in how manufacturing processes, chemical compounding and the supporting facilities, equipment and materials are designed and sourced. This presentation will highlight how resilience is already part of the system by default and how a more proactive approach could help to optimize the systems and outputs. Several case studies and implementing guidance will be highlighted.

Equally important is the ability to recognize emerging trends that will significantly shift the needs and opportunities within the larger S&I venue. For example, the fact that 3-D printing will lead to decentralized manufacturing processes; how the forecasting of future pandemics has changed what and how pharmaceutical companies are investing in the future; how the advent of digital medicine and need to fight hunger and disease in an aging and growing population is translated into the types of facilities that are designed and the services that will be required; how global trends such as climate change, resource depletion and aging infrastructure will impact different sectors of this industry.

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to state how resilience is defined within the S&I world;
  • Understand how resiliency is linked to sustainability;
  • Become familiar with case studies of resilience that have direct application to facilities, labs and other supporting structures; and
  • Gain an understanding of the key drivers that will impact S&I in the next decade and how those should be considered when designing facilities.


Hilary is an Associate in Arup's Boston office who brings over seventeen years of experience in mechanical design, analysis and construction. Hilary has the lead mechanical engineer for a number of large laboratory projects including Northeastern ISEC project and has extensive experience in laboratory's, educational facilities and energy optimization projects. She holds the role of Secretary of the New England I2SL and was recently recognized by the CSE 40 under 40 award 2018.

Lisa Dickson is the Resilience Leader for Arup Americas and has led multiple climate resilience projects nationally and internationally, across private and public sectors, including many 'cannot-fail' types of facilities. She has presented on financing resilient infrastructure at a recent Congressional Briefing, about climate security for the Pentagon, served as a technical adviser for two NSF projects, and is lead faculty member of an executive-level course on resilience offered through MIT.


Note: I2SL did not edit or revise abstract or biography text. Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s).