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Center for Disaster Resilience
Senior Research Engineer
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, Maryland
Dr. Sandra K. Knight is a Senior Research Engineer at the University of Maryland, where she
works with her colleagues in the development of water policy, disaster resilience, and flood risk
management initiatives. She is also founder and president of WaterWonks LLC in Washington,
DC, capitalizing on her extensive experience in Federal disaster reduction, flood risk
management, environmental compliance, and marine transportation policies and programs. She
held senior positions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA). At FEMA, Dr. Knight was responsible for the Nation’s floodplain mapping,
management and mitigation grants supporting the National Flood Insurance Program,
environmental compliance for the Agency, and oversight of the National Dam Safety Program.
At NOAA, she was responsible for the development of policies and strategies to ensure scientific
excellence and improved performance of NOAA’s research portfolio. Prior to those positions,
she spent 26 years with USACE as a hydraulic engineer in various positions and locations.
Dr. Knight has a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis, an M.S. from Mississippi State
University, and a B.S. from Memphis State University. She is a registered Professional Engineer
in Tennessee, a Diplomate Water Resource Engineer, and a Diplomate Navigation Engineering.
She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Meteorological
Society, the Society of Women Engineers, Sigma Xi, and a Fellow for the World Association for
Waterborne Transport Infrastructure.
Dr. Knight is currently a Principal Investigator for a Department of Homeland Security Science
and Technology education grant through the Coastal Resilience Center at the University of North
Carolina. The goal of this educational grant is to develop and test an educational and training
curriculum that prepares professionals to manage and deliver disaster-related project(s) by
merging the unique challenges of emergency management with the capabilities and technologies
introduced by applying project management processes. By attending the Higher Education
Symposium, Dr. Knight hopes to establish relationships with other academic organizations and
help refine the curriculum needs of emergency management professionals.
April 18, 2016