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Energy and Environment Directorate

Chris Chini

Chris Chini

(509) 372-4857


Christopher (Chris) Chini is a research scientist in the Earth Systems Predictability & Resiliency Group. Prior to joining PNNL in 2023, Chris was an assistant professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology, located on Wright-Patterson AFB Ohio. While at AFIT, Chris led the curriculum development for the Engineering Management program and taught classes in asset management, geospatial information systems, and data analytics for engineers. Chris's research interests include energy and water systems, infrastructure resilience, asset management, water security, climate adaptation and mitigation, and network modeling. Chris's research targets decision-making at the intersection of energy, water, and infrastructure through data analytics. Through these research interests, Chris has authored over 35 articles in top journals. Chris interfaced with many DOD entities including the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, SAF/IEE, and US Army Corps of Engineers Research Laboratories. At PNNL, Chris works on several projects related to energy, water, and climate projects with DOD and other sponsors.

Chris received his B.S. from Texas A&M University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois all in Civil Engineering. Chris is an active member of the EWRI and AGU science committees. He serves as an associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management and is on the editorial board for Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability.

Research Interests

  • Water resources systems
  • Energy-water nexus
  • Infrastructure resilience
  • Climate adaptation
  • Infrastructure asset management
  • Network science
  • Data-informed decision-making

Education and Credentials

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois
  • Master of Science, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois
  • Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, since 2023
  • Editorial Board, Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, since 2023
  • Member and Past Chair, Sustainability Committee, Environmental and Water Resources Institute, since 2017
  • Member, American Geophysical Union, since 2017

Awards and Recognitions

  • AFIT Graduate School of Engineering Management Early Career Achievement Award, 2022
  • AFIT Graduate School of Engineering Management Teaching Award, 2021
  • Water Resources Research Top Downloaded Paper of 2018-2019 Award, 2020
  • UCOWR Ph.D. Dissertation Award in Water Policy and Socio-Economics, 2019
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP), 2015
  • Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, 2013
  • Zachry Department of Civil Engineering Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Texas A&M University 2011

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas