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The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center celebrates the achievement of one of our tenants, Virginia Tech Geosciences. Dr. Manoochehr Shirzaei, one of the leading researchers in the geophysics field, received an unexpected email inviting him to serve as a senior research fellow for the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

“He will lead a new initiative on land subsidence, which will improve the UN member states’ understanding of an overlooked anthropogenic [environmental change caused by human action or inaction] problem that is known as a ticking bomb threatening public infrastructure, human assets, and livelihood around the world”, said director of the institute, Kavah Madani.

Recent Findings

Shirzarei and his team of researchers at VT’s Earth Observation and Innovation Lab measure occurrences of land subsidence spanning several years. This information is used to clarify projections of potential natural disaster and flood impact over the next 100 years.

Recently, the team demonstrated the East Coast’s increased vulnerability to floods. They also expressed that sections of the Chesapeake Bay are drastically sinking and not treated as factors in government planning.

United Nations University

The United Nations University is formed from 13 institutes in 12 countries and is headquartered in Japan. According to, the collective goal of the institutes is to resolve global issues through collaborative research and education.

Congratulations to Dr. Shirzaei on this achievement!

Earth Observation and Innovation Lab Affiliates at Virginia Tech:

  • Virginia Tech National Security Institute
  • Virginia Tech Center for Space Science and Engineering Research
  • Virginia Tech Global Change Center
  • Virginia Tech Center for Coastal Studies
  • Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences

As originally posted in Virginia Tech News.