David Mendonca

Associate Professor
David Mendonca

Professor Mendonça's research centers on the study of the cognitive processes that underlie human decision making in the management of critical infrastructure systems with a focus on understanding and supporting decision making in high consequence, non-routine, time-pressured situations. He utilizes laboratory and field-based methods to collect data on the physical state of systems in the built environment, and the psychological state of humans operating in relation to those systems. His work has led to the development of statistical and computational models to explain decision maker behavior in the field and has translated these results into implications for practice and policy. He has pioneered new technologies providing cognitive support in solving sequential multi-criteria decisions for these constituents and developed novel statistical models that have explained variability in cognition, behavior and communication among individuals and collectives in the hours following disruptive events.

Contact Information: 

Phone: (518)276-4222
Email: mendod@rpi.edu
Web: http://homepages.rpi.edu/~mendod

Focus Area: 
human factors, cognitive engineering, decision support systems, applications in emergency response and critical infrastructure management.
Sample Research Projects: 
  • Linking Team Fluidity to Organizational Performance in Team-Centric Organizations (National Science Foundation) The central goal of this research is to extend and test theories that link team-level phenomena to organizational outcomes, using as data records of the removal of debris following a large-scale tornado storm in the State of Alabama in 2011. This work is in collaboration with Martha Grabowski.
  • Community - Response and Resilience to the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake (National Science Foundation). This work is investigating community-level response to the 1755 Lisbon earthquake (in collaboration with Ines Amorim of Univ. Porto, Delta Sousa of LNEC, and Maria Louisa Sousa of LNEC).
  • Network Improvisation in Post-disaster Debris Removal Operations (National Science Foundation). This work is investigating the relationship between improvisation and performance for the post-Sandy debris removal mission in New York State.
Selected Publications: 
  1. D. Mendonça, G. Webb, C. Butts and J.D. Brooks (2017) "Cognitive Correlates of Improvised Behavior in Disaster Response: The Cases of the Murrah Building and the World Trade Center," Journal of Crisis and Contingency Management.
  2. D. Mendonça, J.D. Brooks (2014). "Linking Team Composition to Team Performance: An Application to Post-Disaster Debris Removal Operations," IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems 44(3) 315-325.
  3. Osatuyi, B. and D. Mendonça (2013). "Group Information Foraging under Time Constraint: An Application to Emergency Response Organizations." Information Processing and Management 49(1) 169-178.
  4. Brooks, J.D., D. Mendonça (2014). "Equity-Effectiveness Tradeoff in the Allocation of Flows in Closed Queueing Networks." 2014 IEEE International Systems Conference.