At the University of Maryland, Deb Niemeier's research targets aspects of the built environment that give rise to structural inequality, particularly within the context of climate change. She currently serves as Co-Director of the Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI), established in 2018 to help foster solutions to interdisciplinary transportation problems.
Her current research examines the effects of climate change in disasters, particularly fire prone areas. She is interested in understanding how the formal and informal governance processes in urban planning shape community resilience in the face of disasters. She has also worked in the areas of transit, housing and air quality. Her work in air quality has shaped state and federal policy. She is currently working on the micro-scale effects of localized vehicle emissions in poor and vulnerable communities.
In 2014, she was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for “distinguished contributions to energy and environmental science study and policy development.” In 2015, she was named a Guggenheim Fellow for foundational work on pro bono service in engineering. In 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
National Academy of Engineering, Guggenheim, AAAS Fellow