CASoS Engineering

Theresa Brown

Photograph of Theresa BrownDr. Theresa Brown’s technical expertise is in conceptual model development and decision-making under uncertainty using vulnerability and risk analyses and probabilistic performance assessments. While at Sandia National Laboratories, this expertise has been applied to infrastructure interdependencies vulnerability assessment, probabilistic performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal sites for the Department of Energy, risk assessment methodology development, and analyses for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

From 2005-2010 Theresa served as the Technical and Program Lead for the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) work at Sandia, managing a $10M yearly budget. In these roles she guided and coordinated 8 technical teams and 60 staff. NISAC is a joint program with staff at DHS in the Infrastructure Strategy and Analysis Division, at Los Alamos National Laboratory and at Sandia. NISAC provides analysis in support of infrastructure protection decisions. The Center’s activities include development of improved methods for asset prioritization, providing fast-turn analyses for DHS on an event basis (e.g., potential hurricane impacts), analysis of potential national disasters or incidents in support of planning and policy (e.g., potential impacts of an influenza pandemic and recommendations for preparedness and designing effective strategies for mitigating those impacts).

In 2007, Theresa’s work was acknowledged by Sandia and Lockheed Martin with a NOVA award (the highest that can be given) “For exceptional leadership of a complex multi-technology, multi-laboratory mission, and masterful integration of cross-agency requirements to produce a high-profile program with significant national policy influence." In 2008 she was promoted to Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff, a special promotion reserved for the top eight percent of the laboratory technical staff.

Currently Theresa serves as both the Program Director and the Applications Lead for the Complex Adaptive Systems of Systems (CASoS) Engineering program and remains a science advisor to NISAC. Her deep understanding of infrastructure security challenges and comprehensive knowledge of technical program capabilities enable her to identify/reframe the "real" issues underlying customer requirements and provide analyses resulting in excellent customer recognition and satisfaction. Dr. Brown's negotiation and articulation of customer requirements within both the larger context of national need and the local context of technical capability development enable staff to see the unifying direction of the projects she leads; these qualities have engendered profound respect for her leadership across all project teams.

Theresa has a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, an M.A. in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.S. in Earth Science and Secondary Science Education from Adams State College. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Mexico, the Wellhead Protection Project Coordinator for the City of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, a Geologist for Associated Drilling in Austin, Texas, and the Crew Leader on a National Geographic Society paleontological dig. Theresa has been a Sandian since 1994.


  • Invited member of UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium External Advisory Board, June 2011

  • Invited member of University of New Mexico (UNM) Prevention Research Center Community Advisory Committee, Spring 2011

  • Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories, 2007

  • Lockheed Martin NOVA Award, Full Spectrum Leadership, 2007

  • Sandia Employee Recognition Award, Sandia National Laboratory, for Individual Leadership for the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center, 2007

  • NNSA Certificate of Recognition, National Nuclear Security Administration, for individual dedication and technical contribution to the Greater Confinement Disposal Project, 1998

  • Outstanding Women in Geoscience, Association for Women Geoscientists, Student Award, 1981

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

(Most relevant to current application)

  • Brown, Theresa J., 2008. "Dependency Indicators," Wiley Handbook of Science and Technology for Homeland Security

  • Brown, Theresa,  2007. "Multiple Modeling Approaches and Insights for Critical Infrastructure Protection," in Computational Models of Risks to Infrastructure, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series D: Information and Communication Security, Vol. 13. IOS Press, Amsterdam p. 329.

  • O'Reilly, Gerard, Ahmad Jrad, Theresa Brown and Stephen Conrad, 2006. Critical Infrastructure Analysis of Telecom for Natural Disasters, Networks 2006.

  • Min, H-S. J., Beyeler, W., Brown, T., Young, J. S. and Jones, A., 2006 "Toward Modeling and Simulation of Critical National Infrastructure Interdependencies" IIE Transactions 39 (01).

  • Brown, Theresa J., Beyeler, Walter E., Barton, Dianne, 2004.  Assessing Infrastructure Interdependencies: The Challenge of Risk Analysis for Complex Adaptive Systems, International Journal of Critical Infrastructures Vol. 1, 1, p. 108-117.

  • Webb, E.K., S.H. Conrad and T.J. Brown, 1996, "An Iterative, Probabilistic Environmental Decision Analysis Approach," in Risk Based Decision Making in Water Resources VII,Y. Haimes, D. Moser and E. Stakhiv, ed.s,  American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, p. 249-264.

(Other recent relevant publications)

  • Brown, Theresa J., Glass, Robert J., Beyeler, Walter E., Ames, Arlo L., Linebarger, John M., and Maffitt, S. Louise, 2011, Complex Adaptive System of Systems (CASoS) Engineering Applications Version 1.0, Sandia National Laboratories, SAND2011-8032.

  • Brown, Theresa J., Parks, M.J., Hernandez, J, Jennings, B.J., Kaplan, P.G., and Conrad, S.H., 2010. Uncertainty Quantification and Validation of Combined Hydrological and Macroeconomic Analyses, Sandia Report, SAND2010-6266.

  • Department of Homeland Security, 2007. National Population, Economic and Infrastructure Impacts of Pandemic Influenza with Strategic Recommendations.(T.J. Brown, co- PI with J.P. Smith)

  • Glass, Robert J., Beyeler, Walter E., Conrad, Stephen H., Brodsky, Nancy S., Kaplan Paul G., and Brown, Theresa J., 2003, Defining Research and Development Directions for Modeling and Simulation of Complex, Interdependent Adaptive Infrastructures, Sandia National Laboratories, SAND2003-1778.