Rodrigo Costa

Rodrigo Costa
Assistant Professor
Location: E7 6412
Phone: 519-888-4567 x41533
Status: Active


Prof. Rodrigo Costa is an assistant professor at the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Prof. Costa's research investigates how communities' physical, economic, and social systems interact to create disaster risk and exacerbate socioeconomic and racial inequalities. Beyond academic boundaries, Rodrigo has collaborated with emergency managers, urban planners, resilience officers, and insurance companies to advance the state of knowledge in disaster risk and subsequently distill that knowledge down to decisions that foster urban resilience.
Prof. Costa works in the interface between engineering, planning, and social sciences. His research focuses on developing high-fidelity, high-detail regional risk models to simulate the impact of disasters on urban communities. Prof. Costa is interested in object-oriented models, agent-based simulation, hazard and exposure modelling, machine learning, optimization, and multi-stakeholder decision-making to inform urban resilience planning. Prof. Costa received the 2021 Best Graduate Paper Award from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his contributions to the holistic simulation of disaster impacts on communities.

Research Interests

  • Urban Resilience
  • Disasters
  • Agent-based Simulation
  • Regional Risk Assessment


  • 2019, Doctorate Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • 2015, Master of Applied Science Civil Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2012, Bachelor of Applied Science Civil Engineering, Western Parana State University, Brazil


  • 2021 Best Graduate Paper Award by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute


  • SYDE 181 - Physics 1: Statics
    • Taught in 2023
  • SYDE 599 - Special Topics in Systems Design Engineering
    • Taught in 2023, 2024

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Wang, C., Costa, R., & Baker, J. (2022, in press). Simulating Post-earthquake Temporary Housing Needs for Displaced Households and Out-of-town Contractors. Earthquake Spectra.
  • Costa, R., Wang, C., & Baker, J. (2022). Integrating Place Attachment into Housing Recovery Simulations to Assess Population Loss. Natural Hazards Review, v. 23(4).
  • Alisjahbana, I., Moura-Cook, A., Costa, R., & Kiremidjian, A. S. (2022). An Agent-based Financing Model for Post-Earthquake Housing Recovery: Quantifying Inequitable Recovery Across Income Groups. Earthquake Spectra, 38(2):1254-1282
  • Costa, R., & Baker, J. (2021). SMOTE-LASSO Model of Business Recovery Over Time - Case Study of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. Natural Hazards Review, v. 22.
  • Costa, R., & Haukaas, T. (2021). The Effect of Resource Constraints on Housing Recovery Simulations. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, v. 25.
  • Costa, R., Haukaas, T., & Chang, S. (2021). Agent-based Model for Post-earthquake Housing Recovery. Earthquake Spectra, v. 37(1). Winner of 2021 EERI Graduate Paper Award.
  • Costa, R., Haukaas, T., & Chang, S. (2020). Predicting Population Displacements After Earthquakes. Journal of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.
  • Costa, R., Haukaas, T., Chang, S., & Dowlatabadi, H. (2019). Object-oriented Model of the Seismic Vulnerability of the Fuel Distribution Network in Coastal British Columbia. Journal of Reliability Engineering and Systems Safety, v. 186.
  • Costa, R., & Sagrilo, L. V. S. (2018). Statistical Uncertainty Analysis in Time-Domain Fatigue Assessment of Steel Risers. Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, v. 140.

In The News

Graduate studies