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About

About

Abílio Pereira Pacheco has a PhD in the “Doctoral Program in Industrial Engineering and Management” at FEUP with Professor João Claro as advisor; is research (pos-doc) at INESC TEC, where he is working in flexible design under uncertainty applied to forest fire management systems (in the development of FIRE-ENGINE – the only Engineering Systems project approved in MIT Portugal Program calls); and he is Graduate Teaching Assistant (“assistente convidado”) at FEUP, since 2012, lecturing on “Economics and Management”, “Operations Management”, “Management”, and “Statistics for Management and Policy Research”.

In 2012, during the fall, he was a visiting student with the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. There, he worked with Professor Richard de Neufville, Ross Collins and Hèctor Fornés, and also took the courses “Science, Technology and Public Policy”, “System Dynamics”, “Engineering Systems Analysis for Design” and “Risk and Decision Analysis” with Professors Kenneth A. Oye, Anjali Sastry, John Sterman, Richard de Neufville and Mort Webster, respectively.

He won two awards in recent years, a FEUP Merit Scholarship (2010) and a University of Porto Merit Scholarship (2012).

He has an MSc in Services Engineering and Management (FEUP) completed in 2011, and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics (2009). Prior to returning to the University, he was a project manager and later a manager and director at Seara.com (2000-2006) of which he was a founding partner, and director of the Chip7 S.A. Corporate Business Division (2006-2008).

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Publications

2016

The role of fire-suppression force in limiting the spread of extremely large forest fires in Portugal

Authors
Fernandes, PM; Pacheco, AP; Almeida, R; Claro, J;

Publication
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH

Abstract
Large forest fires are notorious for their environmental and socio-economic impacts and are assigned a disproportionately high percentage of the fire management budget. This study addresses extremely large fires (ELF, C2500 ha) in Portugal (2003-2013). We analysed the effect of fire-suppression force variation on ELF duration, size and growth rate, versus the effect of the concomitant fire environment (namely fuel and weather) conditions. ELF occurred in highly flammable landscapes and typically were impelled by extreme fire weather conditions. Allocation of suppression resources (normalized per unit of burned area or perimeter length) was disparate among fires, suggesting inadequate incident management. Fire-suppression effort did not affect time to containment modelled by survival analysis. Regression tree analysis indicated ELF spread to be negatively affected by higher fire-suppression resourcing, less severe fire weather, lower time to containment and higher presence of <9-year-old fuels, by decreasing order of importance; regional variability was relevant. Fire environment-to-fire suppression ratios of influence were 3: 1 for fire size and 1: 1 for fire growth rate, respectively, explaining 76 and 60 % of the existing variability. Results highlight the opportunistic nature of large-fire containment. To minimize the area burned by ELF, management and operational improvements leading to faster containment are recommended, rather than higher fire-suppression resourcing; more effective identification and exploration of containment opportunities are preferable to the accumulation of suppression resources.

2015

Cohesive fire management within an uncertain environment: A review of risk handling and decision support systems

Authors
Pacheco, AP; Claro, J; Fernandes, PM; de Neufville, R; Oliveira, TM; Borges, JG; Rodrigues, JC;

Publication
FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT

Abstract
Wildfire management has been struggling in recent years with escalating devastation, expenditures, and complexity. Given the copious factors involved and the complexity of their interactions, uncertainty in the outcomes is a prominent feature of wildfire management strategies, at both policy and operational levels. Improvements in risk handling and in risk-based decision support tools have therefore a key role in addressing these challenges. In this paper, we review key systems created to support wildfire management decision-making at different levels and scales, and describe their evolution from an initial focus on landscape-level fire growth simulation and burn probability assessment, to the incorporation of exposure and economic loss potential (allowing the translation of ignition likelihood, fire environment terrain, fuels, and weather and suppression efficacy into potential fire effects), the integration with forest management and planning, and more recently, to developments in the assessment of values at risk, including real-time assessment. This evolution is linked to a progressive widening of the scope of usage of these systems, from an initial more limited application to risk assessment, to the subsequent inclusion of functionality enabling their Utilization in the context of risk management, and more recently, to their explicit casting in the broader societal context of risks and decisions, from a risk governance perspective. This joint evolution can be seen as the result of a simultaneous pull from methodological progresses in risk handling, and push from technological progress in wildfire management decision support tool, as well as more broadly in computational power. We identify the key benefits and challenges in the development and adoption of these systems, as well as future plausible research trends.

2014

Flexible planning of the investment mix in a forest fire management system: spatially-explicit intra-annual optimization, considering prevention, pre-suppression, suppression, and escape costs

Authors
Pacheco, AP; Claro, J;

Publication
Advances in forest fire research

Abstract

2014

Addressing trade-offs among fuel management scenarios through a dynamic and spatial integrated approach for enhanced decision-making in eucalyptus forest

Authors
Botequim, B; Ager, A; Pacheco, AP; Oliveira, T; Claro, J; Fernandes, PM; Borges, JG;

Publication
Advances in forest fire research

Abstract

2014

Simulation analysis of the impact of ignitions, rekindles, and false alarms on forest fire suppression

Authors
Pacheco, AP; Claro, J; Oliveira, T;

Publication
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH-REVUE CANADIENNE DE RECHERCHE FORESTIERE

Abstract
Rekindles and false alarms are phenomena that have a significant presence in the Portuguese forest fire management system and an important impact on suppression resources in particular and fire management resources in general. In this paper, we propose a discrete-event simulation model of a forest fire suppression system designed to analyze the joint impact of ignitions, rekindles, and false alarms on the performance of the system. The model is applied to a case study of the district of Porto, Portugal, for the critical period of the forest fire season, between July and September 2010. We study the behavior of the system's point of collapse, comparing the real base scenario with a benchmark scenario built with reference values for rekindles and false alarms, and also as a function of the number of fire incidents, considering historical variations. The results of the analysis are useful for operational decision-making and provide relevant information on the trade-off between prevention and suppression efforts.