Kirsten Orwig

Title: Atmospheric Perils Specialist
Organization: Swiss Re


Kirsten Orwig joined Swiss Re in 2013 as an Atmospheric Perils Specialist to lead atmospheric hazards risk assessment modeling and outreach. In her short tenure there, she has developed a new approach to tornado risk assessment modeling, served on the American Geophysical Union Natural Hazards Focus Group Executive Board and as Co-Chair of the Natural Hazards Focus Group Planning Committee, has had numerous speaking engagements on topics ranging from climate change and severe weather to catastrophe insurance, co-authored a publication on US Tornadoes: An Examination of the Past to Prepare for the Future, and more. Before joining Swiss Re,  she worked as a Systems Integration Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, leading modeling and forecasting research and public/private partnerships to more efficiently integrate wind and solar power onto the nation’s electrical grid. Prior to NREL, she served as Senior Scientist at CPP Inc., a wind engineering consulting firm in Fort Collins, CO, where she largely focused on modeling wind in complex terrain and tornado risk assessment. She earned a B.S. double-majoring in Chemistry and Physical Science, earned an M.S. in Atmospheric Science, and was awarded an NSF IGERT Fellowship to complete a PhD in Wind Science and Engineering, a multi-disciplinary program incorporating Statistics, Atmospheric Science, Economics, and Structural Engineering. Her research focused on the measurement and characterization of strong winds with implications for building design practices.