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Published: Dec 16, 2013 11:07:36 AM

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Phone: 02031081101

Ext: 51101

Office location: Rm 38, 2nd floor, South Wing, UCL Main Quadrangle

IRDR Fourth Annual Conference

Publication date: Mar 13, 2014 10:50:00 AM

Start: Jun 18, 2014 9:00:00 AM
End: Jun 18, 2014 7:00:00 PM

Location: Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre and South Cloisters

A day of thought-provoking discussions, talks by experts and presentations of the latest research in risk and disaster reduction, aimed at researchers and practioners, NGOs and City professionals, and the interested public. Wednesday 18th June 09:00 - 20:00, UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre and South Cloisters.

IRDR Launch Event Audience

Conference Themes

Cascading Crises

Panel Discussion

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the disasters of conflict, refugees, rising food and fuel prices and drought as a cascading crisis sweeping the Sahel. But cascading crises are not new: the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, with fire sweeping the city fanned by an ill-timed cyclone, caused unprecedented damage but also political change; while a cascade of crises led to the nuclear incident at Fukushima. This session will interrogate the interaction between physical phenomena and society and the implications for engineering and health of cascading crises.

Chair: Prof Peter Sammonds (UCL IRDR)

Panellists: Dr Dina D'Ayla (UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering; Prof Sarah Curtis, Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience, Durham University; Dr Hayley Watson, Trilateral Research and Consulting

The Role of Women in Disaster Risk Reduction

Women are disproportionately affected by disasters and largely excluded from decision making in disaster risk reduction (DRR).  The UN ISDR is setting the agenda for a new International Framework for Action for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2) for 2015-2015. The UCL IRDR aims to influence their goal of placing women at the centre of DRR policy making and practice.​ Speakers in this session will address how good policy and theory in this area can be translated into practice.

Managing Risks in Business and Government

Dr Dougal Goodman, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Science and Technology and former head of safety at BP and former Deputy Director of the British Antarctic Survey, will be in conversation with BBC Science Correspondent Pallab Ghosh on his lifetime career Managing Risks both in Business and in Government, and give his insights on responding to the next wave of challenges.

Building Resilience of Communities and Infrastructure

This poster session, featuring the latest research from across the UK, will cover understanding the hazards, understanding and assessing their impacts, and how to build both societal and physical resilience to these hazards. 

Call For Abstracts:

Call for abstracts for the poster session on, "Building resilience of communities and infrastructure to single and cascading hazards" is now open. We invite submissions relating to understanding the hazards, understanding and assessing their impacts, and on how to build both societal and physical resilience to these hazards. Abstracts should include a title, author names and affiliations, and main text no longer than 300 words, preferably without references. Please submit to Dr Gordon Ross ( by Monday 18th May.

Conference Speakers Include:

Keynote: Dr Robert MacFarlane, Cabinet Office

Assistant Director, Resilience Training & Doctrine, Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Cabinet Office

Rob MacFarlane is Assistant Director (Training and Doctrine) in the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, National Security Secretariat, Cabinet Office. Within the Cabinet Office, Rob has a range of responsibilities, including supporting doctrinal coherence in UK civil protection and assurance of the content of all courses run by the Serco-managed Emergency Planning College (EPC). Additionally he is responsible for the programme of Central Government Emergency Response Training in Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR), established following the London Bombings in 2005, supports the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP), and has oversight of research engagement in the field of civil protection. Rob has a PhD from the University of Aberdeen and is currently studying part time, sponsored by the Cabinet Office, for a Doctorate in Business Administration at the University of Durham, focusing on decision support for strategic crisis management in COBR.​

Dr Dougal Goodman, Foundation for Science and Technology

Dougal Goodman

Dr Dougal Goodman OBE FREng, is Chief Executive of The Foundation for Science and Technology, a charity that works between both Houses of Parliament, Whitehall, business and the research community to promote debate about policy issues that have a science, engineering, technology or medical element (

He is also non-executive Chairman of the Lighthill Risk Network, a consortium of insurance companies working to bridge the gap between the insurance market and the research community and does consulting work on strategy and risk for the marine insurance market. He is a former Deputy Director of the British Antarctic Survey and a general manager for BP where he also worked as head of safety for the company, in the insurance department, as operations manager for the Magnus oil field and in strategy and planning.

He has served on a wide range of committees including currently the Advisory Board of the Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network and the Public Affairs Committee of The Royal Academy of Engineering. He is a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Statistical Society, the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He is a visiting professor at UCL IRDR. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2012.

Dougal will be in conversation with Pallab Ghosh on "Managing Risks in Business and Government" at 4pm.

Pallab Ghosh, BBC Science Correspondent

Pallab Ghosh portrait

Pallab Ghosh is currently a science correspondent for BBC news, reporting on scientific advances in areas of public interest. He joined the BBC in 1989 after beginning his journalism career in 1984. Upon joining the BBC he worked as a general news producer on BBC Radio’s The World at One and then became a senior producer on the Today Programme.

Ghosh has previously been named the BT Technology Journalist of the Year. He was President of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) from 2007 to 2009, a not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation, representing global science journalists’ associations. He is a former Chairman of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW). He was part of the BBC News science team that won a Sir Arthur C Clarke award for their coverage of stories relating to space in 2009.​

Pallab will be in conversation with Dougal Goodman on "Managing Risks in Business and Government" at 4pm.

Eventbrite - IRDR Fourth Annual Conference

This meeting is free to attend, but you need to register.

  Conference Programme
09:00-09:20 Registration
09:20-09:30 Welcome
09:30-11:00 Cascading Crises Panel Discussion
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 The Role of Women in Disaster Risk Reduction
13:00-14:30 Lunch
14:30-15:30 Keynote Address
15:30-16:00 Coffee Break
16:00-17:00 In Conversation on Managing Risks in Business and Government
17:00-17:30 Research Poster Introductions
17:30-20:00 Poster Session and IRDR Summer Party

Annual Conference 2014 map
Locations: The event will take place in the Gustave Tuck lecture theatre, (2nd floor, blue circle), and in the South Cloisters (blue circle)

 Conference Convenor: Rosanna Smith