UCL IRDR Annual Conference 2012

21 June 2012

UCL Bloomsbury Campus

The IRDR is currently finalising details for our annual conference, which will be held on Thursday 21 June. The conference aims to draw together a varied and dynamic audience from across UCL and beyond to report on, explore and inform research in risk and disaster reduction through thought-provoking lectures and discussions. This year the conference will explore the following themes:

  • Communicating risk
  • Natural hazards and critical infrastructure

The conference will be rounded off with our annual summer party, which will feature poster presentations and provide an opportunity for further interaction and networking. Poster contributions on the theme of “assessing and communicating risk” are invited, with abstracts to be sent to rosanna.smith@ucl.ac.uk by Friday 4th May.


Time Event
09:00 Registration opens

Welcome and introduction

Peter Sammonds (Director, UCL IRDR)


Panel discussion on Risk communication

Chair: Rosanna Smith (Deputy Director, UCL IRDR)

Speakers: Gordon Woo (RMS)

Carina Fearnley (Aberystwyth University)

Anita Friend (Cabinet Office)

Helene Joffe (UCL Psychology)

10:50-11:20 Break and refreshments

Natural hazards and critical infrastructure

Chair: Tiziana Rosetta (UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering)

Speakers and panel: Katsu Goda ( Bristol University civil engineering)

Mark Offord (Sellafield engineer)

Farnaz Arefian (UCL DPU)

Virginia Murray (Health protection agency)

Speaker biographies

Dr Katsu Goda

Dr Katsu Goda

Katsuichiro Goda is Lecturer in Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, UK, and is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, Canada. His research is focused on probabilistic seismic hazard/risk analysis and catastrophic earthquake risk management.

His high-quality research has been recognized internationally through the NSERC PDF award (Canada), Humboldt PDF award (Germany), SSA Travel Grant (USA), and Kajima Research Grant (Japan). Recently, he has won a 2011 Philip Leverhulme Prize from the Leverhulme Trust and the 2012 Charles F. Richter Early Career Award from the Seismological Society of America. He has been recently selected as a member of the EEFIT reconnaissance mission for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, funded by the EPSRC (EP/I01778X/1). He has authored 45 peer-reviewed papers in leading international journals and 18 international conference papers, and has an H-index of 10.

Specifically, Goda’s research interests cover a wide range of multidisciplinary topics related to earthquake risk: (i) strong ground motion prediction, (ii) probabilistic seismic hazard/risk analysis, (iii) cost-effective and socially acceptable seismic design methodology, and (iv) risk assessment of spatially distributed structures. Unique features of his research include the optimization of seismic design from a life-cycle cost perspective by taking risk attitudes of decision makers and public safety into account. In particular, one of his innovative and significant achievements is the development of statistical models of spatially correlated seismic excitations. They constitute the essential part in extending conventional seismic hazard/risk analysis for a single site to that for multiple sites, and open an avenue to many important applications, such as earthquake insurance portfolio analysis. These are the pioneering works on this topic, and have made a high international impact.

Professor Virginia Murray

Professor Virginia Murray

Professor Virginia Murray is Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the Health Protection Agency and a Visiting Professor in Health Protection at MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health at Imperial College and King’s College London. Virginia qualified in medicine and has considerable experience in advising on toxicological and environmental public health aspects of response to acute and chronic chemical and extreme event incidents. In heading the new Extreme Events and Health Protection section, she is taking forward work on evidence base information and advice on flooding, heat, cold, volcanic ash, and other extreme weather and natural hazards events. Virginia has been the UK Government member on the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Scientific and Technical Committee since 2008. Since 2009 she has been a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, published in March 2012. She is also a member of the Hyogo Framework for Action post-2015 Advisory Group, for the UN ISDR since 2012 to the launch of the new UN Disaster Reduction Instrument in 2015.

Mark Offord

Mark Offord

Mark Offord is an engineer working in the Civil, Structural and Architectural Department of Sellafield Ltd. Mark is a chartered Civil Engineer with over ten years’ experience of designing, assessing, constructing, and decommissioning nuclear facilities. He has specialised in design, focusing on structural design assessment and consideration of extreme environmental events particularly seismic. He is also experienced in the study of operational faults and hazard analysis. His experience includes involvement in the production of new, and updating existing Nuclear Plant Safety Cases. These document the basis on which a plant has been shown to be safe; and that risks have been reduced to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). He recently represented Sellafield Ltd on the EEFIT mission to Japan following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, seeking to improve the understanding of the performance of structures in response to such environmental events.

Dr Tiziana Rossetto

Dr Tiziana Rossetto

Dr Tiziana Rossetto is the Director of EPICentre, a Reader in Earthquake Engineering and Programme Director for the MSc in Earthquake Engineering with Disaster Management. Although trained as a structural earthquake engineer, Tiziana believes in an interdisciplinary approach to earthquake related risk research. Her work in EPICentre, (in collaboration with various industrial and academic partners), focuses on investigating the effects of tsunami on coastal infrastructure, developing methods of predicting building and infrastructure damage in earthquakes, and using new technologies for disaster relief and mitigation purposes. Tiziana is a committee member of the UK Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics (SECED) and Chairperson of the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT), with which she has undertaken a number of field missions to assess damage to buildings and infrastructure in earthquake zones (e.g. for the 2009 Aquila Italy earthquake, 2008 Wenchuan China Earthquake and 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami).

13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:00 Keynote lecture - Professor Christopher Whitty (Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for International Development)

IRDR General Meeting

Professor Peter Sammonds (Director, UCL IRDR)

16:00-16:30 Break and refreshments
16:30-17:30 In conversation with Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex, on Uncertainty in assessing environmental risks
17:30-19:30 Reception and poster presentations.
19:30 Close

IRDR General Meeting
Please send agenda items to Peter Sammonds (p.sammonds@ucl.ac.uk).

Poster presentations
Poster contributions on the theme of “assessing and communicating risk” are invited, with abstracts to be sent to rosanna.smith@ucl.ac.uk by Friday 4th May.

The conference will be held in the Pearson Lecture Theatre, which is located in the northwest corner of the main UCL quadrangle. Registration and breaks will be held in Pearson room G17.

Past Annual conference

To find out more about the previous conference please visit the event page for more details on the content and format.

Page last modified on 21 feb 12 14:14 by Lucy Stanbrough