Contact IRDR


Phone: 02031081101

Ext: 51101

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

Research Projects

The IRDR has supported projects, fellowships and studentships from the Provost’s funding as well as wining £2,566k funding from research councils, industry, the humanitarian sector, partner research centres and the Europe Commission (EC) for research and knowledge exchange projects in risk and disaster reduction. Some highlights are given below.

Arctic Adaptation for Climate Change: Sea Ice Dynamics and the Role of Broken Ice in Multi-scale Deformation

As the Arctic warms, the extent of the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover is diminishing but also the proportion of thinner seasonal first-year sea ice is increasing. The impact of the former will mean increased activity in the Arctic Ocean, particularly resource extraction and shipping (both freight and cruise liners), while posing challenges to indigenous people and to wildlife. The impact of the latter will mean greater deformation of the sea ice cover as it is thinner, with generation of broken ice at all scales, which will influence the sea ice dynamics. Understanding the evolving sea ice thickness distribution and sea ice dynamics with on-going climate change is therefore crucial if the impacts of climate change are to be understood and adaptation strategies can be implemented.

For more information visit the project information page

Increasing Resilience to Environmental Hazards in Border Conflict Zones (Ladakh, India)

This is a foundation research proposal that focuses on building resilience to multiple environmental hazards through understanding the hazards drivers and the preparedness of culturally diverse resident and migrant communities with heightened vulnerabilities in frontier zones. The research will focus on Ladakh, northern India.

For more information visit the project information page.

MANTRA: Increasing maternal and child health resilience before, during and after disasters using mobile technology in Nepal Perinatal women and their newborns are amongst the most vulnerable in disasters when access to healthcare advice and services may be reduced or non-existent. This project investigates building women's resilience by improving access to information and communications before, during and after environmental disasters.

For more information visit the project webpage

Water risk and its management in Bolivia’s Altiplano is a joint research project between CAFOD (the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development), the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre (ABUHC) and the IRDR, launched in 2012 and exceptionally jointly funded by CAFOD for £96k. Dr Stephen Edwards (IRDR) is the Principal Investigator. Dr Megan French has been appointed for 3 years as IRDR Research Associate. She holds research degrees in environmental science and marine chemistry. An associated UCL-CAFOD Impact PhD studentship and NERC CASE studentship will both start in 2013.

Water risk in Bangladesh IRDR Research Fellow Mohammad Shamsudduha (see below) has joined a research project “Groundwater resources in the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB): resilience to climate change and pumping” awarded to the British Geological Survey by UKaid. The objective is to assess groundwater resources in the IGB and to strengthen the evidence base linking groundwater, climate population and human abstraction of the basin. Currently, the UCL research team (including Dr Richard Taylor, Geography, and Dr William Burgess, Earth Sciences) is conducting extensive field research in Bangladesh and West Bengal.

Probability, Uncertainty and Risk in the Environment is a UCL-led 4-year NERC consortium project (funded for £2 million) involving UK university and industrial partners. Richard Chandler (Statistical Science) is the Principal Investigator. Dr Simon Day, a leading authority on tsunami, and Joakim Beck, a statistician in natural hazards, were appointed as IRDR Research Associates. The project links to statistical modelling of tsumami by IRDR Executive member Dr Serge Guillas and partnership with Tohoku University.

Earthquake Hazard in the Apennines, Italy. Newly appointed IRDR Lecturer Joanna Faure Walker has joined a major NERC multi-partner international project, led by IRDR Executive member Professor Gerald Roberts. She has already secured additional funding and is supervising two research students. David Alexander, IRDR Professor, joined the EEFIT Field Mission to evaluate recovery following the L’Aquila earthquake of 2009.

Cascading Crises David Alexander is co-leading a new pan-European, multi-partner, EC project on cascading crises funded for euro 4.75 million.

Arctic Risks programme aims to develop our understanding of sea ice mechanics and  engineering problems in the context of environmental and societal risks in the Arctic. Ben Lishman was appointed IRDR Research Fellow (see below). We have signed a collaboration agreement with the NTNU, Norway, to support an IRDR Impact PhD Studentship and another with Total (France) for an Impact Studentship to work on arctic navigation. In April 2013 we hosted an international cross-disciplinary IRDR Arctic Risk Forum, addressing Arctic engineering risks and their implications, engaging with academics, engineers and professionals from the City. In May 2013 we hosted an International Rubble Ice Workshop for SAMCoT (see below).

Earthquake Hazard Assessment using statistical physics approaches is a collaboration between IRDR Visiting Professor Filippos Vallianatos and IRDR Director Peter Sammonds, involving analysis of seismicity data, mathematical modelling and laboratory experiments. It is substantially funded by the Greek Scholarships Foundation, TEI Crete and the IRDR, supporting four IRDR PhD research students.

Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre, directed by Dr Christopher Kilburn, are conducting extensive research and knowledge exchange projects with a City focus. An ABUHC Research Associate and an Impact Student will be appointed very soon.

International partnerships. We also have international research partnerships with Russian, Bolivian, Japanese, Greek, Norwegian, and Indian partners. Find out more