Seismic risk assessment of complex urban critical infrastructure networks for the insurance sector

The project aims to develop a method for assessing the likely damage to critical urban infrastructure caused by earthquakes and consequent disruption. This requires in depth analysis of a range of earthquake hazards and earthquake engineering investigation of different infrastructure types, as well as the use of systems engineering and network modelling methods. Furthermore, a major factor in the risk assessment of infrastructure is the existence of interdependencies between systems, which add significantly to the complexity of the analysis. This means they are often ignored, which can lead to overestimation of resilience and underestimation of economic impacts. This research will produce an overarching methodology for infrastructure risk assessment, including interdependencies, that can be applied globally but uses Christchurch, New Zealand as a case study to demonstrate its implementation. The final aim is to support Willis and the wider international financial industry in their strategy toward the establishment of smart financial instruments dedicated to urban critical infrastructure. The work will be in line with other projects in the EPICentre research group, such as the work on volcanic ash effects on infrastructure and the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) funded vulnerability project. It will also be linked to the research programmes undertaken by other members of the Willis Research Network related to hazards, infrastructure, urban resilience and risk.

Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (£60k), Willis Research Network (£40k)

Partners: University of Canterbury, New Zealand

EPICentre staff: Ingranil Kongar, Tiziana Rossetto, Dina D’Ayala