UCL News


10 year anniversary: Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre

28 June 2007

Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre (BUHRC) hosted a presentation event at The Old Library, Lloyd's of London this afternoon to mark its tenth anniversary and to celebrate its accomplishments in natural hazards research and disaster management during the past decade.

Provost and Professor McGuire

Over 160 people from across the re/insurance community, humanitarian and disaster relief agencies and academia attended the event to hear presentations from BUHRC Director, Professor Bill McGuire, the BUHRC's Head of Weather and Climate Extremes and lead scientist at the BUHRC-led Tropical Storm Risk forecasting group, Professor Mark Saunders, Benfield's Chief Executive, Grahame Chilton, and UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant.

In his opening presentation, Professor Bill McGuire looked forward to some of the future natural hazard threats that the re/insurance market could face in the next few decades. Professor Mark Saunders then provided an update on recent trends in Atlantic hurricane, Northwest Pacific typhoon and European windstorm frequency and activity together with outlooks for the next 10 years.

Professor Grant spoke of the centre as exemplifying two of the themes that underpin UCL's work: relevance and partnership. First, the centre's rapid application of new research and best practice clearly had a significant impact on people around the world, not least the millions whose lives are in regular jeopardy from the threats posed by natural hazards. Second, Benfield's insights into the concerns and needs of the corporate sector informed the development of the centre's research and education programmes.

The centre was established in 1997, and now includes over 50 researchers and practitioners and comprises three groups: Geological & Geotechnical Hazards (under the leadership of BUHRC Deputy Director, Dr Chris Kilburn), Weather and Climate Extremes (led by Professor Mark Saunders), and Disaster Studies & Management (led by Dr John Twigg). The centre has established a reputation over the past decade as being at the very forefront of natural hazard research and disaster prediction and is the largest multidisciplinary academic hazard research centre in Europe.

To find out more about the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, and read some previous UCL News stories about the centre, use the links at the top of the article.

Image 1: Left to right - Professor Malcolm Grant and Grahame Chilcott (Benfield CEO)

Image 2: Professor Mark Saunders