UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Key Achievements

The key achievements of the IRDR in 2019-20 were:

  • IRDR became UCL’s newest academic department following a decision by UCL Council.
  • Welcomed the appointments of Dr Punam Yadav and Dr Jessica Field as Lecturers in Humanitarian Studies.
  • BSc Global Humanitarian Studies new degree programme approved by UCL Education Committee starting in 2021.
  • Won over £8 million of competitive research funding form UKRI, Belmont Forum, the Royal Society and British Academy.
  • IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster launched the Gender Responsive Resilience and Intersectionality in Policy and Practice (GRRIPP) project.
  • Professor Patty Kostkova was named 'Innovator of the Year' at the Computing Women in IT Excellence Awards 2019.
  • Moved teaching online in response to the Covid-19 crisis while supporting research and knowledge exchange.
  • Responded to the crisis with initiatives including the IRDR Covid-19 Laboratory, #MyLockdownJournal and the Europeanwide perceptions survey: ‘COVID-19 Emergency, Recovery and Improvement’
  • Welcomed the promotion to professor of Patty Kostkova and Ilan Kelman, the appointments of Drs Susanne Luedtke, Eija Meriläinen and Virginie Le Masson as research fellows, Georgiana Birjovanu and Philip Baker as research staff, Sarah Jeal and Nadia Jackson as professional staff.
  • Congratulated Janto Hess, Rory Walshe and Nathanael Harwood on graduating with PhDs, while welcoming Xiao (Shaw) Han, Xuanrong Wang, Jeremy Reynolds, Bernice Mufor Nkekeh and Aisha Aldosery as new IRDR research students.
  • 1000+ participants attended IRDR events.
  • Published over 70 peer-reviewed academic papers and book chapters in 2019-20.

    Some of our key achievements from earlier years include:

    • Launched the IRDR Centre for Digital Public Health in Emergencies.
    • Welcomed the appointments of Dr Gianluca Pescaroli as Lecturer in Business Continuity and Organisational Resilience and Dr Bayes Ahmed as Lecturer in Risk and Disaster Science.
    • Welcomed Amira Osman, Nurmala Nurdin, Jessica Field, Roberto Gentile, Anwar Musah and Akhtar Alam as research staff; and Anjali Saran, Kathinka Evertsen and Xiaojun Zhang as visiting researchers.
    • Congratulated Nurmala Nurdin, Gianluca Pescaroli, Alexandra Tsioulou and Sally Scourfield on graduating with PhDs, while welcoming Mohamed Alwahedi and Mater Almehmadi as new IRDR research students.
    • Proposed new cross-UCL undergraduate humanitarian degree for launch in 2021.
    • Won Commonwealth Scholarships and set up IRDR scholarships for masters students from partner universities in China.
    • Ran first masters residential field course to Southwest England including UK Met Office, Hinkley nuclear plant and flood risk.
    • 700 participants attended IRDR events.
    • Launched monthly Gender and Disaster seminar series.
    • Undertook fieldwork in the UK, Italy, Svalbard, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, Nigeria, New Zealand, Brazil and the Philippines.
    • Won funding from the Royal Society to set up landslide early warning system for Rohingya refugees and host communities.
    • UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health published with IRDR contributing on climate change and disaster risks.
    • Published over 70 academic papers and book chapters in 2018–19.
    • Launched the UCL Humanitarian Institute with a Town Hall Meeting in October 2016 and the first Humanitarian Summit in June 2017.
    • Welcomed the appointment of Maureen Fordham, Patty Kostkova, Bayes Ahmed and Sonja Mueller as research staff; Katerina Stavrianaki as Teaching Fellow, Yasmine Boudiaf as Finance/IT Officer; Ben Wisner as Visiting Professor; and the promotion of Joanna Faure Walker and Carmine Galasso to Senior Lecturers.
    • Congratulated Luke Wedmore and Serena Tagliacozzo on graduating with PhDs, while welcoming Mark Shortt, Patrizia Duda, Kholoud Mohsin Al Mufarraji, Saqar Alzaabi and Michiko Shinta as new IRDR students.
    • Launched the new PhD Risk and Disaster Reduction.
    • Launched the new MSc Risk and Disaster Science.
    • Won Motorola Solutions Foundation Scholarships for masters students.
    • PhD student Amy Chadderton was a finalist at L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science.
    • Undertook fieldwork in the Italy, Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nigeria, New Zealand, Mexico and Chile.
    • Our researchers joined the EEFIT post-earthquake disaster mission to Italy.
    • Published over 70 papers and book chapters in 2016-17. 
    • Joined the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health.
    • Expansion of the IRDR and Humanitarian Institute prioritised in the 2017 Faculty Strategic Plan presented to the Provost.
    • Attracted £213k complementary funding from the MAPS Faculty and Departments
    • UCL co-leads the euro 4.75 million Cascading Crises European project
    • Launched a new MRes in Risk and Disaster Reduction and an MSc in Risk, Disaster and Resilience
    • Achieved impact for UCL research and reports in government, the City and the global media and through knowledge exchange with partners, internationally
    • Joined the UNISDR Science and Technology Conference in Geneva, and the World Bank GFDRR Understanding Risk Conference in Venice
    • At the invitation of the Governor of Fukushima, four IRDR PhD and MSc students went with David Alexander to visit schools, towns and the nuclear plant
    • Developed a web-GIS based landslide early warning system for Bangladesh for which Bayes Ahmed was awarded the 'ICT Development Award'