UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


IRDR Monthly Seminar: SAGE – The UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies

11 February 2020, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

Helicopter hovering over a breached dam

National Resilience Policy Advisor and IRDR alumna Olivia Harris discusses the role of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in emergency management, using practical examples such as the potential breach of the Toddbrook Reservoir.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Peter Sammonds


Room G21 Ramsay Lecture Theatre
Christopher Ingold (Chemistry) Building,
20 Gordon Street,
United Kingdom

The UK Government Office for Science provides independent science advice to the Prime Minister and Government, to ensure that government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence, including during emergencies. This seminar will provide a brief overview of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and how SAGE fits into wider emergency management mechanisms within central Government. Olivia Harris will also be presenting a number of different SAGE activations for discussion including the response to the potential breach of the Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire in August 2019.

Speaker: Ms Olivia Harris, National Resilience Policy Adviser, Government Office for Science

Portrait of Olivia Harris
Olivia joined the Government Office for Science in early 2019. Here she leads on Natural Hazards, working with different Government Departments and Science Agencies. Since joining GO-Science, her team has responded to a variety of serious incidents. She joined the Civil Service in 2017, working in the Ministry of Defence. Olivia is an IRDR Alumnus of the Risk and Disaster Science MSc, graduating in 2017. Previously, she studied Physical Geography at the University of Sussex. She has also worked in Crisis Management in the UK banking industry.

Find our more about the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)

Image: Whaley Bridge dam collapse: Toddbrook Reservoir at risk  (Credit: Roland Harris AFP/ Getty Images)