UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


IRDR monthly seminar: Natech risks - When the natural and technological worlds collide

16 March 2021, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

Collapsed buildings and rubble

What are Natech accidents and can they be prevented? We welcome Dr Elisabeth Krausmann, scientific project officer at the European Commission Joint Research Centre to introduce the concept of Natech (natural hazard triggered technological) risk and explore its applications and challenges.

Event Information

Open to





Professor Peter Sammonds – UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

Technological systems, such as chemical facilities, oil and gas pipelines, or nuclear facilities are vulnerable to natural hazard impacts. These impacts can trigger fires, explosions and releases of toxic or radioactive substances with potentially major social, environmental and economic consequences. Such recurring technological “side effects” of natural hazard impacts are called Natech (natural hazard triggered technological) accidents. Natech risk will increase in the future due to climate change and human development, putting natural and technological threats on a collision course.

This seminar will introduce the concept of Natech risk, including the challenges and gaps associated with its analysis and management. It will show results of forensic accident analyses and their implications for Natech risk reduction, as well as outline the process for Natech risk analysis which requires an extension of conventional technological risk analysis methods. Finally, the seminar will discuss if Natech events are Black Swans or if they can be prevented.

About the speaker

Elisabeth Krausmann
Elisabeth Krausmann is a scientist with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). She was a Marie Curie Fellow at the JRC and has a Ph.D in physics from the Vienna University of Technology with a specialization in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering. Her research experience includes risk analysis and management of natural-hazard impact on industry and critical infrastructure, nuclear-reactor safety and severe-accident management. Since 2006 she leads the Natech project at the JRC which focuses on developing methodologies and tools for Natech risk analysis and mapping, loss data collection, forensic analysis and lessons learning, capacity building for Natech risk reduction in the EU and beyond, and strengthening risk governance by developing guidance in collaboration with EU Member States, industry and international organizations. Elisabeth represents the EU in the Steering Group of the OECD Natech project and collaborates with UNDRR. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management. Elisabeth is lead author of the book “Natech Risk Assessment and Management: Reducing the Risk of Natural-Hazard Impact on Hazardous Installations” published by Elsevier.


How to book

This event will also be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.

Images courtesy of Dr Elisabeth Krausmann.
This seminar will be recorded and livstreamed on the UCL IRDR YouTube channel.