UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


IRDR Special Seminar: The future of risk auditing: catastrophe models in disaster risk reduction

2 October 2017

The global catastrophe insurance industry almost went out of business at the start of the 1990s.

Catastrophe impacts are too just volatile to measure the average level of life loss or economic impacts from a few years or even a few decades of experience data. 

Dr Robert Muir-Wood, RMS

17:00 to 18:00 Tuesday 10th October 2017

Followed by Welcome Drinks Reception


Seminar: Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1 | LT1 access from Gower Street | UCL Cruciform Building
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT

Reception: Jeremy Bentham Room | JBR access from Gower Street | UCL Wilkins Building
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT


Open to: Students | Academics | Alumni | Public

Admission: FREE but you must register
 through Eventbrite.  

This is the first IRDR event of the academic year. Current students and staff, graduates, alumni and member of the interested public are all warmly welcome. But you must register.

Register via Eventbrite

Special Seminar

So the industry embraced the use of probabilistic catastrophe loss models, with their synthetic histories of tens of thousands of years of hurricanes, floods or earthquakes, in which it is possible to output the annual average loss or the loss to be expected with a 1% annual probability. 

Now catastrophe models are expanding their application to expected lives lost or impacts on crops, and becoming useful to how governments identify the costs and benefits of alternative disaster risk reduction or risk transfer strategies. The  UN Sendai  Framework on DRR has set targets based on comparing decades of actual experience. But we know that disasters are so volatile such comparisons will be spurious. Instead, Robert will argue, we again need to be independently auditing progress on DRR using these models.


Dr Robert Muir-Wood, Chief Research Officer, Risk Management Solutions

Seminar Speaker

Robert has been head of research at RMS since 2003 with a mission to explore enhanced methodologies for natural catastrophe modelling and develop models for new areas of risk. He was Lead Author for the 2007 and 2011 IPCC special reports on extreme events and climate change adaptation and is Chair of the OECD High Level Advisory Board on Financial Management of Large Catastrophes. He has published seven books and more than 200 articles.  

His latest book 'The Cure for Catastrophe' was published in 2016. He is a Visiting Professor at the UCL-IRDR. 

Convenor: Peter Sammonds, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction p.sammonds@ucl.ac.uk