UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

Dr. Gianluca Pescaroli

Dr. Gianluca Pescaroli

Associate Professor

Inst for Risk & Disaster Reduction

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st May 2015

Research summary

My research investigates how to build and improve the ability to maintain operations during disruptive events, how to minimise their impacts and how to increase the resilience of the public and private sectors. This includes learning to understand complex challenges such as cascading risks, critical infrastructure failures, cross-sectoral interdependencies, and compound dynamics. My work is impact-oriented. I publish in cross-disciplinary academic journals and help create knowledge exchange initiatives that maximise the utility of my research for end-users.

In 2016, I co-founded the Research Group on Cascading Disasters at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. Since then, I have contributed to strategic documents such as the UNISDR Guidelines on National Risk Assessment, and reports such as the Guidelines on Cascading Effects of Wide-Area Power Failures (compiled for London Resilience).  I am one of the lead authors of the European Commission Joint Research Centre's Flagship Report on 'Science for DRM 2020: Acting Today, Protecting Tomorrow.' In this documentreleased in 2020, I am the author of a section on emergency facilities. 

In 2020, I become the director of the MSc Risk Disaster and Resilience, our flagship multi-disciplinary masters programme.

Teaching summary

Module coordinator:

IRDR0017 Business continuity and organisational resilience

IRDR0003 IRDR0003 Advanced Emergency & Crisis Planning & Mgt


IRDR0007 Space Weather and technological failures

IRDR0002 Emergency planning 


I have an interdisciplinary background in social sciences and since 2009 I have focussed my work on disaster risk reduction, emergency planning and organisational resilience. UCL awarded me my Ph.D. in 2018. Some dates:

2020 CBCI certificated

2018 Ph.D. in interdisciplinary disaster risk reduction (social sciences), University College London’s Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (UCL-IRDR), London (UK). Funded by FP7 project FORTRESS.

2016 Gold Command Training Course, Transport for London, London, UK.

2015 Senior Course on Crisis Management and Civil Emergency Planning, National Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden.

2013 Project Assistant (ECHO SIRV-TAB), Coopi - Cooperazione Internazionale , Port-au Prince, Haiti.

2012 Research Fellow in Psycho-Social Management of Coastal Flooding in Changing Climate (FP7 THESEUS), University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

2011 International Crisis Management Course, National Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden.

2009 II level Master (MR) in Emergency psychology (110/110, first class), University of Parma, Italy.

2008 MA International Development (110/110 honours, first class), University of Bologna, Italy.

2005 BA Development Economics (110/110, first class), University of Parma, Italy.