Progress and new initiatives in Haiti, Nepal, Kashmir and more
Newsletter - January 2017
Happy New Year!
The Provost of UCL, Professor Michael Arthur,  will make the welcoming address on Thursday 12 January to mark the 7th anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake at a fundraising reception hosted by the Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction (IRDR), the UCL Humanitarian Institute and the NGO Thinking Development. Over 100,00 people died in the catastrophic earthquake which devastated the capital Port-au-Prince. The speaker event, exhibition and reception next Thursday will celebrate the opening of the new Centre Rosalie girls' primary school, which was destroyed in the earthquake: it took 5 years of community planning, international fundraising, hard work from volunteers and local construction to re-build the school. This was led by Thinking Development,  an NGO set up and run by UCL student and graduate volunteers. The project drew on student knowledge and expertise across UCL, from engineering design to crowd-funding promotion, to create a disaster-resilient, eco-friendly and replicable school which now serves as an open-source model that can be easily adapted and built elsewhere in Haiti. The IRDR hosted the project launch and so it seems fitting to host, with the Humanitarian Institute, the final fundraising drive to finish equipping the school. We do hope you can join us in what promises to be an interesting and entertaining evening. (See side panel to register.)
It is very much with this example in mind of what can be achieved through the dynamism of the UCL student body that the Humanitarian Institute will hold a Student Forum on Wednesday 15 March to develop new initiatives, supported by UCL Union Volunteering. The UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is funding £1.5 billion of cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. The IRDR has won a number of GCRF  grants including for research in Kashmir to increase resilience to environmental hazards in border conflict zones and for research in Nepal to increase maternal and newborn health resilience in disasters. We wish to connect UCL students to global challenge research, for instance through participating in our schools’ programmes in the Himalayas and through complementary work with communities in the UK. If you are a student who is interested in getting involved, or a global challenge researcher who wishes to connect to UCL students, please email or contact us through the UCLu Volunteering desk at the IRDR Careers and Opportunities Fair on Wednesday 1st March. (See side panel for details.)

We are delighted to have appointed Professor Maureen Fordham and Dr Patty Kostkova as principal research associates. Maureen is an expert on gender and disaster resilience and is coordinator of the Gender and Disaster Network She leads the GCRF health resilience project in Nepal. Patty is an expert in digital health with a focus on global health. She leads on an EPSRC medical emergencies knowledge exchange project with Medecins  Sans Frontiers and an ESRC project on decision support for prescribing behaviour change in Nigeria. Dr Joanna Faure Walker, who we congratulate on her recent promotion to Senior Lecturer, will be on maternity leave from this term. We congratulate Luke Wedmore on the successful defence of his PhD thesis on earthquake hazard modelling in the Italian Apennines.

We are presently recruiting for an IRDR Teaching Fellow in earthquake science and a Research Associate for the Humanitarian Institute, who will support global challenge research, knowledge exchange with NGOs and local partners and developing teaching in humanitarian issues. Several postdocs associated with GCRF projects  will be advertised shortly.

The IRDR is recruiting now for our two current masters programmes, MSc Risk, Disaster and Resilience and MSc Risk and Disaster Science, and our new MSc Space Risks and Disaster Reduction, which we are launching jointly with the UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics in September. If you are interested in these programmes please see side panel for further details.

The IRDR will hold a public panel discussion meeting on Risk Finance for the Developing World on Wednesday 8 March in the UCL Anatomy JZ Young Lecture Theatre from 6.00pm followed by a drinks reception in the North Cloisters. The meeting is open to UCL staff and students, NGOs, the commercial sector and members of the general public. (See side panel for event details.)

Finally, I should flag the public launch of the Humanitarian Institute will be held at the Humanitarian Summit on 22 June and the seventh IRDR Annual Conference, which will be held on the 21 June.

We look forward to your continued support in 2017. Here’s to a more peaceful and prosperous New Year for everyone.

Peter Sammonds
Director, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction
Global Challenge awards
Peter Sammonds, Ilan Kelman, David Alexander, Juergen Thurow (Earth Sciences), Bindra Thusu (Earth Sciences) and partners at Jammu University (India) and ODI (London), “Increasing Resilience to Environmental Hazards in Border Conflict Zones” (Ladakh, India). NERC/ESRC/AHRC GCRF Building Resilience programme award.

Maureen Fordham, Patty Kostkova, Naomi Saville (IGH) “Maternal and Newborn Technology for Resilience in rural Areas): Increasing maternal and child health resilience before, during and after disasters using mobile technology in Nepal”. NERC/ESRC/AHRC GCRF Building Resilience programme award.

Serge Guillas (Stats), Cassidy Johnson (DPU), Simon Day “Tsunami risk for the Western Indian Ocean: steps toward the integration of science into policy and practice”. NERC/ESRC/AHRC GCRF Building Resilience programme award.

Dina D’Ayala, (CEGE), Joanna Faure Walker, Carmine Galasso, PRISMH: Philippines Resilience of Schools to Multi-Hazard. British Council, Newton Agham Programme, Institutional Links Scheme.

Carmine Galasso, CROSSH: China Resilience of Schools to Seismic Hazard: a case study in Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County, Sichuan, January-July, 2017. International Center for Collaborative Research on Disaster Risk Reduction, China.

Other awards
Peter Sammonds, Sally Scourfield, Eleanor Bailey (C-Core, Newfoundland), Aleksey Marchenko (UNIS, Svalbard), Ben Lishman (LSBU) “Sea Ice Dynamics: The Role of Broken Ice in Multi-scale Deformation”. EU Horizon 20-20 award.

Patty Kostkova, “Tackling-antimicrobial-resistance-behaviour-within-and-beyond-the-healthcare-setting”. ESRC AMR award.

Patty Kostkova, “Mobile surveillance in medical emergencies”. EPSRC award with MSF.

Dina D’Ayala, (CEGE), Joanna Faure Walker, Carmine Galasso, “EEFIT field mission to the Arematice earthquake”. EPSRC award.

Ilan Kelman, Mohammad Shamsudduha, “Response of natural disasters through resilience: Addressing extreme climatic disasters to annihilate the insecurity of food, nutrition and livelihood - a study on disaster affected contraries of Asia”. International Centre for Collaborative Research, China.
Natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, floods and storms destroy lives and damage economies across the globe; pandemics have the potential to bring death and suffering on an unprecedented scale; while climate change may increase the severity of both natural and health disasters.

How society sees risk, how to link understanding of the causative mechanics to statistical approaches, and how to increase resilience and reduce the risk of disasters are common themes cutting across research in natural, environmental, health and technological hazards.

Reducing global risks and disasters presents a colossal challenge that requires coordinated and collaborative action.
UCL is uniquely well-placed to lead research and teaching in risk and disaster reduction, with at least 70 academics across 12 departments and seven faculties involved in world-class research and practice in the field.

To maximise the impact and value of our activities in risk and disaster reduction, and to increase and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation, we aim to bring together individual areas of expertise, under the umbrella of a UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, built around established centres across UCL.
We also seek to contribute to the UCL Grand Challenges of Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.
Reducing global risks and disasters presents a colossal challenge that requires coordinated and collaborative action. UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research in risk and disaster reduction, with at least 70 academics across 12 departments and 7 faculties involved in world-class research, teaching and practice in the field. The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, responding to the UCL Grand Challenges, brings together this wealth of knowledge and expertise, and through research, teaching and knowledge exchange aims to overcome the barriers to understanding risk and reducing the impact of disasters.

To find out more about risk and disaster reduction research at UCL - or to register your own activity - please visit Our Page. Here you have the option to stay involved through different mailing lists, and to become a member of the Institute.
Haiti Earthquake 7th Anniversary: Reception and Fundraiser
Thurs 12th Jan 2017, 6-10pm
UCL Pavillion (Front Quad)
Tickets £11.15
The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), UCL Humanitarian Institute,  and Thinking Development warmly invite you to join us for an evening of fundraising and discussion, to mark the 7th anniversary since the magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti on January 12th 2010. Come along for talks, video and visual displays, a raffle and reception, to discuss issues of disaster response and resilience in Haiti.
Find out more and register here.
UCL IRDR Careers and Opportunities Fair
Weds 1st March 2017, 5-8pm, UCL Darwin Lecture Theatre and Roberts Foyer. More details here.
Public Panel Discussion on Risk Finance for the Developing World
Weds 8th March 2017, 6pm - 7:30pm UCL JZ Young Lecture Theatre, 7:30pm - 9pm drinks reception at UCL North Cloisters. More details here.
Humanitarian Institute Student Forum
Weds 15th March. For more information, please contact or UCLU Volunteering.
IRDR Annual Conference, 21st June 2017, 9am - 8pm.
Humanitarian Institute Academic Summit, 22nd June 2017, 9am - 8pm.
New posts in UCL IRDR and Humanitarian Institute
We will very soon be recruiting 2 new teaching, knowledge exchange and research posts; a teaching fellow in earthquake science and a humanitarian research and knowledge exchange associate. Further details here.
EEFIT Field Mission to assess the impact of the Amatrice Earthquake
IRDR academic staff David Alexander, Carmine Galasso and Joanna Faure Walker, and IRDR PhD students Zoe Mildon and Serena Tagliacozzo joined the EEFIT field mission to Amatrice in October 2016, 6 weeks after the first of several large and devastating earthquakes in the area, to assess the impact of the earthquake and obtain important geological, sociological and structural data and measurements. Further details of the IRDR role in this mission here.
UCL IRDR and CNDS joint workshop on collaborative research in disaster science
This workshop took place on 26th-27th October 2016. The collaboration between CNDS (Center for Natural Disaster Science; a joint initiative of leading institutions on disaster research in Sweden) and IRDR has been driven by the PhD students of both partners. Find out more here
Postgraduate study at UCL IRDR
Applications are currently open for 2017 entry onto our masters programmes: MSc in Risk Disaster and Resilience, MSc in Risk and Disaster Science, MSc in Space Risk and Disaster Reduction, and MRes in Risk and Disaster Reduction. Further details here.
Two scholarships are also available for the MSc in Risk and Disaster Resilience. Full details here.
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