The Centre for Disaster Resilience is a multi-disciplinary centre committed to improving the ability of countries and communities to plan for, and recover from, natural and man-made disasters and disruptive events caused by hazards. We are very much forward looking and our aim is to be a global leader in built environment research and education that develops societal resilience to disasters and disruptive events caused by hazards.
Our aim is to be a global leader in built environment research and education that develops societal resilience to disasters.
Within this holistic societal goal lies a more specific community objective of building resilience and adaptation measures. In achieving this aim the centre’s strategy is to focus on the strengths of the existing multidisciplinary membership, our portfolio of funded research projects, our existing postgraduate research community and our national and international collaborative partners leading up to the REF in 2020 and beyond.
In order to achieve this aim, our objectives are to:
In order to meet the goal of continuing to be the global leader in built environment research and education that develops societal resilience to disasters, we identify the following strategic priorities:
CDR has led and contributed to a wide range of projects within the broad theme of disaster resilience:
EU-CIRCLE – A pan- European framework for strengthening critical infrastructure resilience to climate change
EU-CIRCLE is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 653824. The EU-CIRCLE consortium has 21 partners. The University of Salford is one of the partners who are leading the Task of developing a EU-CIRCLE resilience framework for critical infrastructure.
Climate related hazards have the potential to substantially affect the lifespan and effectiveness of European Critical Infrastructures with devastating impacts in EU appraising the social and economic losses. The main strategic objective of EU-CIRCLE is to move towards infrastructure network(s) that is resilient to today’s natural hazards and prepared for the future changing climate. Furthermore, modern infrastructures are inherently interconnected and interdependent systems ; thus extreme events are liable to lead to ‘cascade failures’.
EU-CIRCLE’s scope is to derive an innovative framework for supporting the interconnected European Infrastructure’s resilience to climate pressures, supported by an end-to-end modelling environment where new analyses can be added anywhere along the analysis workflow and multiple scientific disciplines can work together to understand interdependencies, validate results, and present findings in a unified manner providing an efficient “Best of Breeds” solution of integrating into a holistic resilience model existing modelling tools and data in a standardised fashion.
For more information please contact Dr Chaminda Pathirage (C.P.Pathirage@salford.ac.uk )
EDURISK – Evolving Disaster Vulnerability and Resilience through the Involvement of School Kids
Natural disasters can have an enormous impact on children. Knowledge, understanding and awareness regarding disaster risk can effectively reduce their vulnerability to disasters. Participation of children for disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities is important as once they become parents, the knowledge and understanding obtained today will be transferred to their own children in keeping continuity of the disaster management knowledge transfer from one generation to another (UN/ISDR, 2012). Knowledge transferring from children to individual households on DRR can be used to educate the society as a whole. Engagement of children for DRR activities therefore will not only improve the effectiveness of them but also will be sustainable for years to come (UN/ISRD, 2012).
Methods that seek to educate children have to be carefully planned, in order to communicate and disseminate knowledge on DRR effectively. Initiatives such as games, debates, and workshops that involve the active participation of children and community members are increasingly becoming popular as opposed to traditional classroom lectures and seminars.
The proposed project EDURISK seeks to develop a board game or other interactive method to improve the awareness of school children in Sri Lanka regarding disaster risk reduction practices that can be used to avoid and mitigate the impact from the disaster(s).
Following tasks will be carried out for the project:
Dr. Udayangani Kulatunga of the Centre for Disaster Resilience (CDR) has secured a research grant from the British Council under the Newton Institutional Links programme for developing a resilient built environment for climate induced extreme weather events in Malaysia with the partner institution Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM). The project is titled “CLimate Impacts in Malaysia: Attenuation Through an Integrated Safer built Environment (CLIMATISE). The total value of the project is £80,642 over a period of one year.
As climate change is predicted to endanger human health, the global food security, economic development and the built and natural environment it is a prudent strategy to adopt multiple collaborative strategies for purposes of mitigation and adaptation. In Malaysia it has been revealed that increases in temperature due to climate change has multiplied the intensity and frequency of storms and rainfall resulting in climate-induced extreme weather events (EWEs) such as floods, storms, landslides, and soil erosion. As it is difficult to completely eliminate the impacts from climate-induced EWEs, it is important that cities are resilient against them. Within this context, the ability of the built environment to withstand the impacts of climate-induced EWEs plays a direct role in determining how resilient the cities are.
This project intends to develop built environment specific strategies for adaptation and mitigation of climate-induced EWEs with the national and international collaboration of academics, practitioners and professional bodies. Development of a CPD programme, curriculum evaluation at the partner institutions, staff development and knowledge exchange activities, carrying out joint publications, and creating long-term strategic partnership between partners are the objectives of the study.
CLIMATISE provides an ideal platform to further the links between UK and Malaysia in creating a safer built environment and to conduct knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer at an institutional level following on from the previous Malaysia – UK Researcher links project grant CARE-RISK the centre received in November 2015.
Principal Investigator: Dr Udayangani Kulatunga
The project starts on the 1 May 2015. For more information, please contact U.Kulatunga@salford.ac.uk
The CARE-RISK UK-Malaysia partnership was successfully held in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia from 9 - 12 February 2015. Dr Udayangani Kulatunga a member of the Centre for Disaster Resilience and a Senior Lecturer within the School of the Built Environment organised the workshop in collaboration with Dr Siti Tobi of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia.
Seventeen early career researchers form the UK and twenty five from Malaysia participated at the workshop respectively. Four senior researchers both from the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK and UTM, Malaysia also participated at the workshop as mentors. Guest speakers from Red Cross International; National Security Council, Malaysia; Mercy Malaysia an International NGO and Construction Research Institute of Malaysia (the research arm of CIDB) also contributed to the workshop. Further, representatives from the British Council, Malaysia; and British High Commission, Malaysia, also participated.
The workshop consisted of key-note speeches, academic and research skills development activities, poster presentations, group discussions, networking activities, cultural event and, a site visit. Dr Bingunath Ingirige from Centre for Disaster Resilience, University of Salford led the key note speeches addressing the main theme of the workshop capacity building for disaster risk reduction. In addition to that sessions were carried out by Prof Marcus Ormerod, University of Salford; Professor Chris Preece and Dr Abdul Rahim from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia on developing research profile of early career researchers, carrying out journal/conference publications and getting funding for research grants.
The workshop provided a unique opportunity for early career researchers from Malaysia and the UK to develop a sustained long-term research network for capacity building for disaster risk reduction. The workshop explored the current research needs, gaps, challenges and opportunities with particular reference to capacity building for disaster risk reduction. One of the highlighted areas of the discussions was lack of awareness during the preparedness stage of disasters. Accordingly, key emerging research themes were identified and working groups were formed to address this research need. Going forward, the following key themes were identified as areas that can be developed in a collaborative way between UK and Malaysia.
During the workshop, the participants were able to visit the longest multi-purpose tunnel in the world the SMART Tunnel; a combined storm water and motorway tunnel, which is not only a flood mitigation scheme but also a major source of easing traffic congestions to the city of Kuala Lumpur.
A book of abstracts consisting of the research work of the UK and Malaysian participants were published as part of the workshop. Special Issue on capacity building for disaster risk reduction in Built Environment Project and Asset Management journal was also launched at the workshop.
CARE-RISK UK Malaysia partnership project has been funded by the British Council under their Researcher Links programme.
For more details please contact Dr Udayangani Kulatunga (U.Kulatunga@salford.ac.uk)
Dr Bingu Ingirige and Prof Terrence Fernando have been successful in securing funding from ARUP under their UK, Middle East and Africa (UKMEA) fund to conduct an exploratory study into the cascading effects of a disaster event on critical infrastructure at a city scale. The project is titled "Impact aNalysis of City Infrastructure Disaster EveNT (INCIDENT)".
Infrastructure facilities such as transportation, telecommunications, healthcare, water supply and electricity are deeply embedded within social systems in cities. Intense disasters can cause systemic failures of infrastructure due to the strong interconnections between its components. INCIDENT takes this complexity of the networked infrastructure into account to prepare an exploratory structural model that captures the cascading impacts and consequences due to disaster events at a city scale. The exploratory project will provide the basis for a more comprehensive failure analysis study to be performed in the future.
Critical infrastructure facilities in many cities are vulnerable to both natural and anthropogenic disaster events and this exploratory project allows the integration between CDR skills of resilience building and visualisation and to work together with a leading global company like Arup to offer solutions to enhance resilience at a city level.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Udayangani Kulatunga: U.Kulatunga@salford.ac.uk
CASCADE (Collaborative Action towards Societal Challenges through Awareness, Development and Education) is a project funded under the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme.
It aims to provide the foundation for a future International Cooperation Network (INCONET) programme targeting South Asian Countries and which will promote bi-regional coordination of Science & Technology (S&T) cooperation, including priority setting and definition of S&T cooperation policies. The project is delivered through a consortium of 17 European and Asian research institutions which is coordinated by the University of Salford.
Commencing in October 2013, CASCADE is an 18-month support action project that comprises five work packages. Three RTD work packages (WP2 to WP4) are supported by project management (WP1) and dissemination (WP5). The RTD WPs have been structured to support: the identification and prioritisation of thematic global societal challenges of mutual EU-Southern Asian interest as the basis for future bi-regional cooperation (WP2); the identification of national and regional stakeholders that can influence the global challenges and research priorities relevant to the South Asian region (WP3); and, the stimulation of participation by Southern Asian stakeholders in Horizon 2020 (WP4).
The combination of these work packages achieves the overall aim of CASCADE: to prepare ground for a future INCONET programme that targets South Asian Countries and promotes bi-regional coordination of Science & Technology (S&T) cooperation, including priority setting and definition of S&T cooperation policies.
CASCADE will raise awareness on research and innovation priorities for fostering cooperation and towards building mutual understanding on how to address common global societal challenges linked to Horizon 2020. One of the key objectives CASCADE project is to assemble a regional position paper that identifies global challenges, research priorities and increases awareness on how to address common problems being faced by the two regions linked to Horizon 2020.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Udayangani Kulatunga: U.Kulatunga@salford.ac.uk
The CDR-led Academic Network for Disaster Resilience to Optimise educatIonal Development (ANDROID) is an Erasmus academic network that aims to promote co-operation and innovation among European Higher Education to increase society’s resilience to disasters of human and natural origin.
ANDROID, which is funded by the European Commission, runs from October 2011 to January 2015. The network has 67 representatives from 31 countries, 28 in the EU, as well as organisations from Australia, Canada and Sri Lanka.
The network's teaching and research is concerned with what resilience is, what it means to society, and how societies might achieve greater resilience in the face of increasing threats from natural and human induced hazards. The network will create a European approach that will help us understand the attributes that enable physical, socio-cultural, politico-economic and natural systems to adapt, by resistance or changing in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning. The network will also raise awareness and promote a common understanding among stakeholders of the importance of disaster resilience education and the essential role of European HEIs in improving society's ability increase disaster resilience.
Its research and engagement has a significant influence on policymaking and practice and includes joint work to describe, analyse and compare the capacity of European cities and higher education institutions to address disaster risk. The network provides data, advice and guidance for policymakers and practitioners on the role of building and construction to anticipate and respond to unexpected major events which damage the environment.
A brief on ANDROID is available to download here.
The periodic Exchange Newsletter which gives more news about ANDROID can be downloaded from the ANDROID website.
You can also download the full proceedings of the ANDROID conference.
Read the UNISDR news article on ANDROID network: “EU creates academic network for disaster resilience”.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Menaha Thayaparan. Email: M.Thayaparan@salford.ac.uk
For further details on the project, please see the ANDROID website.
CADRE (Collaborative Action towards Disaster Resilience Education) is funded by the Education Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, and aims to address current and emerging labour market demands in the construction industry to increase societal resilience to disasters.
The project will improve the quality and relevance of higher education through active cooperation between Higher Education Institutes and partners from outside academia, including construction professional bodies, local/national/international bodies and social partners. CADRE will achieve this aim by:
CADRE is a 3 year project commencing October 2013. Centre for Disaster Resilience (CDR) is the lead partner for CADRE, and the work is being carried out with six other partners: Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania; Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia; Northumbria University, UK; United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Switzerland; University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka; and Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities, Sri Lanka.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr. Menaha Thayaparan; Email: M.Thayaparan@salford.ac.uk.
View the CADRE Press Release.
Duration: 3 years commencing March 2011
Lead partner: Centre for Disaster Resilience, University of Salford, UK
Partnership: Collaborative research project with Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh
Funded by: British Council INSPIRE Strategic partnership programme
CEREBELLA – Community Engagement for Risk Erosion in Bangladesh to Enhance Lifelong Advantage was recently funded by the British Council under their INSIPIRE scheme.
This will facilitate a long term strategic partnership between the School of the Built Environment’s Centre for Disaster Resilience and Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh. The partnership aims to share skills, knowledge and experience on climate change and disaster management.
This is the first research collaboration that Salford has won to work with Bangladesh.
The Salford academic team, will work closely with the Bangladeshi institution to: carry out hazard, vulnerability, and risk analysis; develop risk response strategies for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption in Bangladesh; make recommendations for urban safety planning based on disaster risk and climate change impacts; update and develop curriculum on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption; and, facilitate staff exchange and training programmes to enhance the capacity of partner institutions
It is hoped that the initial grant will facilitate the development of an effective and sustainable partnership the School and the Bangladeshi partner institution.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Udayangani Kulatunga. Email: U.Kulatunga@salford.ac.uk
The Centre is teamed up with institutions in the Russian Federation to enhance the quality and relevance of built environment education. The three-year research project – CENEAST (Reformation of the Curricula on Built Environment in the Eastern Neighbouring Area) – has secured €998,601 of funding from the Tempus EU Programme.
The key aim of CENEAST is to upgrade the curricula relating to the built environment in the universities of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to ensure that building and civil engineering students possess the relevant skills for an international labour market. The project commenced in October 2012 and is led by Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania and has 13 other partners from Belarus, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
The main objective of CENEAST is to upgrade curricula of BSc/specialists, MSc and PhD programmes with new modules on energetically and ecologically sustainable, affordable and healthy built environment in universities of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine in order to enhance the quality and relevance of education to labour market needs.
The project will develop 20 study modules and a virtual inter-university networked educational system to ensure cooperation among the partner universities in education and research.
Please visit http://www.ceneast.com/ for more details.
Lead partner: RMIT, Australia
Key theme: “Hardening: buildings and infrastructure”
Duration: 7 years
Value: Aus$ 5 million
CDR represents the only international partner in this consortium.
Duration: 12 months, starting May 2011
Lead partner: Centre for Disaster Resilience, University of Salford, UK
Partnership: 4 Sri Lankan institutions
Salford Team: Professor Richard Haigh, Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga and Professor Martin Hall
Funded by: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (this is the first University of Salford based project funded by this source)
This project is a major study to understand how infrastructure reconstruction programmes have impacted on women and vulnerable groups and affected social cohesion among local communities in conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka - ‘Conflict Prevention through Youth Engagement in Infrastructure Reconstruction,’ funded by British High Commission, Sri Lanka. Investigators: R Haigh, D Amaratunga
While war in the North and the East of Sri Lanka has ended, peace, especially sustainable peace, is not so easily forthcoming.
Post-conflict reconstruction supports the transition from conflict to peace through the rebuilding of the socio-economic framework of the society. However, there is a need to pay special attention to conflict dynamics that may arise through development work. Interest in helping to support a lasting resolution to the Sri Lanka conflict has led some to focus efforts on strengthening incentives for peace and reconciliation, including encouraging conflict sensitive approaches and supporting post conflict recovery and reconstruction.
Physical infrastructure – broadly defined to include services that are essential ingredients to quality of life and economic activity – has the potential to connect or divide communities. Reconstructing physical infrastructure after a war can help in the peace building process through restoring dignity, providing much needed employment opportunity and promoting conflict sensitive approaches. Any physical reconstruction needs to be tailored to the needs of the affected people, including diverse ethnic groups. Precautions need to be taken to avoid repeating mistakes that occurred during post tsunami reconstruction efforts – lack of consideration of ethnic co-existence.
Conflict also tends to deepen gender discrimination and disadvantages faced by women. Similarly, youth, who have been born into and often participated in the war, must overcome persisting inequalities and differential access to opportunities, while the elderly face challenging economic constraints and often require special care. There is growing recognition that reconstruction requires interdisciplinary solutions; those professions traditionally involved in reconstruction of infrastructure – the construction industry – must understand the sensitive environment in which they will be operating. Understanding the needs of those living in the region will be vital if reconstruction is to help prevent future conflict.
Reconstruction for Peace was a one-year programme of research and capacity building that sought to explore the interaction between youth and infrastructure reconstruction programmes in the North and East of Sri Lanka as a means to prevent future conflict in the region.
The team specifically examined:
The study was used to inform policy development and build the capacities of Universities in the North and East of Sri Lanka; and, the Sri Lankan construction industry (including SMEs) and local government engaged in reconstruction projects within the region. It is impact that this project will help us to demonstrate our research - by making a real impact towards the society that has suffered by the 30 year long civil war. In our view, this impact cannot be measured in financial terms.
Developing Flood Expert kNowledge in CharterEd Surveyors, or DEFENCES in short, is a RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Education Trust funded research project
Effects of flooding have been felt by many parts of the UK resulting in extensive damage to properties. Many businesses failed to cope with these flood events and suffered extensive damage. Among businesses, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) were the worst affected as they were the least prepared in comparison to their larger counterparts.
The Government review of the 2007 summer floods revealed that businesses lacked the information needed for flood adaptation. The lack of this vital knowledge and the ability to cope affects the sustainability and longer term growth of businesses in general and SMEs in particular.
The DEFENCES research project investigated the gaps in existing skills, knowledge and understanding of chartered surveyors in order for them to be able to provide independent, reliable and valid advice on property level flood adaptation measures to businesses; specially SMEs.
The Final Report of the DEFENCES project is now available to be downloaded from the RICS website:
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Udayangani Kulatunga: U.Kulatunga@salford.ac.uk
A consortium of researchers drawn from 14 universities developed a set of tools for improving the capacity for resilience of local communities to the impacts of future extreme weather events. Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW), which is an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded research project.
Taking a case study of five south-London boroughs, CREW sought to investigate local-level impacts on householders, SMEs and local policy/decision makers of a range of EWEs including flooding, subsidence, heatwaves, wind storms and droughts, and to develop a set of tools for improving their capacity for resilience to the impacts of future EWEs. The project exploited both physical and social sciences and comprised of a consortium of over 30 researchers drawn from 14 UK Universities.
One of the main objectives of CREW project was to undertake stakeholder-led social research to better understand how groups within a local community (policy makers, households and SMEs) respond to extreme weather, and study the impact of complex relationships between these groups have on local community resilience.
Dr Bingu Ingirige was a co-investigator of the programme package "Community Coping - Resilience capacity and coping strategies” of the CREW project.
For more information about CREW, please visit the project website at www.extreme-weather-impacts.net
‘ISLAND & ISLAND II: Inspiring Sri Lankan Renewal and Development,’ funded by RICS Education Trust, were a series of studies to develop key knowledge variables for post-disaster scenarios and platforms for creating and managing knowledge among major stakeholders, including government, industry and academia.
Frequency and extent of natural disasters are increasing on a global scale. Natural disasters claim many human lives and damage a great deal of property.
The urgent need to reduce disaster risk and develop a resilient community capable of recovering from disasters is of increasing concern in many countries. Knowledge management can play a vital role through ensuring the availability and accessibility of accurate and reliable disaster risk information when required and through effective lesson learning.
ISLAND aimed to increase the effectiveness of disaster management by facilitating the sharing of appropriate knowledge and good practices in land, property and construction. Due to the broad scope of disaster-management related activities, this initial research focused on creating a knowledge base on the post-tsunami response, with specific reference to case material in Sri Lanka. In this context, Sri Lanka provided a good base for data collection due to its experiences associated with the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. The findings resulted in the production of several academic papers and presentations made at international conferences. As part of project findings, the need to concentrate on different phases of the disaster mitigation cycle was emphasised.
‘ISLAND-II’ (Inspiring Sri- LankAn reNewal and Development – Phase II) research project set out to identify key disaster knowledge factors pertaining to disaster management and incorporate appropriate knowledge and good practices relating to different types of disasters. The research was conducted according to four Work Packages (WPs): WP1- Test the Effectiveness of the Existing Knowledge Base; WP2- Identification of Key Knowledge Variables within the Disaster Management Cycle; WP3- Population and Expansion of Knowledge Base with more Case Studies; and WP4- Disseminate Research and Identify Future Research Directions. A review of existing literature, expert interviews and focus group discussions were used to deliver research outputs.
Disaster knowledge factors are classified into several categories based on their characteristics: Technological, Social, Environmental, Legal, Economical, Operational/Managerial, Institutional and Political. These factors are common for all types of disasters and across three phases of disaster cycle; mitigation/preparedness, relief/recovery and reconstruction/rehabilitation. Social factors have a very high influence level in managing disasters successfully.
Technological, operational/ managerial, economic, social, legal and environmental factors seem to have direct influence over the disaster management cycle, while the influence of institutional and political factors seemed indirect and it is through other factors identified. The mitigation/preparedness phase seemed influenced by almost all the disaster knowledge factors.
Among key challenges, the lack of detection and warning systems, the need for effective education, training and awareness raising programmes, the need for regular updating of disaster related laws, lack of funds for economic planning measures, poor planning, poor communication, poor leadership, and poor institutional arrangement were highlighted. Peoples’ attitudes and perceptions hinder their involvement in disaster management; hence, in order to manage disasters successfully it is important to overcome these attitudes and perceptions.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Chaminda Pathirage. Email: C.P.Pathirage@salford.ac.uk
BELLCURVE (Built Environment Lifelong Learning Challenging University Responses to Vocational Education) was a European Commission funded research project conducted at the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK, in collaboration with Department of Construction Economics and Property Management, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania and Department of Building Production, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. BELLCURVE ran from October 2009 to January 2012.
This project addressed issues associated with the mismatch between graduate skills and labour market requirements particularly in the Built Environment sector. In addressing this, BELLCURVE considered ‘student engagement’ as a continuous through-life process rather than a temporary traditional engagement limited by the course duration. This through-life studentship defines the essence of the new innovative “Lifelong University” concept, whereby providing an opportunity for learners to acquire and develop skills and knowledge enabling responds to changing construction labour market needs on a continuous basis. This requires a reform in governance systems based on strategic priorities to respond labour market needs effectively while promoting the lifelong learning agenda.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Chaminda Pathirage. Email: C.P.Pathirage@salford.ac.uk
Construction in the UK is expanding and it is one of the region's largest industries and fundamental to all other economic activity. However, a scarcity of women in leadership positions in construction has persisted despite their increasing numbers in contraction training.
The issue regarding the lack of women leaders in construction has been a concern for many years, attracting government and industry wide attention. This has been made more prominent recently due to the potential managerial skills shortage facing the industry.
Accordingly, the Constructing Women Leaders project, led by Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga and Dr Richard Haigh from the Centre for Disaster Resilience aimed to research the underlying reasons for the scarcity of women in leadership positions in the region's construction industry, and to find out the ways to improve the current position of women leaders in construction.
This research attempted to:
Supported by European Social Fund, the “Construction and Women” project aimed to identify the causes of a lack of women in professional construction: both in industry and academia in the North West of England. Policies, strategies and best practice guidelines were produced and disseminated to encourage women to pursue careers in construction, and improve retention in the industry.
The issue regarding the lack of women in construction has been a concern for many years, attracting government and industry wide attention and has been made more prominent recently due to the potential skills shortage facing the industry. Despite it being such a great concern though, there has been very little change in the number of women working in industry.
Numerous initiatives promoting construction careers to women have been developed but none have had the desired effects. Accordingly, increasing the number of women working in construction may go some way to improve the current status of the industry within the region, firstly by utilising the full range of skills available in the population and secondly by assisting construction organisations to become more efficient and adaptable to the needs of its customers.
More women working in construction will better the industry’s image and will help to improve the current skills shortage by aiding the recruitment of others.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Menaha Thayaparan M.Thayaparan@salford.ac.uk
‘Asia Link Project’: EURASIA – European and Asian Infrastructure Advantage, EC (Framework) was a capacity development programme for Asian and European Higher Education Institutions undertaking training, teaching and research into disaster - resilient infrastructure. This project involved staff exchanges, programme development and a doctoral programme.
EURASIA aimed to enhance the capacity of the partner institutions for training, teaching and research activities required for the creation and long-term management of public and commercial facilities and infrastructure. It targeted (direct) postgraduate students, and junior and senior faculty members from the EU and Sri Lankan partner institutions and (indirect) researchers, other public sector organisations, consultancies and industry.
The main activities included deployment of a Virtual Teaching and Research Centre, development of a professionally accredited postgraduate curriculum, a split-site PhD programme for nominated staff of Sri Lankan partner Universities to enhance their capacity for teaching and research in the field, staff exchange programmes, design and delivery of training courses, and dissemination of the results of collaborative activities.
The partnership comprises England, Estonia, Lithuania and Sri Lanka and the project duration is 36 months.
EURASIA was funded by European Commission’s Asia-Link Programme – a programme dedicated to higher education networking between Europe and Asia, addressing the above requirements of both the Asian and European continents.
For further information about the project, please contact Mr David Baldry: D.Baldry@salford.ac.uk
This study aims to enhance the standard of living of communities by addressing water, sanitation and hygiene problems through increased awareness and good practices.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest countries having a population density of 1000 people/km2 which ranks it among the top most densely populated country in the world. Poverty is also a hallmark of many regions where safe water supply, standard sanitation and garbage disposal system are ill developed. On the one hand, supply of pure drinking water is limited while on the other hand, raw sewage and house hold wastes are discharged directly into rivers or nearby water bodies making the scarcity of fresh water prominent. Lack of knowledge among the people about hygienic practice and importance of safe disposal of sewage and waste drastically affect the health of individual living in the rural and urban areas. An attempt can be made to enhance the quality of the life of the people of rural and urban area by raising awareness among them about the importance of safe disposal of waste water and faecal matters.
Project is funded by British Council as part of Bangladesh Policy Dialogue- Building Bridges between Universities and Communities programme.
UK Lead Partner – Dr Chaminda Pathirage, Centre for Disaster Resilience, University of Salford, UK
Partner Institution - Dr. S.A. Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Chaminda Pathirage. Email: C.P.Pathirage@salford.ac.uk
A team at the Centre for Disaster Resilience led the development and testing of a virtual environment to support international collaborative research projects.
Due to the challenges and opportunities associated with globalisation of the research agenda and advancements in ICT, research collaborations (both international and national) have become increasingly popular over the last decade.
The concept of Virtual Research Environments is emerging as a way of addressing the complex challenges associated with conducting collaborative research. Virtual Environment for the Built Environment Research (VEBER) has been developed by the Centre as a web based collaborative tool based on a state-of-the-art online communication framework. VEBER is based on an open source distributed toolset called Moodle, which was originally developed as an open source Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Moodle is a dynamic data driven web application written in PHP and supports a number of different Database Management Systems (DBMSs) as the backend.
VEBER has been developed by using this toolset as a basis and by adding and adapting the functionalities required for a Virtual Research Environment. VEBER does not demand special skills for its usage; a general knowledge on how to handle an internet browser is sufficient.
VEBER provides a broad range of functionality that facilitates administration and coordination of an international collaborative project:
For further information on VEBER, contact Dr. Kaushal Keraminiyage at email@example.com
Disaster management and resilience research has been conducted at Salford for over 20 years and related research is funded by research councils, national and international government bodies, and industry. Disaster management and resilience research is based within the Centre for Disaster Resilience (CDR) which promotes research and scholarly activity that examines the role of the built environment industry to anticipate and respond to disasters that damage or destroy communities and their built, natural and human environment.
The Centre is world leading, and the only centre in the UK that promotes the multidisciplinary nature of the field and that undertakes cooperative research with a large number of international partners. Our research has:
Researchers are working with communities to increase their resilience to the threat posed by natural and human hazards. Its researchers undertake real world, rigorous research; advise governments and other decision makers; provide education and training opportunities; deliver relevant research outputs and positive outcomes; and draw upon and share expertise internationally.
CDR’s capacity development, education and awareness raising activities are underpinned by this world-class, inter-disciplinary research. The Centre's success in postgraduate research is due to:
Researchers and practitioners worldwide are supported in achieving higher qualifications and CDR offers doctoral study on a full- or part-time basis for professionals wishing to achieve academic recognition of their specialism and further the development of theory and practice in their field.
Several research degree programmes are on offer for prospective applicants to suit their personal circumstances:
For more details on disaster management related research opportunities, please contact Dr Udayangani Kulatunga
A full range of styles of research can be undertaken, from fundamental theory building to highly applied. Examples of areas that you can undertake research include:
More on these PhD research topics can be found via the Research Centre’s homepage.
You can also visit the CDR member's web pages to read about the specific research interests of Centre members.
You should have a first degree that provides a foundation in the principles of disaster resilience, mitigation and reconstruction, and this can be from various backgrounds.
The programme aims to develop the skills and knowledge of the built environment professions and other professions working in disaster mitigation and reconstruction, so that they may reflect on and strengthen their capacity in strategic and practical aspects of disaster preparedness, rehabilitation and reconstruction to mitigate the effects of disasters nationally and internationally.
We promote innovative inter-disciplinary working and co-operation among scientific communities tackling the challenges associated with natural and human induced hazards. The complex nature of disasters, their origins, causes and consequences, has led to widespread recognition that risk reduction through increased resilience will hence require a multi-sectoral approach that explores what resilience is, what it means to society, and how societies might achieve greater resilience in the face of increasing threats from natural and human induced hazards.
Accordingly, we will accept students with multi disciplinary backgrounds including built environment, sociology, engineering, financial management, business continuity. Evidence of ability to study and critically appraise literature independently is essential and candidates with Masters qualification are preferred. Experience of research involving human participants is also preferable but is not essential.
Our postgraduate research degree programmes are for researchers and academics, policy makers and other professionals working with disaster prevention, mitigation, response and reconstruction responsibilities who wish to improve their working knowledge of both theory and practice in making cities resilient to disasters. These professionals may be working with or for local and national government agencies, relief agencies, private sector companies, public sector agencies, UN organisations, national and international aid agencies, civil and military services, academia and insurance appraisers and investigators.
As a student embarking on a postgraduate research degree you will be assigned a supervisory team, to help guide and mentor you throughout your time at the University. However, you are ultimately expected to take responsibility for managing your learning and will be expected to initiate discussions, ask for the help that you need and be proactive in your approach to study.
These study programmes address capacity gaps and shortcomings in current disaster management practices that were exposed by recent disasters. The programme addresses the two phase cycle of disaster management, with post-disaster reconstruction informing pre-disaster risk reduction, and vice versa.
The programme provides an opportunity for students to study contemporary issues surrounding disaster management theory and practice, combined with the wider study of built environment applications across the disaster management lifecycle, thus providing a unique and intellectually challenging course of study. Students will be equipped with the skills needed to practice disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and long-term reconstruction of disaster affected built environments.
There is consistently an emphasis on the critical need to shift the focus of disaster management from advocacy to practical actions, and to support efforts that build capacities for implementing disaster management principles. As a result, qualified disaster professionals are in high demand. Our doctoral researchers are much sought after by a range of organisations, including, governments, NGOs and private sector organisations.
The programme’s goal is to enhance graduates’ employability by giving students the knowledge and skills necessary to critically evaluate and apply key elements of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, including the ability to conduct assessments of hazards, risks, vulnerability and capacity. Also, through providing students with an understanding of approaches that may be used internationally to reduce and manage risk, the programme aims to prepare students for employment in a wide range of careers focused on disaster intervention. Accordingly, We will help you to upskill your knowledge and practical skills to ensure an interesting and rewarding career in the specialist area of disasters and its management.
Globally, a postgraduate research qualification is usually a prerequisite for an academic career and several of our alumni are now senior academics. We encourage the maintenance of links between graduating research students and their host research group and supervisor. This means the University can become part of the developing professional network that students take forward into their future careers.
Synopsis: Eastern Africa, which includes the Horn of Africa countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, is a region exposed to various disaster risks ranging from cyclic droughts and famines, floods, landslides, epidemics to conflict induced people displacements. The region also benefits from enormous donor and local government development funding where unfortunately, development gains are repeatedly reversed or wiped out by aforementioned cyclic disaster shocks.
Given the above humanitarian landscape and level of donor investment in the region, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) ought to be a priority consideration supported and mainstreamed by all major relief and development practitioners in the region. Consequently, one would suppose that support to community capacity building for DRR is already a top priority among major relevant stakeholders in Eastern Africa. However, evidence from related case studies in South Africa, Colombia and Indonesia suggests that poor local capacity for DRR remains a major impediment to making required progress. To date, there is very little known and written about the level of prioritization and subsequent support given to community capacity building for DRR in Eastern Africa and this research sets out to close this evidence gap.
Synopsis: Gender inequalities are barriers to achieve sustainable post-disaster reconstruction. Mainstreaming gender equality within post-disaster reconstruction process can enhance sustainability of reconstruction. This research identifies pre-requisite conditions for mainstreaming gender within sustainable postdisaster reconstruction as: awareness of gender needs and concerns, a strong gender policy framework, women participation and leadership as an agent of change, gendered institutional capability, flexible and decentralised structure of gendered policy planning.
Synopsis: Cities are complex systems of human creations, consisting of interdependent physical systems and human communities, which are vulnerable to disasters in varying degrees. Urban areas are growing very rapidly all over the world particularly in developing countries. As a result of rapid urbanisation, the world’s population is increasingly concentrated in large cities leading to unplanned urban development with inappropriate and lower quality housing, infrastructure and services. This excessive unplanned urban growth leads to various physical, social and economic vulnerabilities. As a result, the consequences of disasters are very undesirable especially when they occur in urban environments. Furthermore, any disruption may result in domino-effects due to inter dependent nature of the cities. Thus, it is important to strengthen the cities by concentrating on city’s resilience to disasters in order to mitigate their vulnerabilities.
The local governments being the first responder and the one responsible for local area development, has a key role to play in achieving a city’s resilience to disasters. Several incidents have been reported on the inadequate contribution of local governments in taking the lead role of disaster risk reduction initiatives. This could mainly be attributed to inadequate financial, manpower and other resources available with local governments, and their failure to make timely decisions due to lack of authority. Therefore the aim of this research is to develop a framework for empowering the local governments in creating resilient cities to disasters within the context of the built environment. Accordingly this paper focuses on emphasising the need for concentrating on urban vulnerabilities.
In this context, this research highlights the growing need for concentrating on urban areas and the ways and means of making urban cities resilient to disasters. The literature review technique will be used to address this potential issues and the findings will be justified through various literature gathered from research papers in electronic databases along with conference proceedings and reports published by various institutions.
Current position: Lecturer at Civil Engineering Department, Andalas University, Indonesia
After completing my PhD at Centre for Disaster Resilience, University of Salford in 2013, I returned to Andalas University, Indonesia. This area is highly prone to disaster. As a result, implementation of disaster management, from the mitigation stage to the recovery stage, is immensely important. With knowledge and research skills I gained through my PhD journey, I am very confident that I can significantly contribute to improve the disaster management practices in Indonesia
The Centre for Disaster Resilience is really a fantastic place to study. During my study, I felt that the research environment and all the facilities provided were really great. The staff members were the expert in their field. They supervise their students to the right direction and always encourage producing research publications. What more can I say, this Centre is really the right place to study about disaster management.
Current Position : Lecturer, Aston University, UK
I conducted PhD research on resilience of construction SMEs to extreme weather events at the Centre for Disaster Resilience. During my time at the University of Salford I got the opportunity to work on a number of externally funded research projects including EPSRC funded “Community Resilience to Extreme Weather -CREW”, RICS Education Trust funded “Developing Flood Expert Knowledge in Chartered Surveyors – DEFENCES” and British Council funded “CEREBELLA”. Skills and qualifications gained at the Centre for Disaster Resilience helped me to obtain a teaching position at Coventry University before the completion of my PhD research. Following the completion of my PhD research in 2013, I moved to Aston University as a lecturer in construction management; where I am currently employed.
Current position: UTM RAZAK School of Engineering & Advanced Technology, UTM International Campus, Malaysia
Focus of the research is to have an approach to develop a new service delivery model that meets the needs of social enterprise principles in an urban FM setting for managing community facilities operations. The applicability of the proposed model in this research shall be adapted into Malaysia perspective.
Current position : Lecturer, Heriot-Watt University, UK
After completing my BSc in Quantity Surveying at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka I decided to pursue a PhD in the field of construction management Centre for Disaster Resilience in the University of Salford, UK in 2006. My specific interest was to pursue my studies in the area of ‘Infrastructure development and environmental concerns in disaster management’. My doctoral project was concerned with investigating the influence of integrating disaster risk reduction strategies within infrastructure reconstruction projects in achieving the socio-economic development needs of disaster affected communities. My research involved working closely with the Sri Lankan post-tsunami (2004) reconstruction sector and the experts in the disaster resilience filed in the UK. It allowed me to broaden my experience and knowledge of the deficiencies in the post-disaster reconstruction post-disaster reconstruction practices and develop skills into formulating strategies to streamline the ineffective processes in relation to integration of disaster risk reduction into reconstitution.
After completing my PhD in 2010, I started at Heriot-Watt University as a Lecturer in Quantity Surveying. Apart from lecturing I am continuing with my research in the field of disaster resilience in the built environment. The experiences which I gained during my stay in the Centre for Disaster Resilience in the University of Salford have strongly influenced the activities I develop in my new role as an active researcher in the field.
Research excellence attributed to CDR for over more than ten years by the UK’s competitive research assessment exercise represents its excellence in training, developing, nurturing and encouraging newer researchers into research careers. Students will be benefited from such training activities.
CDR provides a multi disciplinary research environment to students and support is given to them to determine how their specific research projects fits with the larger picture of built environment research.
Within CDR, protocols are designed and applied to ensure postgraduates have sufficient time, authority and responsibility to conduct and develop their activities. This mechanism also helps to maximise the opportunities to invest in for the benefit of postgraduates under the mentoring of senior researchers. Nurturing of postgraduates includes engagement on existing projects and involvement with embryonic publications. The career expectation of all postgraduates is to aspire to a doctoral level of qualification.
CDR is committed to fostering a vibrant research environment for postgraduate research students from across the world. Following are a comprehensive range of support services and development opportunities available for researchers:
More details of the support available for postgraduate students is available here.
As a student embarking on a postgraduate research degree you will be assigned a supervisory team, to help guide and mentor you throughout your time at the University.
Duties and Responsibilities of Supervisors are available on the Postgraduate Students' web pages.
You can also view more specific details on the supervisory arrangements on the School of the Built Environment website.
However, you are ultimately expected to take responsibility for managing your learning and will be expected to initiate discussions, ask for the help that you need and be proactive in your approach to study. Accordingly, Duties and Responsibilities of Research Candidates are available here.
As a postgraduate research student at the University of Salford, you are required to meet a number of milestones in order to re-register for each year of study. These ‘progression points’ are an important aid for both you and your supervisory team and it is essential that you complete them on time.
This is completed by you and your supervisor collaboratively in the first 3 months of your research programme. It encourages both of you to develop a thorough and consistent understanding of your individual and shared roles and responsibilities in your research partnership.
This report is completed by your supervisor at the end of each year of study, and reports on your achievements in the past year, the likelihood that you will submit on time, confirmation of the Learning Agreement and relevant training undertaken.
This is completed by you at the end of each year of study. It asks you to comment on your academic progress, supervisory arrangements, research environment, research training, and relevant training undertaken.
This is an assessment of your progress by a panel. It takes place towards the end of your first year, and is designed to ensure you have reached a threshold of academic performance, by assessing your general progress. The assessment comprises a written report, presentation and oral examination by a Panel. You must successfully complete it in order to register for your second year.
This will take place towards the end of the second year and successful completion is required in order to continue onto your third year of study. You will be expected to show strong progress in your PhD study reflected in the submission of a substantial piece of work, generally at least 4 chapters of your thesis.
Further information and guidance on postgraduate research lifecycle can also be found on the Postgraduate Students' web pages.
CDR publishes rigorous, world leading research, as well as practical guidance to enhance professional practice:
Below you will find references and associated links for recently published books, book chapters, journal articles and other articles:
You can find the academic papers from CDR projects/ written by its members at the University's repository pages.
In addition, the following publications are available:
One of the key aims of the Centre for Disaster Resilence (CDR) is to use specific partnerships with world-leading institutions to develop and extend their research quality, recognising that these should be based on mutual benefit.
Links with key industry stakeholders are key in facilitating the use of our research findings to inform and influence policy, strategy and operations. There needs to be key industry stakeholder buy-in where research findings are translated into programmable actions, appreciating the value of the findings and to embark on discussions on how to incorporate these perspectives in their work.
In this context, our researchers have developed strong links with key industry stakeholders with the support from major UK, European and global agencies, which fund its research and development activities, as well as major sponsors from industry, local government and the not-forprofit sector including the European Union, the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Council, the British Council, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Centre has been working with a large number of stakeholders to achieve resilient, sustainable urban communities by working with local governments to reduce the risks associated with disasters. Their involvement in the UN campaign on making cities resilient as a member of its advisory Board and as a key Academic Partner brings direct influence to global efforts to help cities and governments get ready and become resilient to disasters.
Our researchers are leading the ANDROID (Academic Network for Disaster Resilience to Optimise Educational Development) network of 64 universities across Europe, plus higher education institutions from Australia, Canada and Sri Lanka. The network promotes cooperation and innovations among European higher education institutions to increase society’s resilience to disasters. Its research and engagement has a significant influence on policymaking and practice and includes joint work to describe, analyse and compare the capacity of European cities and higher education institutions to address disaster risk. The network provides data, advice and guidance for policymakers and practitioners on the role of building and construction to anticipate and respond to unexpected major events which damage the environment.
Further, CDR currently enjoys a large number of international, strategically important partnerships with over seventy five international universities and institutions, including:
The Centre for Disaster Resilience (CDR) leads and contributes to major international networks of academics, policy makers and practitioners in the field:
CDR is an active partner of the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient campaign. Accordingly, CDR contributes as a main global partner in the campaign, representing academic, technical and expert institutions, and also contributes toward the overall goal - empower local governments with stronger national policies to invest in risk reduction at local level, as part of urban and regional development plans by working with them closely.
Key activities that have been carried out by the Salford team in contributing towards the Making Cities Resilient Campaign include :
Download the 2013 progress report highlighting CDR Activities towards the UNISDR campaign.
Download the 2012 progress report highlighting CDR Activities towards the UNISDR campaign.
Download the document Achievements as a key partner under the Making Cities Resilient Campaign.
The CDR is the UK partner of the The International Institute for Infrastructure, Renewal, and Reconstruction (IIIRR). IIIRR is a multi-university international consortium which provides overall leadership in research, education, planning, design and implementation for infrastructure renewal and reconstruction projects in tsunami affected or underdeveloped regions.
The core of IIIRR consists of a group of interdisciplinary experts who serve as the facilitators for social development, industrial and economic growth as well as environmental preservation through infrastructure development. Innovative and socially responsible projects inspired via internal synergies of the IIIRR will lead to rapid development and improved quality of life. In addition, by providing stewardship in infrastructural rebuilding efforts, the IIIRR creates a common platform for discussion and collaboration among diverse entities such as government, the corporate sector, NGOs and universities, each having specific but diverse goals and priorities.
The IIIRR provides leadership to leaders and facilitates discussion and planning activities among relevant bodies, while operating on an outcomes based strategy for rapid sustainable infrastructure development. The IIIRR and its members are pursuing research, and associated funding, in the following areas:
Other partners of IIIRR include: University of British Columbia, Canada; University of Calgary, Canada; Arizona State University, USA; University of South Florida, USA; University Central de Las Villas, Cuba; University of Stuttgart, Germany; University of Dortmund, Germany; University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka; University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka; University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.
Further details of IIIRR is available at http://www.iiirr.ucalgary.ca