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)