School of Business and Economics


22 May 2015

US experts in emergency management on campus for special seminar

Black and white photo showing a man holding his head in his hands

Invited by Dr Lili Yang (Reader in Emergency Management and Co-Leader of the Emergency Management Research Interest Group), two world-renowned experts on information systems for crisis response and management, Professor Murray Turoff and Professor Starr Roxanne Hiltz, visited School of Business and Economics recently to present their most recent work on emergency management.

Murray Turoff and Starr Roxanne Hiltz are both Distinguished Professors of Information Systems at New Jersey Institute of Technology (in the USA) and were on campus May 21st for this special event.

Professor Turoff helped to form and nurture the academic association devoted to this topic (ISCRAM), and worked in the Office of Emergency Preparedness of the US President before joining academia. In the presentation, he discussed his observations of emergency management over time and described the paradox that policy makers tend to make decisions and take actions that will make their ability to respond to a future disaster more difficult. Knowing the reasons behind this paradox is significant for practitioners and system designers for working towards better policies and management in preparing and responding to major disasters.

Professor Hiltz’s work has focused on computer-mediated communication and the use of social science methods to study acceptance and impacts of information technology. She presented results of a survey of attitudes and issues related to use of social media by US county-level emergency managers. Identifying the barriers that impede use of social media by these emergency managers and the way in which they are currently used is significant for technologists and policy makers to address the issues, and in order for government agencies to fully exploit the potential of social media (for collecting as well as disseminating information).

The visit to Loughborough University was part of their long-term collaboration with the School of Business and Economics on research related to emergency management. Staff and students gathered at the seminar and discussed how these research findings were related to situations in the UK and what kind of research could be carried out in the future.

Dr Lili Yang, the founder and co-leader of the School’s Emergency Management Research Interest Group (EM-RIG), hosted the seminar and commented:

The visit of these two professors is quite a coup for the school. There is enormous potential for some really exciting international research collaborations with academics across different disciplines.

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