Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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19 April 2012 | PR 12/72

Creating a more resilient society

Photo

The 2005 Buncefield fuel depot fire was the UK's biggest peacetime blaze (Photo: Institute of Civil Defence and Disaster Studies)

Developing systems that are resilient and can continue to operate during unexpected or emergency situations will be the focus of a new research network being established at Loughborough University.

Resilience is the ability of a socio-technical system to adjust its functioning prior to, during, or following changes and disturbances so that it can sustain required operations under both expected and unexpected conditions.  Examples of such systems include hospitals, rail, road and other forms of transportation and infrastructure designed to prevent environmental and societal catastrophes, such as floods and terrorist threats.

With both natural and manmade disasters commonplace across the world resilience remains a key issue.  Academics from the University’s Design School, School of Civil and Building Engineering and School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering are now joining forces to try and push forward new research in this area.

Network leader Dr Patrick Waterson from the Design School said: “This network is a fantastic opportunity for the University to pull all its expertise in this area together and come up with some very exciting and innovative research proposals.

“Building resilience into organisational and technical systems such as healthcare, the built environment, critical lifeline services and transportation is a huge priority for the UK and other developed countries.  At Loughborough we are trying to rise to this challenge by bringing together the expertise in resilience and complex systems which exists across the campus.”

To launch the network Professor Erik Hollnagel, an international expert in the field of resilience engineering, gave a presentation at the University to interested academics and hosted a workshop.  Network members will now develop a set of research proposals to submit to the UK research councils on the theme of resilience and complex systems.

For further information about the network contact Dr Waterson by emailing P.Waterson@lboro.ac.uk or call 01509 228478.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Thursday April 19, 2012 12:19