Professor Ksenia Chmutina


Pronouns: She/her
  • Professor of Disaster Studies
  • Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies
  • Special Envoy for East Asia

Research and expertise

My main interests and expertise lie within:


  • Disaster risk creation in the context of neoliberal policies and post-colonialism
  • Disaster capitalism
  • Disaster science communication
  • Role of language and narrative in disaster risk reduction
  • Synergies, tensions, and trade-offs between urban sustainability and resilience
  • Disaster risk management of cultural heritage
  • Games and participatory methodologies for disaster risk reduction


Recent research projects

  • Gender Responsive Resilience and Intersectionality in Policy and Practice (GRRIPP) - Networking Plus Partnering for Resilience: GRRIPP brings together partners from Latin America and the Caribbean, Southern Africa, South Asia, and the UK to disrupt mainstream development discussions on gender. Our particular focus is on resilience and with a special emphasis on gender-responsive infrastructure; we seek to understand and enhance people’s resilience to shocks, and support the development of more sustainable infrastructure, in all its diverse forms.

  • Beyond the networked city: This GCRF-funded project focuses on building innovative delivery systems for water, sanitation, and energy in urban Africa. It aims to enhance the delivery of sustainable and resilient water, sanitation, and energy services to marginalised communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone,  and Kampala, Uganda through high-quality research that develops a mixed economy model of on-grid and off-grid systems. Central to our thinking is that both on-grid and off-grid systems should provide users with the same safety and adequacy of service.

Previous research projects


  • Risk-Related: This project has been developed and delivered in collaboration with RADAR (LU Arts’ commissioning and research programme). A series of commissions explore risk and its social, ecological, and economic relations.
  • Urban vulnerability, risks, safety, and security: Researcher Links Workshop Grant was delivered with Tsinghua University’s Institute for Public Safety and aimed at creating a shared research agenda to address security challenges posed by and to urbanisation in China and the UK that will create new practice underpinned by theory, with research that addresses both theory and practice.
  • Enhancing urban flood resilience for 1 million people through Blue-Green Infrastructure in Semarang, Indonesia (BUGIS): The Newton Fund project aims to increase the flood resilience of Semarang by integrating Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) concepts into the development of that city’s drainage. BGI is an approach that integrates water management and green infrastructure to replicate natural water cycles. This aim will be achieved by developing a sustainable Flood Risk Management Strategy for Semarang that embraces the technical (structural and non-structural) approaches of BGI and aligns them with local community-based activities. The project will seek to integrate future research and development (R&D) into urban development planning with a heightened capacity for resilience against the impacts of climate change.
  • ‘Thinking Inside the Box': A Mixed Reality Development Platform for co-creating energy efficient retail spaces’: This research project is an EPSRC-funded study to test the feasibility of the next generation of decision support models with regards to informing energy demand reduction strategies in the built environment. The selected Research Associate (RA) will contribute 100% of their time for the 17 months duration of the project. The project explores a new method of integrating multiple user perspectives into the design for enhanced energy reduction and indoor environmental performance. Instead of proposing and modelling the effect of abrupt changes, our work will test the feasibility of an MRDP – a multi-user serious gaming environment deployed within the space that it is designed to influence - to enable the co-creation of socio-technical interventions.
  • Building Resilience in Nepal: This GCRF Frontiers of Engineering for Development Seed-funded project led by the University of York aims to better understand the effectiveness of advice for increasing the resilience of buildings and to improve knowledge exchange with informal construction stakeholders in Nepal.
  • UK-India Smart Cities for Sustainable Future Cities: SMArt CitIES Network for Sustainable Urban Futures (SMARTIES Net) is a collaborative partnership between British and Indian academics led by the University of Nottingham. The project aims to establish a multi-disciplinary consortium of researchers specialising in a range of fields including engineering, social science, urban planning, and heritage. Through a variety of engagement activities, including multi-stakeholder workshops in seven Indian cities, an entrepreneurship competition, and a variety of publications, the project will support the development of integrated policy strategies for selected cities in India.
  • The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Small Grant for the facilitation of collaboration in the area of climate change impacts on, and improved disaster risk management for, cultural heritage sites in Japan and the UK.

Recent publications

  • Chmutina, K., von Meding, J., Alexander, D.W., Vickery, J. and Purdum, C., 2022. From pity to fear: security as a mechanism for (re)production of vulnerability. Disasters
  • Chmutina, K. and von Meding, J., 2022. Towards a liberatory pedagogy of disaster risk reduction among built environment educators. Disaster Prevention and Management, 1 (5), 521-535
  • Chmutina, K., Cheek, W. and von Meding, J., 2022. “Critique is not a verb”: Is peer review stifling the dialogue in disaster scholarship? Disaster Prevention and Management, 31 (4), 387-97.
  • Cheek, W. and Chmutina, K., 2022. Measuring Resilience in the Assumed City. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science.
  • Marlow, E., Chmutina, K. and Dainty, A., 2022. Interpreting sustainability and resilience in the built environment. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
  • Alcantara-Ayala, I., Gomez, C., Chmutina, K., van Niekerk, D., Raju, E., Marchezini, V., Cadag, J.R., Galliard, JC., 2022. Disaster Risk. London: Routledge. 
  • Chmutina, K., von Meding, J., Sandoval, V., Boyland, M., Forino, G., Cheek, W., Williams, D.A., Gonzalez-Muzzio, C., Tomassi, I., Páez, H., Marchezini, V., 2021. What we measure matters: the case of the missing development data in Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction monitoring. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 12, 779–789
  • Goodall, S., Li, Y., Chmutina, K., Dijkstra, T., Meng, X. and Jordan, C. 2021. Exploring disaster ontologies from Chinese and Western perspectives: commonalities and nuances. Disaster Prevention and Management, 31 (3), 260-272
  • Chmutina, K., Tandon, A., Kalkhitashvili, M., Tevzadze, M. and Kobulia, I. 2021. Understanding the Interconnection of Cultural Heritage, Vulnerabilities, and Capacities participation. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 53, DOI:
  • Bosher, L., Chmutina, K. and van Niekerk, D., 2021. Stop going around in circles: towards a reconceptualisation of disaster risk management phases. Disaster Prevention and Management. DOI:
  • Chmutina, K., Sadler, N., von Meding, J. and Abukhalaf, A.H.I., 2020. Lost (and Found?) in Translation: Key Terminology in Disaster Studies. Disaster Prevention and Management, 30(2), pp.149-162


I am a Co-Director of the MSc in International Sustainable Development, in collaboration with Loughborough University London. I also contribute to learning and teaching activities across various School’s modules related to disaster risk reduction, urban sustainability, sustainable, development, critical theory, and urban planning.


  • CVA131 Challenges and Processes in Urban Planning
  • CVB078 Critical Theory
  • CVC010 Disaster risk reduction in the Built Environment

Postgraduate taught

  • CVP521 Sustainable and Resilience Development (Module Lead)
  • CVP407 Disaster risk management 

Postgraduate research


  • PhD Student (FT): Alasdair Booth (2nd supervisor, co-supervised with Dr Lee Bosher). 
    Project: Counter Terrorism and the Protection of Crowded Places (awarded in April 2019)
  • PhD Student (FT): Elizabeth Marlow (1st supervisor, co-supervised with Prof Andrew Dainty). 
    Project: Indicators for Resilience and Sustainability (Start date: 1st October 2016)
  • PhD Student (FT): Monia del Pinto (1st supervisor, co-supervised with Dr Lee Bosher and Dr Garyfalia Palaiologou). 
    Project: Post disaster planning and the key role of the Unbuilt (Start date:  1st October 2017) 


  • PhD student (PT): Susanna Goodall (2nd supervisor, co-supervised with Dr Tom Dijkstra and Prof Meng Xingmin (Lanzhou University, China))
    Project: Exploring community-based geohazard response schemes in Gansu, China (Start date: 1st October 2018)
  • PhD student (PT): Jonathan Vann (2nd supervisor, co-supervised with Dr Tim Marjoribanks); funded by CENTA (NERC)
    Project: Natural Flood Management in urban river catchments (Start date: 1st October 2020)
  • PhD student (FT): Siwen Wang (2nd supervisor, co-supervised with Dr Robby Soetanto)
    Project: Evaluating and enhancing the resilience in urban cities: green infrastructure and communities
  • PhD student (FT): David Angel (1st supervisor, co-supervised with Prof Victoria Haines and Dr Monia del Pinto)
    Project: Reconstructing HOME (Start date: 1st July 2021)
  • PhD student (FT): Sara Christou (2nd supervisor, co-supervised with Prof Rebecca Cain and DR Ksenija Kuzmina)
    Project: Homely HOME (Start date: 1st July 2021)
  • PhD student (FT): Edwin Sam-Mbomah (1st supervisor, co-supervised with Dr Tom Dijkstra), funded by Commonwealth Scholarship
    Project: Assessment of disaster risk management policies in Sierra Leone (Start date: Jan. 2022)


Invited international short courses

  • 2022 – Methodology expert, ICCROM ‘Net Zero: Heritage for Climate Action’ capacity development programme. 
  • December 2019: Invited key resource person on the First Aid for Cultural Heritage course, ICCROM, Rome, Italy.
  • August 2019: Invited key resource person to the ‘Community Centred Tools for Sustaining Cultural Heritage and Building Disaster Resilience Field Project in Racha-Lechkhumi region, Georgia’, ICCROM. 
  • September 2017- ongoing: ‘Disaster risk management of cultural heritage', Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
  • 2012-2016: “Public Policy for Renewable Energy” course for the MSc in Renewable Energy Management programme, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados 
  • 2014-2015: The World Bank Institute’s ‘Introduction to Disaster Risk Management’ course and ‘Safe and Resilient Cities’ courses (online)
  • 2010-2013: The Chevening Young Leaders Programme, organized by the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, UK

Invited speaker

  • 2022 – Invited main panel speaker ‘Root causes of disasters’. Understanding Risks 2022 (London Satellite Event), 29th Nov. 
  • 2022 – Invited panel speaker ‘The implications of framing disasters as natural’. No Natural Disasters Conference, London, 22 Sept.
  • 2022 – Invited presentation at the Disaster Haggyo, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea (13-22 August) 
  • 2022 – Invited presentation ‘Are disasters ever natural?’, Conference on the social impact of disasters and climate change, Stavanger University, Norway (9-10 June)
  • 2022 – Invited public lecture ‘Disaster risk creation’, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL (15 March)
  • 2022 – Keynote ‘Critical reflections on urban resilience’, Building co-produced urban resilience to climate change-related risks: Innovation for integrated risk management event, the Centre for Contemporary Latin American Studies (CCLAS) at the University of Edinburgh (UK) (3 March). 
  • 2022 – Invited speaker ‘'What causes disasters: implications of language on understanding causality and impact', Cambridge Disaster Research Network, University of Cambridge (7 Feb.)
  • 2022 – Invited session lead ‘Vulnerability, capacity – or justice?’, Climate Culture Peace conference, ICCROM (28 Jan.)
  • 2021 – Keynote ‘Disaster risk reduction or disaster risk production? The role of blue-green infrastructure in urban resilience’ (Colloquium on nature-based solutions for water management, The Mexican Institute of Water Technology, 15th June) 
  • 2021 – Keynote ‘Framing of disasters: are natural hazards really a problem?’ (Annual Student Conference on Global Challenges, Drexel University, USA, 18th May)
  • 2021 – Invited Guest Lecture ‘Sustainability, Built Environment, and Neoliberalism’ (FIBER, University of Florida, USA, 26thJan.)
  • 2020 – Invited organiser and facilitator, Disaster and Media Communication training session, 45th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop (University of Colorado, Boulder, 12th July)
  • 2020 – Invited panel speaker, The impact of COVID-19 in prisons (University of Copenhagen, 20th June) 
  • 2020 – Invited speaker, The Aesthetics of Risk, RADAR (Loughborough University, 29th June)
  • 2020 – Invited organiser and facilitator, Disaster and Media Communication training session, 45th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop (University of Colorado, Boulder, 12 July)
  • 2020 – Invited Panel speaker, Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage: Challenges and Opportunities in Post-COVID Times. UNESCO Chair Programme on Cultural Heritage and Risk Management (Ritsumeikan University, Japan, 27 June)
  • 2020 – Invited panel speaker, BCO ESG Webinar: Resilient Workplace, Climate Change Risks and Opportunities (British Council for Offices, 28 May)
  • 2019 – Invited presentation ‘Disaster risk reduction of disaster risk production?’, Flood Re (London, 10 October)
  • 2019 – Invited presentation ‘Blue, Green or Turquoise? Exploring synergies and tensions between sustainability and resilience of the built environment’, Brunel University (London, 2 April) 
  • 2019 – Invited speaker ‘From conflict to resilience: key considerations’, at the Post-Crisis Recovery of Historic Cities in the Arab Region Workshop (Sharjah, 24 -28 February)
  • 2019 - Invited presentation ‘Sustainability, resilience and climate change: are we reinventing the wheel?’ at the 1st Regional Workshop on Flood Resilient Planning Strategies for Cultural (Bangkok, 9-11 January)
  • 2018 - Invited presentation ‘DRR as a Professional Competency: Understanding the Role of Multi-stakeholder Engagement in Contributing to Addressing Major Geohazards’ at the 2nd International Symposium on New Techniques for Geohazards Research and Management (Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China, 21-23 September)
  • 2018 - Public lecture for the Leicester City Series ‘Towards Disaster Resilient Cities’ (Leicester Urban Observatory, Leicester, UK, 9 August)
  • 2018 - Public lecture ‘Blue, Green or Turquoise: Sustainable and Resilient Cities’ (Institute of Public Safety, Tsinghua University, China, 23 April) 
  • 2018 - Public lecture ‘Sustainable and Resilient Urban Infrastructure’ (University of Diponegoro, Semarang, Indonesia, 27 February) 
  • 2017 - Invited panel speaker: International Expert Forum on Mainstreaming Resilience and DRR in Education (Bangkok, Thailand, 1-2 December)
  • 2017 - Invited session chair: Disasters and the Built Environment , CIB International Research Conference (Salford, 11-13 September 2017)
  • 2017 - Invited panel speaker: RUSI’s Resilience Conference 2017 Responding to Complex Threats: Floods, Blackouts, and Hybrid Attacks (20-21 September 2017)
  • 2014 - Invited session chair: Royal Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering for Development Symposium; Resilient Development session (Cambridge, 21-23 November 2016)
  • 2014 - Invited panel speaker: Understanding the role of the private and public stakeholders in slow onset disaster resilience framework (IDRC, Davos 2014)
  • 2012 - Invited panel speaker: Leapfrogging conventional development goals to be global change ready in the global tropics (Planet Under Pressure Conference, London, 26-29 March 2012)

Conference scientific committee and organisation

  • 2023 i-Rec conference, Sendai, Japan 
  • 2022 Climate.Culture. Peace conference, ICCROM, Rome Italy/ virtual 
  • 2022 CIB World Building Congress, Australia 
  • 2021 WEDC Conference, Loughborough, UK 
  • 2019 i-REC conference, Florida, USA
  • 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2019 CIB World Building Congress, Hong Kong 
  • 2019 Interstices symposium Political Matters: Spatial Thinking of the Alternative, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2019 World Conference on Drowning Prevention, Durban, South Africa
  • 2018 Building Resilience Conference, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2018 WEDC conference, Nakuru, Kenya
  • 2017 CIB International Research Conference, Salford, UK
  • 2017 Resilience Conference: Responding to Complex Threats: Floods, Blackouts, and Hybrid Attacks 
  • 2017 International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure
  • Results from Urban and Rural Energy Case Studies session at the CLUES Conference: Energy in Locality, 8th May 2012, UCL, London
  • 2016 and 2017 CIB World Building Congress
  • 2016 and 2017 WEDC International conference
  • 2016 Building Resilience Conference
  • 2015 -2017 International Conference on Energy, Environment and Climate Change


  • 2022 – Lead expert of the ‘British Red Cross evidence review on vulnerability to emergencies in the UK’
  • 2020 – Invited expert peer review of the Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities approach, Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance
  • Lead academic reviewer of the British Council for Offices report ‘Climate Change Risks & Adaptation in the Commercial Office Sector’
  • The Academic Evaluation of the Institution of Civil Engineering Interim Report ‘In Plain Sight: reducing the risk of infrastructure failure’
  • The Government Office for Science’s Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment report mid-term review 
  • DIREKT – Small Developing Island Renewable Energy Knowledge and Technology Transfer Network, The University of the West Indies, Barbados


My research focusses on the processes of urban disaster risk creation and systemic implications of sustainability and resilience in the context of neoliberalism.

My other research interests include narratives and framings of disasters, disaster risk management of cultural heritage, and the use of games in disaster risk reduction research. I have conducted research in the UK, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, China, and the Caribbean, working with policymakers, non-governmental organisations, industry, and marginalised communities.  I have conducted research in the UK, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, China, the Caribbean, and across Europe. I have co-authored over 60 academic papers and book chapters, and I am a co-author of the textbook Disaster Risk Reduction for the Built Environment’  (Wiley, 2017) and Disaster Risk (Routledge, 2022). A core part of my activities is science communication: I am a co-host of a podcast ‘Disasters: Deconstructed’. I use my work to draw attention to the fact that disasters are not natural.

  • 2021 – 2022– Reader in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism, Loughborough University, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
  • 2019 – 2021 – Senior Lecturer in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism, Loughborough University, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
  • 2015 –2019 Lecturer in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism, Loughborough University, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
  • 2011-2015 Research Associate, Loughborough University, School of Civil and Building Engineering
  • 2011 - Research Assistant, University of Nottingham, Division of Energy and Sustainability

Professional Affiliations

  • Nov. 2020-current: Honorary Associate Professor, Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL
  • 2018-2022 - Joint Coordinator of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction’s Working Commission 120 ‘Disasters and the Built Environment’ (member of the W120 since 2016)
  • 2020-2022 - Member of the Words to Action Guide on ‘Using traditional knowledge for disaster risk reduction’ Expert Group, UNDRR and ICCROM
  • Member of the Methodology Advisory Group for the Global Network for Disaster Reduction’s Views from the Frontline project
  • Member of the editorial board of Disaster Prevention and Management, Disasters, Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 
  • Founding co-editor of the Disaster Studies Journal
  • Founding member of the CONVERGE COVID-19 Working Groups ‘Disaster Capitalism’, ‘Disaster Science, Humanities, and Media Outreach’, and ‘Prisons and Prisoners’
  • External examiner, MSc Disaster Management and Resilience course, Coventry University
  • Peer reviewer for the 2019 Global Report on Internal Displacement, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
  • Peer reviewer for the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR


  • 2021 – publication included in the Disaster Prevention and Management 30th Anniversary Virtual issue as one of 11 seminal papers selected by the editorial board 
  • 2019 Emerald Literati Award - Outstanding Reviewer for Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal 
  • 2018 Teaching Innovation Award for a project ‘Disaster Risk Reduction is a child’s play: using modular construction toys to understand structural DRR measures’ 

Media Appearances

Key Collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • Save the Children
  • Practical Action
  • National Society for Earthquate Technology, Nepal
  • Universities of York, Bristol, Nottingham, UCL, Durham, King’s College London (UK)
  • University of Florida, USA
  • University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • University of Newcastle, Australia
  • North-West University, South Africa 
  • Ritsumeikan University, Japan
  • Montreal University, Canada
  • Tsinghua University, China
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul;
  • University of the West Indies, Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica