Multi-Hazard Risk and Resilience

Participating Faculties: Science (host), Engineering, Social Science

Project Leaders: Katsuichiro Goda, Douglas Woolford, Reza Najafi, Hassan Peerhossaini

Total Project Funding: $400,000

Funding Period: 3 years

Compounding  effects of multiple natural hazards have resulted in catastrophic  disasters worldwide. This trend is projected to increase due to deteriorating environments, such as climate change and population growth. Canada is not immune to natural disasters (e.g. common occurrence of floods in urban and coastal areas, wind storm, hail and freezing rain, major earthquakes in British Columbia and Quebec, and intense wildland fire seasons). Therefore, it is critical to develop and implement holistic multi-hazard risk assessment approaches for disaster risk reduction and management.

Western has fostered research strength in natural hazards and risks at the individual hazard or researcher level. This proposal aims to facilitate and reward interdisciplinary multi-hazard research amongst a core group of researchers at Western with expertise in a variety of natural hazards (flood, wind, earthquake, and wildland fire), in risk, and in resilience.Our intent is to establish a future center or hub for multi-hazard quantitative risk assessment. The long-term goal of the research hub is to make national and global impacts by establishing a community for infrastructure resilience and multi-hazard disaster risk mitigation in a changing environment.

The proposed hub will develop interdisciplinary multi-hazard risk and resilience educational programs and research at Western. To start, multi-hazard and risk education will be enabled by cross-disciplinary registration in graduate courses offered by participating departments. The proposed hub will foster multi-hazard risk and resilience studies by providing research grants (scholarships) to graduate and undergraduate students working with a minimum of two researchers within the hub. With strong support from the Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction including already secured financial support, the hub will host annual multi-hazard workshops to engage with key stakeholders from government/municipality and industry and will create external funding portfolios to sustain and expand the hub's research activities.