PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences in Development of Methodologies to Improve Emergency Disaster Response.
Disaster management, or emergency management, concerns the creation of plans which aim to reduce community vulnerability to hazards and enables them to cope with the impacts of disasters. In the aftermath of a large-scale natural disaster (such as a hurricane, earthquake or tsunami) it has been found that failure of infrastructure systems has disproportionate impacts on society. The reason for this is that these systems provide us with access to clean water supplies, transportation and medical supplies, all of which are vital in the aftermath of a disaster and also help to minimise short and long term social and economic impacts. To develop effective plans requires an ability to model how these systems behave in these events. This can be particularly challenging as the systems are complex and the events that need to be considered are rare and therefor there are few examples to learn from.
This PhD project will develop methodologies and disaster management plans which can be employed to minimise the disruption caused by natural hazards through ensuring an adequate response in the immediate aftermath. The project will initially build upon existing research that aims to understand how infrastructure systems respond to natural hazards. Several case study areas will be researched in detail and the impacts to the infrastructure systems modelled, highlighting areas without access to critical infrastructure systems. Plans to ensure that these areas, and the people who reside within them, receive at least some access to the critical infrastructure service will then be developed.
This PhD project will use modelling techniques and simulations (such as Agent-Based modelling or stocks and flow modelling) to test the skill of these developed plans, based upon: (1) the economic cost to implement, (2) the speed at which affected areas receive some access to all critical infrastructure services, (3) provides shelter to those without housing, (4) provides adequate healthcare provisions.
A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,863 (2015-16).
The award duration is 3.5 years.
Start Date: September 2016.
Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/