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Prof. Dr. Michael Kunz
Spokesman Topic 6
+49 721 608 22845
michael kunzOkb1∂kit edu

Natural Hazards and Risk Management

Today’s societies have become increasingly vulnerable to natural and technical risks by virtue of their greater dependence on critical infrastructures such as energy, traffic, communication and information systems, and growing globalization. Policy objectives such as the energy transition in Germany or the alteration of the mobility systems (electric mobility, autonomous driving) likewise imply a deep intervention in the present-day complex systems. The future impacts and implications of these systems on society and environment are difficult to estimate today. In addition, changing climate conditions may result in extreme situations not sufficiently taken into account in existing protection concepts and risk management systems.

This aim of this topic is to generate knowledge in the field of natural and manmade risks and to develop appropriate technologies and tools for enhancing resilience. The complexity and multifaceted nature of the subject require an interdisciplinary approach and view. Special importance is attached to the vulnerability of critical infrastructures with a special focus on energy supply, mobility systems, and information and communication technologies. In the field of risk management, simulation systems to analyze sequences and the cascading effects of disasters, real-time information systems, and tools to support decision making are being developed. Synergy effects result from the interconnection of methods of natural risks and technologically induced risks.

A key role in this respect is played by the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM, www.cedim.de ), which is an interdisciplinary research institution of KIT in the field of disaster and risk management.