From 12 – 16 February 2018, the Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University in London (UK) hosted the third System-Risk ETN technical training course. The focus of this technical training was on the “Assessment of extreme events including quantification and communication of uncertainty”. This included lectures on communication of uncertainty within Flood Risk Management, damage assessments of extreme events, an overview of the flood insurance landscape as well as introductions to Lisflood-FP modelling, and qualitative data analysis combined with practical assignments. On Tuesday 13 February, a field trip to the campus of HR Wallingford at Oxford offered insight into the UK national flood risk assessment approach, and best practice on multi-variate statistical modelling. It was combined with a visit to the ‘Froude lab’ with physical models on large scale infrastructure projects and the virtual ship simulator. The second part of the field trip visited the Jubilee River flood alleviation scheme as an example for large scale flood mitigation measures facing controversial debates and requiring comprehensive and integrated project assessment. Prof. Edmund Penning-Rowsell provided first hand insight into the caveats and multi-faceted aspects of flood risk oriented planning and political decision making.
Jubilee river wetlands
Associated with the technical training, soft-skill training on “Knowledge and technology transfer, project management in insurance, consultancy industry and governmental sector” has been offered. This soft-skill training focused on knowledge transfer to society. It has been embedded in this year’s SmashfestUK outreach event. SmashfestUK is a week-long programme of events and activities with a focus on floods, see brochure here. Within this framework System-Risk ESRs took the opportunity to experience the challenges of communication about floods and related research.
A special activity was developed for the event jointly by the Flood Hazard Research Centre and the ESRs called ‘Prepare for flooding!’. The participants could learn about the different flood protection and preparedness measures they can implement at the household level and design them with arts and craft materials, see Picture below. The ESRs supported a number of different activities throughout the day including, Murky Waters led by the UK Emergency Response Team and an interactive sand-pit used to test Dams by UCL’s Earth Science Department.
Examples of flood resilience homes designed by the participants