BRIM: Building Resilience Into risk Management

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Engineering Computer Science and Maths

Abstract

The impacts of recent catastrophic disasters, including the 2013-14 UK winter flooding, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Hurricane Sandy, reach well beyond the immediate, direct structural, environmental and health risks. In a complex system, a localised initial failure may quickly spread to other systems and create "hyper-risks" or "networked risks" through "networks of networks", and cause unpredictable failures in other economic or social networks. Classical quantitative and qualitative risk management frameworks are inadequate for emerging and unforeseen threats. More specifically they cannot handle the uncertainties of low-probability and high-consequence events and of their impacts on environmental, economical and social systems due to high interdependencies between complex systems.

This project will develop a shared, multi-disciplinary vision of how to build resilience into networked risk management for highly complex engineered systems. It will address the challenges encompassed in understanding of complex interdependencies, cascade effects, tipping points of engineered systems. It is expected that this project will engage the community to develop a double helix framework that integrates risk and resilience analysis for complex systems management.

We will organise a series of managed events, such as workshops, sandpits, study groups, which will help frame research questions, develop collaborative projects and disseminate outcomes. We will provide resources for feasibility studies and a number of mechanisms to promote research that focuses on developing novel modelling tools and adaptive frameworks to understand the interdependencies of complex systems and enhance overall system resilience.

Planned Impact

In addition to the impacts from the proposed project itself, the main tangible impacts will be generated through a number of collaborations to develop novel methodologies and tools of building resilience into networked risk management of critical infrastructure systems. The activities and research results from this project will benefit a wide range of stakeholders in industry, government, and society as described below.

The UK industries including water, transport and power will be the direct beneficiaries. A suite of novel tools and methodologies will be developed to understand cascade effects and interactions of complex systems, and to support decisions on system design and management.

The UK government and regulators will benefit from this research. The government is planning to invest heavily on infrastructure over the next decade, and this includes urban critical infrastructure. The investments need to ensure resilience is built into infrastructure systems to achieve long-term sustainability.

The general public will benefit from critical infrastructure systems that achieve improved services, reduced environmental impacts and increased resilience to weather extreme.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description New knowledge was gained on how to build resilience into networked risk management for highly complex engineered systems. Risk and resilience are fundamentally different dimensions of engineering systems and various relationships between them exist. In the case of urban flooding, for example, an urban area can have a low risk and low resilience, a low risk but high resilience, a high risk and low resilience, and a high risk and high resilience.

Artificial intelligence and real time control play a key role in improving system resilience to disturbances and reduce environmental risk. This is demonstrated in flooding and water quality risk management. The use of real-time river data for wastewater treatment plant control can significantly improve the downstream river water quality and meet tighter standards. Compared to current practices such as seasonal/monthly based operation, integrated real time control can reduce costs while improving resilience of the system to disturbances and reducing environmental risk.

New research collaborations and partnerships have been developed through the network to address the challenges encompassed in understanding of complex interdependencies, cascade effects, tipping points of engineered systems. A number of research ideas which were initiated from the network activities were further developed and funded by the UKRI.
Exploitation Route The research outcomes have been disseminated through a diverse range of routes such as workshops, conference keynotes and presentations, journal publications.

The new knowledge and models can be taken forward by engineers, planners, decision and policy makers in the area of engineering and environmental systems management, such as those from Environment agency, local city councils and water companies.
Sectors Construction,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description Emergency flood planning and management using unmanned aerial systems
Amount £1,494,249 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P02839X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 04/2020
 
Description Research Link grant
Amount £24,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2018
 
Description Royal Society Industry Followship
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 04/2021
 
Description Travel and workshop funding - Shenzhen workshop
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description UK-China Urban Flooding Research Impact Programme
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Title BRIM web page for the uptake of flood resilient and resistance measures https://brimresilience.netlify.com/ 
Description Resilient and resistant measures have been proved to reduce the effect of catastrophe impact on environmental, economic and social systems. Overall, the benefit of these measures is poorly understood in practice due to the high interdependencies between complex engineered systems, such as cities, transport networks and energy supply. As a result, there is not a clear understand on which measures successfully provided added protection to properties (commercial and residential) and infrastructure, especially under emerging and unforeseen threats. BRIM engages the community to present working examples of resistance and resilient features for a range of catastrophe events. Advantages and risks of measures adopted are highlighted through the case studies presented to identify working solutions, enhance future practice and encourage resistance measure uptake. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The web page has not gone public yet but we are expecting to be used as a portal for people to encourage the uptake of resilient and resistance measures. 
URL https://brimresilience.netlify.com/
 
Description Research collaboration and staff visiting HIT Wei Qiu 
Organisation Harbin Institute of Technology
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosting the visiting professor and sharing models and tools
Collaborator Contribution Working on the project for one year
Impact One journal paper to be submitted to Ecological indicators
Start Year 2016
 
Description Research collaboration and student visiting Dalian Univeristy of Technology Yuntao Wang 
Organisation Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Department Hydraulic Engineering
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosting and supervising the PhD student
Collaborator Contribution Visiting Exeter for two years and working on the project
Impact One conference paper submitted to BHS 2016. One conference paper to be submitted to ICUD 2017. Two journal papers have been submitted in 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Research collaboration and student visiting Indian Institute of Science Chandra Rupa 
Organisation Indian Institute of Science
Department Department of Civil Engineering
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosting the postdoc and supervising her project
Collaborator Contribution Visiting Exeter for one month funded by the UK-India water Centre
Impact The major anticipated outcome of the exchange would be to develop a concept map for addressing the problem of urban flooding and managing urban infrastructure in case of flooding. Further, strengthening research capabilities, build ability to view research problems in a different perspective and ideas for further research concepts are expected as a result of this exchange. This opportunity is beneficial to network with researchers, internationally, and to gain experience in the domain of urban flood risk and vulnerability modelling.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Research collaboration and student visiting Tsinghua Lu Liu 
Organisation Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Department Hydraulic Engineering
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosting and co-supervising the PhD student
Collaborator Contribution One PhD student visiting Exeter for one year funded by China Scholarship Council
Impact One paper is expected to be submited to International Conference on Urban Drainage 2017.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Research collaboration and student visiting Tsinghua Xuyi Zhan 
Organisation Tsinghua University China
Department School of Enviroment
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise and knowledge transfer, use of models and tools developed previously at Exeter
Collaborator Contribution One student working on resilience analysis of water distribution networks in Exeter
Impact A journal paper has been written up and will be submitted soon from this collaboration.
Start Year 2017
 
Description site visit for collaborative research 
Organisation Northumbrian Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution An innovative methodology, based on artificial intelligence techniques, has been proposed for sewer system management. Data is being collected from Northumbrian Water to apply this method.
Collaborator Contribution The company is providing the data and knowledge of wastewater engineering and local situations for this study.
Impact A methodology is being developed and improved. A report and joint paper are expected to be delivered.
Start Year 2018
 
Description A Reference Architecture for a Resilient UK Water Supply System 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop has considered the role of a reference architecture in the development of resilient, future water supply systems. The day consisted of activities for the participants to help define what is meant by resilience in the water sector and to begin mapping the interdependencies between key stakeholders within the water sector, customers, and government bodies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description A presentation at ICHE 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A research presentation to introduce the latest outcomes from this project, which generated a lot of interests and discussion afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Dessimination at BHS 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Research outcomes were presented at the following conference:
Yuntao Wang, Guangtao Fu, Albert Chen, Mike Gibson, Slobodan Djordjevic, Chi Zhang, Dragan Savic. Fast 2D flood simulation and risk assessment (abstract). 4th British Hydrological Society International Conference, 30th Aug - 1st September 2016, Crainfield, Bedford, UK.
Interesting discussion with several members of the audience after the presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description How Climate Change Impacts Flood Risk - Post Event Summary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A 15 min presentation summarising project methodology and outcomes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-climate-change-impacts-flood-risk-post-event-summary-joe-thomas
 
Description Organise a workshop on "Property Flood Resilience and the Insurance Sector" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact With global economic losses due to natural disaster being in the order of $150 billion per annum, the uptake of flood resilient measures by residential property owners is of paramount importance for flood protection and management.

Flood resilient measures reduce the costs of repair of homes and buildings and the disruption caused by flooding to families and businesses. They aim to make people and their property less vulnerable to physical and mental impacts of flooding. These measures can be installed directly into buildings at risk of flooding as preventative actions or during repair works of buildings after flooding.

However, the take up of flood resilient measures remains low despite their advantages. It is not yet normal practice for properties in areas at high flood risk to be made more resilient following a flood. Slow uptake of measures is due to a varied range of factors including (i) a general believe that only the authorities can manage flood risk, (ii) a believe that experienced flood events are a "one off" and (iii) be unware or not accept that the property is at risk. This workshop focuses on developing plausible solutions for the uptake of flood resilient and resistance measures with a specially focus on the insurance sector. In particular, the workshop will aim at addressing the following questions:
1.What role does resilience have on dealing with flood risk?
2.How do we encourage the uptake and management of resilience measures?
3.What is the key role of insurances to achieve?
4.Which data is required or needs to be provided to facilitate (2) and (3)?

A range of insurance companies or companies working with/for the insurance sector will be approached to join the BRIM network and attend the one day workshop. A set of presentations by subject matter experts will be delivered during the morning session. The aim is for the presentations to inspire/guide/provide project ideas for the afternoon session. We are looking to fund multiple (small) over-arching projects at the workshop based on ideas developed during the afternoon working session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/events/events-2018/property-flood-resilience-and-the-insurance-sector
 
Description Presentation at British Hydrological Society conference at Cranfield University// hydrologists make the water go round 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A 20 minute presentation sunmmarising the potential of UAVs for flood extent mapping and damage assessment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.hydrology.org.uk/dms-files.php?id=1123&action=doc
 
Description Presentation at Worcester university- Small Unmanned Aerial Systems for Environmental Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A short presentation (20 min) summarising project methodology and outputs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/uav-conference.html
 
Description Presentation at workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A 15 min presentation on the use of drones for flood extent mapping and damage assessment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/brim/brim-workshops/sustainable-and-resilient-water-infrastructure-flood-r...
 
Description Presentation of the work at NERC event- reporting project outputs 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A short presentation summarising project methodology and outputs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Property Flood Resilience and the Insurance Sector 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A range of insurance companies or companies working with/for the insurance sector have been approached to join the BRIM network and attend the one day workshop. A set of presentations by subject matter experts have been delivered. The presentations inspired or guided potential project ideas to be proposed in near future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/brim/2017/12/14/next-brim-workshop-property-flood-resilience-and-the-insur...
 
Description Sustainable and Resilient Water Infrastructure: flood risk and resilience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop focused on flood, risk and resilience. The workshop was based on a set of talks and group discussions arranged over two days. The discussions were primarily based on the how to improve water infrastructure resilience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/brim/brim-workshops/sustainable-and-resilient-water-infrastructure-flood-r...
 
Description Sustainable and Resilient Water Infrastructure: flood risk and resilience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop "Sustainable and Resilient Water Infrastructure: flood risk and resilience" gathered researchers from industry and academia to discuss the main challenges for a resilient water infrastructure in the UK. Extreme weather events put water infrastructure at risk while population growth increases demand. In many cases the aging water infrastructure is not able to cope. There is a question of how water infrastructure can become resilient to floods? There is also another important question: Are current research efforts enough to ensure a resilient future? Or are there any gaps that need to be filled in order to ensure the adequate dealing of repeated flooding events? This workshop covered topics such as: linking community resilience and infrastructure resilience, natural flood management and catchment approach, flood risk management, flood risk modelling, drainage management in a changing climate, and various others. The workshop was a one-day event divided into two parts: first, a series of presentations from invited speakers and second, a workshop discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/systems-net/activitiesandevents/brimworkshops/
 
Description Sustainable and Resilient Water Infrastructure: flood risk and resilience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop gathered 23 researchers from industry and academia to discuss the main challenges for a resilient water infrastructure in the UK. It covered topics such as: linking community resilience and infrastructure resilience, natural flood management and catchment approach, flood risk management, flood risk modelling, drainage management in a changing climate, and various others. The workshop sparked questions and discussions on how to improve the resilience of water infrastructure from a diversity of perspectives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/brim/brim-workshops/sustainable-and-resilient-water-infrastructure-flood-r...
 
Description The Influence of Weather and Climate Variability on Water Resources Management 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This joint workshop co-organised with the EPSRC networks ReCoVER (Research in Change of Variability and Environmental Risk) attracted 31 researchers and practitioners (e.g. Met office). The aim of the workshop is to explore how weather/climate variability will shape water resources management in the long term and identify themes for research that could help develop management strategies to better cope with the variability in means and extremes. According to the feedbacks we received, the talks arranged were well received and the discussions afterwards were useful in providing cross-disciplinary insights in related topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/brim/brim-workshops/the-influence-of-weather-and-climate-variability-on-wa...
 
Description The Influence of Weather and Climate Variability on Water Resources Management 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop focused on The Influence of Weather and Climate Variability on Water Resources Management. The workshop brought together researchers, postgraduate students and practitioners. The workshop included a set of talks related to the key topic and group discussions. Based on the feedback, both the discussions sessions and the talks were well received.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/brim/brim-workshops/the-influence-of-weather-and-climate-variability-on-wa...
 
Description Urban Flooding and Sponge Cities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop provided a platform for researchers, urban planners and engineers to discuss critical issues and main challenges, share the latest research outcomes, and demonstrate the best practices in flood risk management and Sponge City developments. Over 40 participants from the UK, China, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka attended the workshop and presented a wide range of methodologies and applications, including flood simulation and risk assessment tools, new and emerging metrics, and frameworks that can be used for design, planning and assessment of sponge cities. Few distinguished experts in the field, including Paul Leinster (Cranfield University), Nigel Wright (De Montfort University), Sarah Bell (University College London), Janaka Ruwanpura (University of Calgary) and Mooyoung Han (Seoul National University), also delivered keynote talks during the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/brim/brim-workshops/urban-flooding-and-sponge-cities/
 
Description Water-Wise Cities and Smart Water Systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Centre for Water Systems (CWS), University of Exeter, and the Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, organised a Workshop on Water-Wise Cities and Smart Water Systems in Xi'an, China, during 11th and 13th September 2018. The workshop was aimed at early career researchers from the two countries to enable networking and sharing of research findings, focusing on new methods and emerging technologies that can be used for design, planning and management of water-wise cities. Three world-leading researchers delivered keynote talks and acted as mentors for early career researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018