The series of conferences started in 1998 when the first meeting was held in Valencia, to be continued in Bologna (2000), Sintra (2002), Rhodes (2004), Malta (2006), Cephalonia (2008), The Algarve (2010) and the island of Brac in 2012.
Risk Analysis 2014, like the previous conferences, covered many aspects of risk management and hazard mitigation, associated with both natural and anthropogenic hazards.
Current events help to emphasise the importance of the analysed management of risks to planners and researchers around the world. Natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, fires and others have always affected human societies. The more recent emergence of the importance of man-made hazards is a consequence of the rapid technological advances made in the last few centuries, as well as demographic changes. The interaction of nature and man-made risks adds to the complexity of the problems.
Prof Carlos Brebbia opened the conference by welcoming the delegates in the name of his Institute and explaining the importance of the conference series amongst the activities of WIT. The objective of the Institute – Carlos said – is to act as a mechanism for knowledge transfer across different disciplines at an international level. This work is carried out through industrial research and development including the continuous evolution of the original boundary element codes developed by WIT. This has resulted in a close collaboration between the Institute and major industrial companies around the world, focusing on developing software tools serving the energy and aerospace industry, as well as engineering in general.
Another way in which the Institute disseminates knowledge is through its publishing programme. This is the responsibility of WIT Press, the publishers of the conference book. WIT Press has expanded significantly in the last few years, producing a significant number of books other than conference proceedings, as well as a growing number of international journals.
Carlos ended by explaining that the conference programme included a visit to the Wessex Institute campus where the delegates were invited to a lamb BBQ. Participants would have the opportunity of knowing more about the work of WIT as well as seeing the research and residential facilities available.
The papers presented at the Conference covered a wide variety of topics related to risk analysis and hazard mitigation. They were published in Volume 47 of the WIT Transactions on Information and Communication Technologies. All papers were also archived in the WIT eLibrary (http://library.witpress.com/), where they are permanently available to the international scientific and engineering community.
Conference TopicsThe Conference included a series of excellent presentations in a variety of topics. They were grouped under the following headings:
- Risk analysis and assessment
- Risk management
- Hazard prevention, management and control
- Vulnerability assessment
- Disaster management
- Emergency management
- Flood hazards
- Safety and security
Invited PresentationsThere were four invited lectures delivered by well known specialists, they included:
- “On spatial uncertainty in hazard and risk assessment”, by Andrea Fabbri, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy.
- “Catastrophic oil spill and analysis”, by Zhen-Gang Ji, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, USA.
- “The acceptability of risks from natural disasters”, by Donald J Higson, Consultant Engineer, Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Australia.
- “The safety of marine navigation based on a game theory”, by Jozef Lisowski, Gdynia Maritime University, Poland.
Social OccasionsThe Conference offered numerous occasions for the delegates to interact during and outside the formal sessions. In addition to coffee breaks and complimentary lunches, they were invited to a lunch time BBQ at the Campus of the Wessex Institute where they had the opportunity of seeing the work carried out at the Institute and visit some of the premises. The BBQ provided an occasion of getting to know each other in a relaxed setting. The weather – up to then unstable - was sunny and warm for the occasion.
The Conference banquet took place in the unique setting of the Rhinefield Lodge, an impressive Manor House in the New Forest, now converted into a luxury hotel.
The guests were able to see some of the main rooms in the building, including the entrance hall with its hammerbeam roof and its ancient fireplace - the only remainder of the old hunting lodge; the panelled dining-room with its wood carving of the battle of Trafalgar, and the Moorish room, built in a style reminiscent of the Alhambra.
The house, built in 1890 by the Munro-Walker family, resembles a ScottishCastle from the outside but its rooms combine a wide variety of styles. It is surrounded by a most beautiful English garden with its ponds, maze, grass amphitheatre and many interesting shrubs and trees.
Carlos explained to the delegates the history of Rhinefield House and the Munro-Walker family and thanked them for supporting the meeting. The menu consisted of lamb, for which Hampshire is renowned, accompanied by excellent wines. The evening was most enjoyable and the delegates appreciated the occasion to see different parts of the venue.
Closing of the ConferenceCarlos closed the conference thanking all the delegates for their presence and hoping that they will be joining other WIT Conferences in the future. He reminded them that WIT Press is happy to consider books or articles that they may wish to publish in one of the WIT Journals. He also hoped that they will be visiting the Ashurst Lodge Campus when they are in the region.
Conference ProceedingsThe proceedings Risk Analysis 2014 – Risk Analysis IX, 552pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-792-6; eISBN: 978-1-84564-793-3) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 47 of WIT Transactions on Information and Communication Technologies (ISSN: 1746-4463, Digital ISSN 1743-3517). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com