ITRC researcher wins Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize 2016

Insurance industry recognises systems modelling tools developed by Environmental Change Institute researchers to support better infrastructure risk management.

Photo: Dr Raghav Pant presents his award-winning paper at the Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize 2016

Dr Raghav Pant, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher for the ITRC, won the prestigious Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize 2016 in Systems Modelling. His research paper explored how infrastructure systems modelling can help businesses improve their infrastructure risk management, and was published in collaboration with Professor Jim Hall (Director of ECI, University of Oxford) and Dr Simon Blainey (Lecturer in Transportation, University of Southampton).

Infrastructure owners, operators and insurers face profound socio-economic losses when their assets are exposed to external events, such as extreme weather, that cause serious damage or business interruptions.

Modelling tools for risk assessment incorporate the interactions between infrastructures, people and economy, and assist improved planning for these incidents. Dr Pant’s research provides advanced analytics, with better data for insurers on the vulnerabilities of their insured assets and connected networks. There is a clear financial incentive because such knowledge helps insurers to incorporate pro-active risk management to protect key assets and minimise losses. With his unique modelling, it is possible to look at the impact of different shocks on infrastructure networks, and to use this information to identify, for example, critical assets or the particular risks associated with flooding and other extreme events.

These insights can then be applied widely: improving asset management programmes, revising risk registers or informing investment decisions. Dr Pant said:

“Giving decision-makers better information about their potential risks can build their capacity to plan for the future. Our system-of-systems approach has applications across business and policy, so it’s just as useful for people responsible for maintaining infrastructure assets as it is for those who are planning new infrastructure. The ITRC methodology can be transferred to any general infrastructure context, and is already being applied to infrastructure systems in the UK and in other developed and developing countries.”

The Lloyd’s prize is awarded to the research paper that is judged to best inform the insurance industry on risks and risk management, and in confirming the award, Lloyd’s said:

“The judging panel, comprised of experts from academia and insurance, felt that your paper contained brilliant analysis and research. They felt that the paper adds directly to insurers’ knowledge, and that what it looks to cover is readily applicable and useful.”

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This post was originally published on the ITRC webpage.