Internationalisation means creating an environment that is international in characterin teaching, in research, in outreach. We need to combine local and regional research and engagement with a strong international presence, and this is at the heart of my networks and partnerships, which stretch across several continents.   These opportunities provide the means to disseminate my research to international policy makers, industrialists and academics. They generate impact and enable me to play a leading role in shaping the built and human environment towards green and sustainable futures, incorporating high quality living and social responsibility. This is what I am trying to achieve: global brand penetration is not just about being acknowledged as “global” by international academic peers and by national policy makers, but also by the general public. 

 

International collaborations

One of the key aims is to use specific partnerships with world-leading institutions to develop and extend their research quality, recognising that these should be based on mutual benefit.

Links with key industry stakeholders are key in facilitating the use of our research findings to inform and influence policy, strategy and operations. There needs to be key industry stakeholder buy-in where research findings are translated into programmable actions, appreciating the value of the findings and to embark on discussions on how to incorporate these perspectives in their work.

In this context, I have developed strong links with key industry stakeholders with the support from major UK, European and global agencies, which fund its research and development activities, as well as major sponsors from industry, local government and the not-for-profit sector including the European Union, the British Council, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Some key examples include:

  • UNISDR "Making Cities Resilient" Campaign Advocate. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) of the United Nations for Disaster Risk Reduction has made this appointment  who promote urban disaster resilience in their spheres of influence. – October 2014
  • A partner of UNHABITAT’s HABITAT UNIVERSITIES initiative. This initiative was introduced as a means of promoting cooperation between UN-HABITAT and institutions of higher education, as well as facilitating exchange and cooperation among universities globally. November 2014. 
  • Partner, The 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR15), launched on the 4th March 2015 by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Headquarters of the United Nations, New York. 
  • UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS) - Enhancing Tsunami Risk Assessment and Management, Strengthening Policy Support and Developing Guidelines for Tsunami Exercises in Indian Ocean Countries. October 2014.
  • Partner, Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI). Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan – May 2015. GADRI is a forum for sharing knowledge and promoting collaboration on topics related to disaster risk reduction and resilience to disasters.  GADRI facilitates discussions on, Planning and organization of disaster risk research; Formation of international research groups to investigate current global disasters, and implement new research methodologies, and emphasizing trans-disciplinary approaches; Establishment of an international network for timely communication related to disaster research and collaborations with other networks; and Other issues relating to the promotion of disaster risk reduction, such as engaging with policy makers and practitioners.
  • Partner of the E Conference on Landside risk reduction - Model Policy frameworks, Standards and Guidelines on Landslide Disaster Reduction. World Centre of Excellence on Landslide Disaster Reduction, Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau and the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment in Sri Lanka.

 

Working together to reduce risks 

I have been working with a large number of stakeholders to achieve resilient, sustainable urban communities by working with local governments to reduce the risks associated with disasters. My involvement in the UN campaign on making cities resilient as a member of its advisory Board and as a key Academic Partner brings direct influence to global efforts to help cities and governments get ready and become resilient to disasters.

I am also jointly  leading the ANDROID (Academic Network for Disaster Resilience to Optimise Educational Development) network of 64 universities across Europe, plus higher education institutions from Australia, Canada and Sri Lanka. The network promotes cooperation and innovations among European higher education institutions to increase society’s resilience to disasters. Its research and engagement has a significant influence on policymaking and practice and includes joint work to describe, analyse and compare the capacity of European cities and higher education institutions to address disaster risk. The network provides data, advice and guidance for policymakers and practitioners on the role of building and construction to anticipate and respond to unexpected major events which damage the environment.

Further, I enjoy  a large number of international, strategically important partnerships with over seventy five international universities and institutions, including:

  • UNESCO
  • Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, Thailand
  • Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities
  • UNHABITAT
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia
  • University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Purdue University, USA
  • University of Calgary, Canada
  • York University, Canada
  • Jensen Science Center,  Guatemala 
  • Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
  • University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia
  • UTM, Malaysia
  • Royal Institute of Management, Bhutan
  • Chiang Mai University, Thailand 

 

International networks

I co-lead  and/or  contribute to major international networks of academics, policy makers and practitioners in the field: