Water-related risks from natural hazards such as flooding, debris/mud flows, landslides, etc. pose increasing threats due to urbanisation, economic growth and climate change. Long-term and short-term impacts on well-being and economic growth pose a global and local threat and the risk is inter-related due to any increasing globalised economy and society. The responses available to individuals, communities, businesses and government agencies are diverse: physical protection, natural processes, behaviour change, stakeholder engagement, emergency & spatial planning, insurance. This range demonstrates the necessity for research across disciplines and at Leeds this has already led to work involving the School of Civil Engineering, School of Geography, School of Mathematics, School of Earth and Environment and the Business School.
This encompasses funding from EPSRC, NERC, ESRC, EU and KTP. Externally there are links to DEFRA, the Environment Agency, engineering companies, local government & stakeholders and the College of Policing. The drivers of urbanisation, economic growth and climate change will lead to increased risk in many regions: emerging economies are threatened due to rapid economic growth outpacing investment in adaptation or the development of risk management entities whilst the UK is threatened by reduced funding along with its physical vulnerability from a long coastline and position on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Further the past approach of considering risks separately is no longer tenable and research must reflect this: for example, in the UK the combined sources of coast, river, rainfall and groundwater flooding and from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, the combined risk of earthquake and tsunami.
The research (and researcher) that will successfully address these challenges at the intersection of the physical, social and economic system must be focused at the interfaces between the disciplines to ensure impact. As a water@leeds fellowship you would focus primarily on water-related hazards (flood, debris flows, water-induced landslide) whilst not neglecting interconnections to other natural hazards. The challenges and the interdisciplinary focus are high on the agenda of governments and international organisations which in turn places it high on the agenda of funders in the UK and the EU.
University Grade 8 (£38,511 to £45,954)
For informal enquiries about the role please contact Professor Cath Noakes, Director of Research, School of Civil Engineering, tel: +44 (0)113 343 2306, email: C.J.Noakes@leeds.ac.uk.