7th International Conference on Computer Simulation of Risk Analysis and Hazard Mitigation


13 - 15 September 2010
Algarve, Portugal

Overview and Opening Address

Risk Analysis CoverThe seventh International Conference on Computer Simulation of Risk Analysis and Hazard Mitigation (Risk Analysis 2010) was held in the Algarve, Portugal, following other successful conferences in the series which started in Valencia (1998) and continued in Bologna (2000), Sintra (2002), Rhodes (2004), Malta (2006) and Cephalonia (2008).

Risk Analysis 2010 covered a series of topics of current interest and included many practical applications, demonstrating how to analyse and manage risk and mitigate hazards.

The meeting was opened by Professor Carlos Brebbia, Director of the Wessex Institute of Technology who explained how the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) acts as a centre for the dissemination of knowledge at an international level, bringing people from different disciplines together.  The conference programme is an essential part of this programme as it focuses on new developments and interdisciplinary research work.

WIT – Professor Brebbia explained – carries out an extensive programme of research (some of which was presented at the conference) in collaboration with international institutions such as the EU, as well as for industrial users.  WIT’s contribution is in the area of numerical methods, particularly boundary elements, which have been applied to a wide range of problems.

Professor Brebbia then discussed the important work that WIT is carrying out in practical engineering problems through its IMG_0775Industrial Research Unit, which is helping the offshore and aerospace industries amongst others.  This work – based on boundary elements – emphasises the importance of the research carried out at WIT.

Finally Professor Brebbia explained the publishing strategy of WIT Press, which encompasses digital as well as paper publications.  The commitment of WIT Press to the dissemination of advanced scientific has led to the launch of three journals on topics which are not well-covered by other publications; Design and Nature, Sustainable Development and Planning, and Safety and Security.

The applications of risk analysis covers man-made as well as natural hazards, the importance of the latter being increasingly evident in our modern world.  The problems have become a priority for all organised as well as a cause for public concern.

 Conference Sessions

The papers presented at the conference were grouped in the following topics;
  • IMG_0778Risk Assessment
  • Risk Management
  • Hazard Prevention, Management and Control
  • Early Warning Systems
  • Natural Hazards
  • Simulation and Design of Road Evacuation
  • Vulnerability Issues
  • Health Risks
  • Debris Flow and Flood Hazards

 Invited Presentations

A series of invited presentations enhanced the meeting.;

‘Kernel density functions to estimate parameters to simulate stochastic variables with sparse data: what is the best distribution?’
by J. W. Richardson, Texas A&M University, USA

'Quantitative microbial risk assessment for Listeria monocytogenes in cold smoked salmon'
by V Popov, Wessex Institute of Technology, UK

'A coupled vulnerability approach for European mountain regions'
by S. Fuchs, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Austria

'Coherency between ground motions synthesized for analysis input of large span structure'
by X. Tao, Harbin Institute of Technology, China

'Optimization decision support system for safe ship control'
by J. Lisowski, Gdymia Maritime University, Poland

'Spatial uncertainty of groundwater-vulnerability predictions assessed by a cross-validation strategy'
by A. G. Fabbri, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

 International Scientific Advisory Commitee

The meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) took place in a renown fish restaurant in Carvoeiro.  The members discussed how the conference could be enhanced when it is reconvened in 2012.  The general agreement was the need to stress interdisciplinary case studies bridging the gap between risk in social sciences, economics and politics, and the more analytical definition of risk in engineering and sciences.  The importance of communicating the results across disciplines was discussed in detail as well as a list of emerging topics which ought to be included in the next call for papers. A few names were nominated for the ISAC and several locations were proposed for the next conference.

 Special Joint Session on Brownfields

There was a special joint session consisting of four papers from the conference on Brownfields (Prevention, Assessment, Rehabilitation and Development of Brownfield Sites) which took place at the same time.  The papers were as follows;

'The effects of soil pollution and its relation with morbidity in shoreline areas'
by A. Í. Ribeiro, UNESP-Sorocabana, Brazil

'Health risk analysis of the environmental burden'
by Frantisek Bozek, Defence University, Czech Republic

'Project and disaster risk management under climate change'
by G. Nhamo, University of South Africa

'Eco industrial parks in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil: a proposal for brownfield revitalization'
by Lilian Elabras Veiga, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 Conference Dinner and Excursions

The delegates had ample opportunities to meet outside the formal conference sessions.  The organisers provided complementary lunches which were held on the balcony of the hotel overlooking the sea.

IMG_0795kThe conference dinner took place in the historical village of Porches renown for its distinctive pottery.  The restaurant where the dinner was held offered a series of Portuguese dishes with the main course being fish cooked in a local sauce.  The dishes were accompanied by port and white wines from Alenterjo, and the meal ended with after dinner local ‘grappa’ and liqueurs.  The main attraction of the evening was the performance of a Fado ensemble which consisted of Portuguese and classical guitar players and a singer.  The fado is a unique music originating in the city of Lisboa but that has become symbolic of Portugal.  It has a strange mixture of happiness and melancholy with the songs celebrating the joys of life and the beauty of the country.

A special complimentary excursion and barbeque dinner was arranged for the participants to see some of the most chaotic coastline and rugged cliff faces of the Algarve, as well as sites connected with the golden age of Portuguese history.

The delegates were given a guided tour that started from the hotel and took them to the ‘End of the World’, the windblown Cape Saint Vincent that faces the Atlantic at the extreme southwest of Europe.  This is the part were the coastline ends and the open sea begins.  They also visited a nearby village and fishing harbour, and continued towards Ponta de Piedade, a collection of rock features with fine views over Sagres bay.  The tour continued to Lagos, a beautiful and historic town, linked to the era of the Portuguese discoveries. There they saw many historical sites ranging from Europe’s first slave market to the overly ornate Church of Saint Antonio with its adjacent Museum.

They had some time at leisure at Tivoli before proceeding to have a barbeque dinner in a well-known hotel.

The tour and barbeque were a great success and helped to cement the links between the delegates.

The conference was highly successful in terms of contacts and discussions, all conducted in a very friendly atmosphere.  It will be repeated in 2012 in a place and at a date to be shortly decided.

 Publication of Proceedings

The proceedings of Risk Analysis VII & Brownfields VI, 960pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-472-7; Online ISSN: 1743-3517) are available from WIT Press priced at £365/US$730/€511. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 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 43 of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (Online ISSN: 1743-3517). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com