UP Natural Hazard Centre

UP Natural Hazard Centre

Background

The University of Pretoria Natural Hazard Centre, Africa amalgamates various communities and serves as a harbour of information for the engineering, disaster management and insurance industries. The Centre’s network of associates have extensive skills in earthquake hazard modelling, mining catastrophe, and flood and meteorological risk and can offer independent advice, opinion and analysis on all aspects of African natural perils.

The Centre promotes research into natural hazards and makes relevant natural peril information more widely available to the South African insurance community.

The Centre also provides expertise and research on natural hazards affecting South Africa and neighbouring countries, particularly seismic hazards. It offers a wide range of engineering geophysics, seismology and statistical solutions that are based on numerical and computing techniques, data analysis and applied statistical methods. A particular strength of the Centre is its ability to provide solutions for limited and incomplete data sets, based on strict mathematical and statistical modelling procedures. These modelling procedures are, however, universal and can be applied to data ranging from natural hazards to the financial field. Typical solutions include hazard and risk maps, damage curves and Monte Carlo-generated synthetic catalogues.Our research impacts various industries including the mining, engineering, insurance and reinsurance industries. Practical applications of our research include:

·       assessing the suitability of sites for the development of sensitive infrastructure (e.g. big dams, bridges and airports); 

·       providing site-specific disaster scenarios to inform design parameters for robust infrastructure;

·       modelling catastrophes to guide business decisions of the insurance industry;

·       assessing risks to ensure safety in mines;

·       providing natural disaster scenarios for appropriate emergency planning.

The expertise in the Centre is supplemented by direct access to, among others, the UP Departments of Actuarial Science, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Geology as well as Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology. The Centre’s network of associates has extensive skills in earthquake hazard modelling, mining catastrophe, and flood and meteorological risk and can offer independent advice, opinion and analysis on all aspects of African natural perils.