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Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience


IHRR Welcomes New Executive Director Prof Sarah Curtis

(6 June 2012)

The Institute is pleased to welcome its new Executive Director Prof Sarah Curtis, who will continue to oversee IHRR’s research and its mission in the world today.

Sarah Curtis was formerly Director of Frontier Knowledge at IHRR which was fundamental in bringing together researchers throughout Durham University to study complex problems in hazard, risk and resilience in original ways.

Prof Sarah Curtis said:
‘I am delighted to take on the Executive Director role and I really look forward to working with the Institute in this new capacity. This is an exciting and challenging time to be leading research on hazard risk and resilience. Many recent developments in the world underline the importance of research in this field.

We have a great programme at the Institute involving a range of academic researchers at all levels, excellent administrative and research dissemination staff, as well as non-academic partners and benefactors outside the University who are very important to our research. It will be a pleasure to work with them all'.

Prof Dave Petley is relinquishing the Executive Directorship to become Dean of Research in Durham University, promoting Durham’s excellent interdisciplinary research across the whole institution and beyond.

‘Dave Petley has done a wonderful job in his term as Executive Director and will certainly be a ‘hard act to follow’. I know all of us at the Institute will want to thank him very warmly for all his hard work and very effective leadership for IHRR’, said Prof Sarah Curtis. Fortunately, Dave will be able to continue as Co-Director of IHRR and will continue to lead the work of IHRR’s International Landslide Centre.

About Prof Sarah Curtis

Sarah Curtis is Professor of Health and Risk at Durham University. Her research focuses on the links between human health and the social and physical environment. Her work shows how and why places are important for our health as well as our individual characteristics and the medical care we use. Prof Curtis is one of two Principal Investigators on IHRR’s BIOPICCC (Built Infrastructure for Older People’s Care in Conditions of Climate Change) project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (See ‘UK must prepare for extreme weather and ageing population’).

Sarah’s work illustrates the ways that environmental factors may present hazards and risks to human health (See ‘Targeted regeneration could be key to boosting coalfield communities'), as well as ‘protective’ factors that help to build resilience.

Human health and well being are among the key outcomes to consider in much of the research on hazard, risk and resilience promoted through IHRR.