In line with the development plan of IIEES, honoring high-level governmental policies in earthquake risk reduction, promoting disaster management and risk mitigation knowledge, and carrying out related studies, Earthquake Risk Management Research Center was established in 2004 with the agreement of Higher Education Council of Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. After fulfilling seven years of research and studies in related fields, the center obtained its current permanent position since 2011. At present, the center is involved in some important multidisciplinary fields encompassing disaster management, earthquake risk mitigation, regional and urban planning, emergency management, cultural and socio-economy aspects of seismic risk and development of advanced technologies.
Main missions of the center are outlined as follows:
- Promotion of seismic safety in the country;
- Promotion and development of specialized knowledge in the field of disaster and risk management;
- Scientific and practical study and support of risk mitigation plans and providing necessary solutions in different phases of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery in line with sustainable development of the country; and
- Promoting seismic risk awareness and implementing such aspects in activity plans of related agencies and governmental entities.
To study different facets of disaster and risk management including physical risks, human casualties, socio-economic and cultural aspects, and also in order to develop advanced technologies as a tool for seismic risk modeling, this center sets forward its goals through its four research departments as follows:
- Preparation and implementation of risk mitigation programs;
- Preparation and completion of disaster management plans according to high-level governmental policies compatible with current knowledge;
- Development and customization of new methods and technologies for risk estimation, monitoring, and quick loss estimation for optimal emergency response and risk mitigation;
- Providing risk mitigation solutions compatible with safe urban design and development;
- Cooperation with responsible entities or agencies in providing necessary solutions to improve the mitigation process and the disaster management;
- Design and implementation of integrated risk management systems;
- Study on parameters or factors for making the environment safer;
- Promoting cooperation in related fields with international and regional countries.
Earthquake Risk Management Research Center presently includes four research departments as listed in bellow:
Considering long-term goals, the risk management research center aims at accepting and teaching higher degree students in both master’s and doctorate levels in earthquake engineering with risk management emphasis. Also the center organizes short-term educational programs as scientific workshops focusing in various aspects of urban risk and disaster management.
By selecting and hiring a team of distinguished faculty members and research affiliates in risk management related fields. The center is a unique national entity as it is the only earthquake risk management research center under the higher education system (ministry of science, research and technology of Iran) of the country excelling and advancing at world standards with international recognition. The vision plan of the center was endorsed on 2006 mentioning a wide spectrum of multidisciplinary research projects encompassing risk estimation, vulnerability of elements at risks, and disaster management. A selection for important national and international completed research projects are highlighted as bellow:
- Determining empirical loss functions for damage and casualty according to Dahouyeh-Zarand (2004) earthquake data;
- Model for determining earthquake safety index in urban fabric based on the combination of some effective risk factors;
- Estimation of earthquake damage and loss in urban area using GIS and satellite imageries (optical and radar);
- Studies of the criteria related to the urban development and retrofit in seismic zones;
- Determining indices and criteria for improving seismic safety levels in urban settings;
- Design and development of a Mobile-GIS System for coordinating emergency tasks and field surveys in Iran;
- Exploring the roles of women in earthquake risk mitigation;
- Documentation for social experiences gained in the Bam earthquake of 2003;
- Study on the challenges corresponding to emergency settlement in earthquakes occurred in the last 20 years in Iran;
- Database construction and data mining for uncovering the mechanism of human injury in seismic damage buildings;
Practical guidelines for urban areas development in seismic prone countries.
Considering the importance and the potential role of the risk management research center in scientific and operational activities for the country emphasizing on the resilient development of urban and rural settings, the center is capable of providing expertize and technological services for agencies and organizations in risk and disaster management as indicated in bellow:
- Studies on estimating seismic damage losses and casualty in urban areas;
- Providing solutions in mitigating urban-regional seismic risk;
- System development for risk estimation (including online systems) – monitoring and rapid estimation for damage and human losses;
- Preparing integrated and comprehensive risk and disaster management plans;
- Providing emergency management plans considering different levels of seismic hazards, vulnerability and socio-economic status;
- Estimation of the vulnerability of deteriorating urban fabrics and providing guidelines for retrofit and reconstruction considering cultural and socio-economic conditions;
- Devising rules, criteria, and guidelines for sustainable development against earthquake;
- Organization of urban-regional disaster management systems;
- Researches needed for promoting civilian cooperation in risk and disaster management;
- Creating databases for risk and disaster management;
- Design and development of risk and loss computing systems for distributed systems;
- Development and application of methods and systems based on novel geospatial information technologies, remote sensing, GIS, GPS, navigation and tracking systems, etc., dedicated to the built environment monitoring including the detection and the estimation of earthquake consequences;
Some selected projects as contracted with the industry are listed in bellow:
- Assessing the disaster management at neighborhood level and providing executional guidelines for the country including the study of in-effect laws, disaster management structure, assessing the effectiveness of disaster management system in Manjil, Avaj, Bam, and Silakhor earthquakes, providing operational guidelines for improving the disaster management system according to international experiences – for World Bank;
- Determination of seismic site amplification factors and the derivation of structural fragility curves and casualty functions for Tehran building stock for Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization – TDMMO – Municipality of Tehran;
- Assessment on the pattern of people’s behavior due to earthquake occurrence (with emphasis on sheltering) – for Tehran Municipality;
- Global Earthquake Risk Model (GEM) – Earthquake Model of the Middle East Region (EMME) – “Work Package 4: Seismic Risk Assessment”, and “World Package 6: Socio-Economic Impacts’ – for GEM foundation.