In line with the development plan of IIEES, and based on the 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 several important multidisciplinary and multi-hazards projects and researches encompassing disaster risk mitigation and management, regional and urban planning, emergency response management, cultural and socio-economic aspects of disaster risk and development of relevant advanced technologies.
Main missions of the center are outlined as follows:
- Promotion the culture of safety to natural disasters in the country;
- Providing specialized trainings in the field of disaster risk management and resilience;
- Formulating scientific and practical guidelines to support disaster risk mitigation plans and providing necessary solutions in different areas of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery in line with sustainable development goals of the country;
- Developing advanced technologies for seismic risk modeling and management; and
- Research on improving resilience to natural disasters.
Improving resilience and reducing potential damages and casualties of natural disasters by conducting integrated applied researches.
Earthquake Risk Management Research Center presently includes four research departments as listed in bellow:
- Urban and Regional Studies
- Emergency Management
- Socio-Economic and Cultural Studies
- Public Education and Promoting Safety Culture
The main areas of activities in these departments include the following research areas:
- Assessment of the disaster risk and resilience;
- Developing disaster management master plans;
- Planning and implementing risk mitigation measures;
- Promoting culture of safety by preparing and conducting risk communication programs;
- Developing advanced models and technologies for risk estimation, monitoring, and quick loss estimation for 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 preparedness and disaster management;
- Formulating integrated risk management systems;
- Promoting cooperation in related fields at international and regional levels.
In order to expand knowledge on risk and resilience, the risk management research center provides training to higher degree students in both master’s and doctorate levels. In addition, the center organizes short-term educational programs (including scientific workshops) focusing on various aspects of urban risk and disaster management.
Currently, the center is the only earthquake risk management research center under the higher education system (Ministry of Science, Research and Technology) of Iran, 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 below:
- Determining earthquake safety index in urban fabric based on the multidisciplinary risk factors;
- Developing empirical loss functions for damage and casualty estimation according to earthquake data;
- Estimation of earthquake damage and loss in urban area using GIS and satellite imageries (optical and radar);
- Proving land-use criteria for urban development in hazard zones;
- Design and development of a Mobile-GIS System for coordinating emergency management;
- Developing the program called as “Safe Schools-Resilient Communities” in Iran and ECO region to promote public participation in risk management;
- Exploring the roles of women in earthquake risk mitigation;
- Documentation for social experiences gained in the Bam earthquake of 2003;
- Evaluating the challenges corresponding to emergency response in Iran’s earthquakes and providing appropriate solutions;
- Formulating risk models for estimation potential impacts of natural disasters.
- Developing practical guidelines for urban areas development in seismic prone countries
The IIEES risk management research center was also involved in providing technical services for different organizations in Iran and the region in different fields of risk and disaster management; in the following fields:
- Estimating damage and loss in urban and rural areas;
- Providing solutions in mitigating disaster risk;
- Developing models and systems for risk estimation (including online rapid response systems and risk and resilience assessment tools);
- Preparing integrated and comprehensive risk and disaster management master plans;
- Providing public awareness and emergency management plans and programs;
- Providing solution for reducing disaster risk in old urban fabrics considering cultural and socio-economic conditions;
- Formulating criteria and guidelines for sustainable development;
- Developing disaster management systems;
- Creating databases for risk and disaster management;
- Developing advanced methods and systems for risk estimation using information and communication technology, remote sensing, GIS, navigation and tracking systems.
A selection of projects contracted with different national and international institutions are listed below:
- Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Early Recovery (UNDP);
- Local disaster management assessment and implementation strategy (The World Bank);
- “Safe Schools – Resilient Communities” public drills (UNESCO);
- Determination of seismic site amplification factors and the derivation of structural fragility curves and casualty functions for Tehran (TDMMO);
- Assessment on the pattern of people’s behavior due to earthquake occurrence (TDMMO);
- Earthquake Model of the Middle East Region (EMME) – “Work Package 4: Seismic Risk Assessment”, and “World Package 6: Socio-Economic Impacts’ (GEM Foundation).