Holger Maier is Professor of Integrated Water Systems Engineering and Deputy Head of the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Prior to joining the University in 1999, he worked as a consultant in the private and public sectors in South Australia, as a senior civil engineer with the Western Samoa Water Authority and as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of British Columbia.
Holger's research is focussed on developing improved techniques for the sustainable management of water resources and infrastructure in an uncertain environment and includes elements of modelling, optimisation and multi criteria and uncertainty analysis. He has co-authored more than 10 book chapters and in excess of 100 refereed papers. He has received a number of national and international awards for his teaching and research.
What if an earthquake hit central Adelaide? A major flood on the Yarra River through Melbourne? A bushfire on the slopes of Mount Wellington over Hobart?
‘What if?’ scenario modelling through this project is helping government, planning authorities and emergency service agencies think through the costs and consequences of various options on preparing for major disasters on their infrastructure and natural environments and how these might change into the future.
The research is based on the premise that to reduce both the risk and cost of natural disasters, an integrated approach is needed to consider multiple hazards and a range of mitigation options.
|Methods to develop long term, efficacious risk mitigation policies||Graeme Riddell|
|Improved calibration of spatially distributed models to simulate disaster risk||Charles Newland|
|Improved approaches to natural hazard disaster risk reduction||Evangeline Moore, Phillippa Radford, Molly OCallaghan, Yasmin Zahr|
We are developing a decision support system for the assessment of policy and planning investment options for optimal natural hazard mitigation.
Risk mitigation requires understanding the impact of land use Planning and Management on hazard exposure and vulnerability.
Modelling, simulation and decision support systems are critical for decision making for natural disaster mitigation.
Building on the evaluation of risk: incorporating the evolution of hazard risk over time with dynamic modelling of exposure.
We have developed a decision support system with potential to transform planning for risk reduction in Australia.
Developing hazard mitigation strategies through more efficient dynamic assessment of exposure by making the calibration of land use models automatic.
When plans have an over-reliance on what happened in the past, the risk is that one misses the potential for a future that is different, unseen, and unimaginable. Hindsight, learning the lessons of the past, is necessary, but planning should be driven also by imagination and foresight. Are we planning for the next fire? Or are we planning for the next 'firestorm'? What do we think that will look like? In this setting, the greatest failure may well be the failure to imagine.