Through engaging closely with stakeholders and research users throughout the research lifecycle, our goal is to achieve user-inspired and applied research that delivers excellent impact and addresses global challenges.
Two impact case studies were selected from a wide range of research impacts in unit 13, for the REF2021 submission. Research conducted at the University of Huddersfield, which was awarded the UK 2019 Newton Prize for Indonesia, resulted in significant improvements to tsunami early warning systems in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Maldives. The impact case studies submitted also demonstrate a multitude of policy impacts which have helped society to address increasing levels of disaster risk and related economic losses, through disaster resilient building.
The following impact case studies have been entered for the REF 2021 submission. Find out more below.
There have been growing calls for greater engagement of the construction industry in disaster resilience building efforts to help society address increasing levels of disaster risk and growing economic losses from disasters. However, the industry’s role and the type of knowledge required by its professionals have not been clearly understood. A research study conducted in Europe, Asia and Oceania, and carried out by the University of Huddersfield, has provided policy recommendations and a deeper understanding of the knowledge gaps among construction professionals that must be addressed to develop more resilient buildings and infrastructure.
The research has resulted in significant changes to: policy guidance issued by international organisations on making cities resilient; influenced disaster risk reduction policies, legislation and practices at the city level; changed policy and construction industry practices in Sri Lanka; and influenced professional bodies and increased understanding and awareness/attitudes of disaster risk reduction among construction industry professionals.
The extensive reach of the impact extends to: local government officials in over 4000 UN partner cities around the world; policies and legislation for national & local government and the development sector in Sri Lanka; green rating systems used by government and private sector clients in the Sri Lankan construction industry; and, professional bodies globally and professional training of architects, construction managers, quantity surveyors and engineers in the Sri Lankan construction industry. The underpinning research and impact won the UK Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) International Award for 2018.
Recent tsunami events have demonstrated the challenges in detecting and evaluating a tsunami threat, and the importance of communicating timely and accurate warning information to communities at risk. Research carried out by the University of Huddersfield in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Maldives established critical areas of capacity and processes for effective tsunami early warning and identified recommendations for improvements to early warning processes.
The research has resulted in significant changes to: policy decisions on how tsunami preparedness is managed and assessed in 28 countries in the Indian Ocean region; priorities for capacity building of national agencies responsible for tsunami early warning; and, improved national processes and practices for tsunami early warning in Indonesia and Sri Lanka that are protecting coastal communities at risk. The extensive reach of the impact extends to 28 Indian Ocean countries and is helping to protect many of the estimated 800 million people that live in coastal areas surrounding the Indian Ocean. It covers the wide range of agencies responsible for tsunami early warning at the regional, national and local levels, including the UN agency responsible for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS), officially mandated national contact points, national and local government agencies responsible for disaster management, as well as meteorology services, emergency services and the media. The underpinning research and impact won the UK 2019 Newton Prize for Indonesia.