News Details | 26-Apr-2010

NTU explores collaboration with the United Nations think-tank - the United Nations University

A delegation from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is visiting the United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo, Japan on 26 April 2010.

The delegation is led by Professor Pan Tso-Chien, Dean of NTU’s College of Engineering and Director of the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management (ICRM).

The objective of the visit is to gain a better understanding of UNU’s experience and expertise in the general area of water management, and in the specific areas of Geographical Information System (GIS)-based catastrophic risk flood simulation, and methodology for flood damage and loss assessment. The visit will explore possibility for long-term research collaboration between UNU and NTU’s ICRM in areas of mutual interests.

“We are looking forward to fruitful discussions to explore possible collaborations and tie-ups with UNU,” says Professor Pan. “UNU is well known for its efforts and achievements in capacity development and advisory services in helping to solve the global problems of human survival, development and welfare, through collaborative research.”

Some of the areas that will be of mutual interest between the two universities include joint development of regional flood simulation models and damage and loss estimate methodology, the sharing of regional databases, and attachments and exchanges of faculty and research staff.

“By working together, we will be able to better achieve our shared objectives in the areas of water management in general, and catastrophic flood simulation and flood damage and loss assessment in particular,” says Prof Pan.

UNU is seen as an ideal partner to NTU in the area of catastrophe risk management as one of the major comparative advantages of UNU is that it adopts a holistic approach in its research into the complex problems that affect human security and development. The university, which functions as a think-tank for the United Nations system, undertakes cross-cultural and problem-oriented research. Its researchers develop targeted foresight and policy studies which feed into decision-making processes from global to local levels.

The NTU delegation will also be visiting The University of Tokyo and Kyoto University during their two-day visit to Japan.

Since its official launch in January 2010, NTU’s ICRM has been actively pursuing collaborations with other organisations including the RMS Inc of USA, and multi-national risk insurers and modellers from the finance, insurance and reinsurance industry based in Singapore.

ICRM is the first multi-disciplinary catastrophe risk management research institute of its kind in Asia. The institute aims to help the international community better understand the characteristics of risks related to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, floods, droughts, as well as non-traditional risks including infectious diseases and terrorism.

Supported by the finance, insurance and reinsurance industry, ICRM will develop models and tools to allow governments and the industry to analyse potential losses and develop risk-management strategies. Decision-makers worldwide and Asia in particular, will be able to use such tools to identify vulnerabilities, prepare for a range of possibilities and allocate resources.

ICRM join the rank of a few such foremost centres worldwide, such as Stanford’s Blume Earthquake Engineering Center and MacQuarie’s Risk Frontiers in Australia and is envisioned to be a key player in Singapore’s effort to strengthen its position as a major financial hub, especially in the insurance and reinsurance areas.

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Media contact:
Hisham Hambari, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Office, NTU
Tel: 6709 6447, Email:

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