LUCRAM's PhD network gathers PhD students who conduct research related to risk. Spanning over many disciplines and research areas, such as engineering, disaster studies, intelligence, economics and business management, risk is a broad concept that can be approached from many angles. There is no one agreed upon definition of risk, further adding to its varied use and applicability. In the PhD network, students from different background and disciplines come together twice per semester to discuss risk-related topics, concepts, methods, research and own experiences within the field, or from being a PhD student. The participants conduct research within many different contexts and with a diverse set of threats and strategies for dealing, directly or indirectly, with risks stemming from these threats. What unites us, however, is the general aim to enable a more robust, or secure, society and prevent the loss of valuable assets, such as human life and economic values.
Besides treating risk in a more "traditional way", for example through risk assessments or analyses, one common way to approach risk in the network is through the concept of uncertainty. Especially when it comes to decision making, uncertainty is practically inevitable in a multitude of areas and something we need to manage. This can be seen in examples of research conducted by PhD students who are part of the network. For instance, during a societal crisis, disaster response managers have to make decisions while faced with time pressure and uncertainty about what is going on. Similarly, in humanitarian logistics, to organize the delivery of goods in humanitarian crises, coordinators have to assess uncertainties and make rapid decisions based on uncertain information regarding, for example, the needs of the recipients. Furthermore, due to the complex nature and long investment time-frames of critical infrastructures, consideration of uncertainties is essential in guiding decisions aimed to protect and prepare these systems from future threats. Last, in intelligence work, when faced with information about an imminent terrorist attack, other serious crime or military confrontation,a big challenge concerns how uncertainties connected to the credibility of this information should be treated.
The aim with LUCRAM's PhD network is to draw upon our collective understanding and experience of risk and associated notions to deepen our perception and knowledge of the concepts. Please contact Tove Frykmer (tove [dot] frykmer [at] risk [dot] lth [dot] se) if you are interested in joining the network.