Disaster management in the digital age

We are using data and modelling tools to inform emergency management processes, save lives and reduce the financial burden of disasters on the global economy.

The Challenge

The frequency of natural disasters is increasing

Natural disasters have increased in severity and frequency in recent years. In 2010 alone, 385 natural disasters killed over 297,000 people worldwide, impacted 217 million human lives and cost the global economy US$123.9 billion.

In addition to the recognised effects of climate change in Australia, such as increasing frequency and severity of storms, intense rainfall, extended drought and heatwaves, our expanding population is residing in areas progressively more prone to natural disasters and unpredictable weather events.

Our Response

Informed decision making saves lives

To save lives and make our communities safer, stronger and more resilient, we need to sustain and strengthen our disaster management efforts and better prepare for emergency situations.

Our team includes specialists in 3D simulation modelling and visualisation, geospatial sciences, environmental, physical, economic and social sciences, social media monitoring and big data mining and analytics.

Case studies

  • ERIC: Improving disaster response effectiveness

    We’ve developed software known as Emergency Response Intelligence Capability (or ERIC) to automate situation reporting during large-scale emergency events.

  • Amicus: A national fire behaviour knowledge base

    We have developed a new computer application that enables the easy calculation of expected fire danger and fire behaviour via a simple easy‑to-use interface. It is a powerful tool for fire behaviour analysis and prediction.

  • Spark: Predicting bushfire spread

    Bushfires are complex processes, making it difficult to accurately predict their progress across the landscape, so we have developed Spark, which can model bushfire spread to help plan for and manage bushfires.

  • ESA: Software for Emergency Situation Awareness

    Our Emergency Situation Awareness (ESA) software detects unusual behaviour on Twitter and quickly alerts the user when a disaster event is being broadcast.

  • Modelling better flood responses in Port Phillip Bay

    We’re using 3D flood modelling and visualisation to help inform disaster planning and infrastructure needs.

  • Water pipe failure prediction

    We're using data-driven techniques to improve prediction of pipe failures for water utilities, saving the industry millions of dollars in maintenance costs.


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