Dr Anna Lo Jacomo

PhD Thesis: Multi-hazard exposure of cities and implications for urban infrastructures

PhD Supervisors: Professors Dawei Han and Alan Champneys


The social and economic impact of natural hazards is increasing, showing that there are limitations in the current approach to disaster risk reduction. One important aspect into the future will be to design urban infrastructure in a way that avoids locking in risk and minimises disruptions in a disaster. Water supply especially is crucial for all aspects of city life, including recovery post disaster, and is the focus of this project. Using global hazard data, we sample the relative susceptibility of cities to various hazards and identify clusters of cities belonging to similar hazard environments. This is implemented in a tool which helps users quickly identify cities which face similar hazards as their city of interest. This is a first step towards defining guidelines for adapting water systems to be resilient given the possible range of hazards that they might experience.


Anna is a PhD student at the University of Bristol, in the Water and Environmental Engineering group. Her research interests include urban resilience, multi-hazard approaches and hydro-informatics tools. She works on methods and tools which can help make informed engineering decisions regarding water infrastructure and systems planning in cities prone to various hazards, and on improving the design of water systems in cities to make it more risk informed. She focuses on a case study area in a mountain area in China prone to landslides, earthquakes and floods, to understand what could improve the resilience of the water system in the municipality of Dechang. This includes understanding how resilience can be defined in the context of multiple hazards to provide useful guidance for engineering decisions.

She graduated with a first class MEng in Civil Engineering from the University of Bristol. During her studies she spent a year at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain. She worked on a range of projects in her undergraduate, including a research project on the energy use of waste collection systems, and a feasibility study for a ground source heat pump. She gained industrial experience during a placement as an assistant civil engineering at Dover Harbour. Since joining WISE she has been acting as a student representative and managing the social media account of the water group. She also helped convene and chaired a session at the 2018 European Geosciences Union conference in Vienna.

Keywords: Urban resilience, hazards, water systems


2017 Summer School Research Presentation

2017 Summer School Research Poster