Biographies of the speakers. Names are sorted in accordance with the programme.

Dr Anthony J Masys, CSSU, Leicester University, UK

Anthony Masys is a defense scientist within the Centre for Security Science (CSS) at Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC). In support of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and G8 and G20 Summits in 2010, Dr Masys was assigned as scientific advisor to the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PREOC) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Major Events and Protective Policing respectively. In this role for the RCMP he was involved in the development of a ‘whole of government’ planning framework for major events safety and security operations. Dr. Masys is a former senior air force officer and has been involved in operations ranging from search and rescue to interdiction operations, and underwater surveillance. In addition he has held positions pertaining to Operational Test and Evaluation, Modeling and Simulation and has worked in support of the development of international standards for Verification, Validation and Accreditation (VV&A).

With a BSc in Physics, MSc in Underwater Acoustics and Oceanography and PhD in Sociology, Dr Masys has published extensively in the domains of physics, modeling and simulation and sociology. His current research interests focus on complex socio-technical systems, systems thinking, human error, accident theory, risk, crisis and disaster management.

Member of the advisory Board for Springer Publishing book series: Lecture Notes in Social Networks.

Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett, Lecturer in Risk Management, CSSU, Leicester University, UK

Dr Nibedita S Ray-Bennett obtained her BA in English Literature from University of Delhi (1999), MA in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (2001) and PhD in Sociology from Warwick University (2007). Nibedita joined the Civil Safety and Security Unit (CSSU) as Lecturer in Risk Management in 2012. Prior to that Nibedita was an ESRC Research Associate at Northumbria University (2007-2009), part-time Lecturer in Sociology at Warwick University (2005-2007,  2010) and Lecturer in Disaster and Emergencies at Cranfield University (2010- 2012). She was also involved in the ‘capacity building’ of the Indonesian Defence University in Jakarta through teaching.

Between September 2013 and January 2014, Nibedita was the Acting Director of the Unit. Currently she co-manages the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management (RCDM). She is also the Director of her new short course: Practising Reflection: Reflective Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction

Nibedita’s research interests include sociology of risk, crisis and disasters, gender mainstreaming, disaster risk reduction (DRR), health security, systems thinking and critical reflective practices at the interface with international development.

As a Principal Investigator Nibedita led an international team to make an Input into the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Thematic Review of the Hyogo Framework for Action. The team’s Input on ‘hyper risks and critical reflective practices’ also appeared in the UNISDR’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015. Furthermore, organising a Public Forum on ‘Emerging Trends in Disaster Risk Reduction’ in Sendai parallel to the UN’s 3rd World Disaster Conference is a further evidence of the team’s dedication to disseminate information on ‘hyper risk and critical reflective practices’ to a wider audience.

Currently, Nibedita is on sabbatical completing her second monograph for Sage Publications. This research funded by the College of Social Sciences Research Development Fund, explores why more women die in natural disasters than men. Nibedita is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Research Affiliate at Northumbria University, Fellow of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management and a Member of the Centre for Centre for Landscape and Climate Research at Leicester.

Dr Tie Xu, University of Modern Sciences Dubai

Dr. Tie Xu is Dean for the College of Business, University of Modern Sciences (UMS) in United Arab Emirates. He is also acting as Director of Postgraduate Studies & Research and currently leading academic developments in the specialist areas of logistics & supply chain management, petroleum operations management and crisis & emergency management. UMS is a fast growing private university in Dubai accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research (MOHESR). UMS is founded by its chairman His Excellency Rashid Abdullah Rashid Al Falasy, who is a dedicated promoter of professional and higher education in the UAE. Dr. Tie Xu graduated from Aston Business School in the UK in 2004 with a doctorate degree in manufacturing and operations management. Prior to his appointment at UMS for 9 years he was a senior lecturer in logistics & supply chain management at the Sunderland Business School where he also ran the executive education courses for managers with Nissan UK for over 4 years. He was also an External Examiner & Academic Advisor for 5 years at the Newcastle Business School which also runs the largest program in this specialism in China in collaboration with Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In addition to his PhD specialism, Dr. Tie Xu is also interested in risk, disaster & business sustainability management in the private sector. He is actively engaged with the best practice from leading executive education providers in this specialism and seeking possible collaborative opportunities with prestigious institutions for prompting UMS brand on a global stage. He has recently completed the Executive Education program of Leadership in Crises: Preparation & Performance at Harvard Kennedy School Harvard University in the U.S.A. He is currently undertaking executive education for a part-time MSc in Risk, Crisis & Disaster Management at University of Leicester which is a top-ranking UK university with a world renowned reputation for management education. Dr. Tie Xu can be contacted at: t.xu@ums.ae

Mr Bede Wilson

Bede Wilson is a disaster manager working in the state of Queensland, Australia. In his role he works regularly with government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups to develop an effective disaster management capability. He gained is MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester in 2014. His research interests include disaster resilience policy and the use of simulations and exercises to improve disaster response.

Mr Samuel Akera

Mr. Samuel Akera is a Programme Specialist, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) with United Nations Development Programme, Regional Service Centre, Nairobi, Kenya. He is part of the UNDP technical team that is implementing a project, ‘Strengthening the capacity of Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in building resilience in the Horn of Africa (HoA)’. The project aims to achieve sustainable development in the HoA by developing disaster resilience capacity in IGAD and its Member States – Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti Kenya, Somali, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. He is the winner of UK’s Adult Learners’ Award, ‘Learning for Work Award’, 2014. Before joining the UNDP Regional Service Centre, he had worked in four different countries in Africa and South East Asia, providing technical and advisory support to the United Nations and the National Governments in Uganda, Kenya, Lesotho and Thailand. His main area of specialization include disaster risk and vulnerability assessment; mainstreaming DRR in development planning processes; risk communication and capacity building. He holds a MSc. in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management, University of Leicester, UK and a M.A in Development Studies, Uganda Martyrs University. He also did a short course in Practising Reflection: Reflective Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction.

Mr J.A.C. Manzano

Mr L. Ogallo

Dr Supriya Akerkar

Dr Supriya Akerkar is a senior lecturer in disaster risk reduction, and the programme leader for MA in Development and Emergency Practice with Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK. She is also the member of Gender and Disaster Network. Her work which spans over more than twenty years includes research, and leading rights based initiatives in development and disaster, with gender and vulnerable groups as one of the focal themes. She has worked with DFID India, Action Aid International, social movement and advocacy groups to institutionalise gender and social equity concerns in policy and programming in Africa, South and South East Asia, with a focus on India. She has led disaster response, recovery, preparedness and risk reduction initiatives after Gujarat earthquake of 2001, Eastern India floods in 2004 and 2006; and tsunami of 2004 in affected South Asian countries. Her research has investigated constraints and opportunities in mainstreaming community participation and rights agenda in disaster response and recovery initiatives. Her longitudinal study published recently in November 2014, of widows widowed in tsunami of 2004 shows that beyond support in physical and economic assets such as housing and livelihoods; the women valued social support systems that built their voice, esteem, and social acceptance. Her current research work analyses the dynamics of social learning processes that empower local communities to undertake sustainable regeneration of their natural resources.

Dr Hideyuki Shiroshita, Faculty of Safety Sciecne (FSS), Kansai University, Japan

Dr Hideyuki Shiroshita has been working as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Safety Science, Kansai University in Japan since 2010. He has also been involved in Disaster and Development Centre, Northumbria University as a research affiliate since 2007. He experienced the Kobe earthquake in 1995, and this is one of the reasons why he started to study disaster management.

He has been studying disaster education and has a particular interest in disaster education for children. He obtained PhD degree from Kyoto University in 2010. The title of the PhD thesis was, “A Study on Participatory Disaster Education for Realising the Integrated Disaster Management “.

He is currently carrying out various educational projects, such as “the learning programme through Manten project (an earthquake prediction project)” and “Transforming an earthquake observatory into a science museum”.

Dr Briony Towers, Research fellow, RMIT University, Australia

Briony is a research fellow in RMIT University’s Centre for Risk and Community Safety. She obtained her PhD in Psychology from the University of Tasmania in 2012 (Thesis title: Children’s knowledge of vulnerability and Resilience to Bushfire). Her main area of research is focussed on children’s roles in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. She is currently conducting a three study titled “Building Best-practice in Child Centred Disaster Risk Reduction” which is funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards  Cooperative Research Centre. Briony is a registered member of DRANZEN (Disaster Resilient Australia and New Zealand Schools Network) – an Australian Government funded network which advocates for and promotes disaster resilience education. She is also the Field Reports Editor for the peer-reviewed journal, Children, Youth and Environments.

Professor Peter Jackson, University of Leicester, UK

Professor Peter Jackson is the Director of Enterprise for the College of Social Science at the University of Leicester. He is Professor of Economics and Strategy in the School of Management. Professor Jackson’s research interests include public sector management and public finance. He is currently a specialist adviser to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament. More details of his profile can be viewed at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/management/people/pjackson