Global Disaster Management Platform (GDMP)

An International Research and Research Training Fund (IRRTF) Research Network and Consortia (RNC) funded project

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Joint research activities

To date a number of joint research activities have taken place, and a number of activities are planned for the next year. Details of these activities are summarized below:

  • In the second half of 2017 a second China-Australia Disaster Management Conference will be held in Melbourne, following the first event which took place in Nanjing, China in July 2016.
  • In November 2016 the research team traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to conduct a workshop in global disaster management to present the findings of the GDMP project which was well received and attended by delegates from over 14 countries.
  • In September 2016, team members were invited to present to the International Conference of Public Safety Science and Technology 2016 in Beijing.
  • In July 2016 a number of project team members traveled to Nanjing, China to participate in the first China-Australia Disaster Management International Symposium (CADMIS). During this event a number of presentations from both China and Australia were given and discussion sessions were held to develop future collaborative research agendas.
  • In November 2015, Dr. Katie Potts traveled to Nepal to attend and present at a pre-workshop event held at Kathmandu University in Nepal on the topic of Sharing SDI Research on Disaster Management. The event was held prior to The International Workshop On The Role of Land Professionals and SDI in Disaster Risk Reduction: In the Context of Post 2015 Nepal Earthquake, which Dr. Potts also attended and participated in.
  • In October 2015, the 2nd International Symposium on Disaster Management was held in Melbourne which attracted delegates from 14 countries.
  • During this symposium event, meetings to discuss further research collaboration was held with delegates from China, India, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.
  • In September 2015 Prof. Abbas Rajabifard and Mr. Ged Griffin travelled to Santiago in Chile to further engagement and research collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Chilean organisations related to disaster management and public safety, and also SDIs and land administration. During the visit Prof. Rajabifard delivered two keynote presentations, the first at an international seminar on SDI and future cities, and the second on disaster management, the global disaster management platform (GDMP), and the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS). A number of meetings were held during the trip – the first, an official visit to the Chilean National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry (ONEMI) to discuss collaboration opportunities between ONEMI and the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety, and the second, with researchers from the Catholic University of Chile to further research collaborations on disaster management. The meetings provided the opportunity to hold discussions with the Research Center for Integrated Disaster (CIGDEN) which is a centre that brings together key agencies from the areas planning, civil protection, and infrastructure to develop actions to help mitigate the impact of disasters on the population and urban areas. This trip furthers the relationships established when Prof. Rajabifard visited Chile one year ago in July 2014 and aims to further research collaboration opportunities.
  • Dialogue and discussion has taken place with delegates from Colombia at the Natural Disaster Management Centre in Bogota.
  • Discussions with the Canadian Commissioner for Public Safety have also occurred.
  • A delegation from China has visited Australia to attend a workshop and another delegation from a second province is planning a visit for later this year.
  • In October 2014 Professor Abbas Rajabifard travelled to Beijing in China to deliver a plenary talk at the Third High Level Forum on UN Global Geospatial Information Management Committee in Asia-Pacific (UNGGIM-AP) annual conference to discuss the Global Disaster Management Platform and collaboration in this area. During the October trip to China Professor Rajabifard also visited a number of universities, including Hohai University.

Researcher biographies

Prof Abbas Rajabifard

Head, Department of Infrastructure Engineering; Director, Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure and Land Administration; Director,
Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety, The University of Melbourne

Prof Abbas Rajabifard is Head of Department of Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He is also Director of the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure and Land Administration (CDSILA) and the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS).
Prof Rajabifard is a member of Academic Board. He was President of the GSDI Association (2009-2012), Vice Chair of Working Group 3 of the United Nations supported Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific (PCGIAP), is a member of ICA-Spatial Data Standard Commission, and is a member of Victorian Spatial Council.
He has been an Executive Board member and national representative to the PCGIAP (1994-1998), member of International Steering Committee for Global Mapping Project (1997-2001) and a member of the UN-ESCAP Group of Experts to develop Guidelines on GIS Standardisation for Asia-Pacific (1995). Prof Rajabifard has active research in the areas of SDI, Land Administration and land management, spatial enablement, spatial enabled government and societies, disaster management, 3D platforms and virtual jurisdictions. He had published broadly on SDI, land administration, GIS and spatial data management.
In recent years he has focused more on the design and development of SDIs in different jurisdictions including sustainable and smart cities. He provide academic and research leadership in the Centre for SDIs and Land Administration).
Prof Rajabifard has over 15 years of teaching experience in different areas of the spatial data disciplines and in particular SDI, GIS, land administration, spatial enablement and recently in the area of sustainable infrastructure systems.
He has supervised many successful PhD and Masters students and has assessed PhD and MSc thesis internationally. He is a member of editorial board of different international journals.
In addition to his personal research, a key focus of his effort has been to build the research capacity across different disciplines. In this area, he has successfully managed and coordinated different research projects including ARC, DEST, Australian Commonwealth government funding, Australian CRC-SI (Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information) and collaborative research with European funding.
He has been also consulted widely on SDI, land administration, GIS applications and spatial data management to many national government agencies and different ministries and international organisations.
Professor Abbas Rajabifard, was awarded the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association’s (GSDI) President’s Medal at the 2012 Global Spatial Conference in Quebec City, Canada in recognition of his contribution to GSDI and in particular, his chairmanship from 2009-2012.
During his chairmanship, Professor Rajabifard headed two global spatial conferences, contributed to the establishment of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) initiative, facilitated closer collaboration between international spatial industry-related organisations, chaired three Global SDI World Conference refereed publication channels and published two research books.
Dr Fernando Koch


Dr. Fernando Koch currently works as a director of research and development at Samsung. Previously he was the Research Scientist at IBM Research Brazil (2011) and Honorary Senior Fellow (2013) at The University of Melbourne. He is involved is diverse research and development projects in technologies where “people” is in the centre, tools to collect social data, Social Analytics, and models to analyse and predict social behaviour.
He holds the PhD in Computer Sciences (2009) from Utrecht University, MSc (1997) and BSc in Computer Sciences (1993) from Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. He participated in the PostDoc in Computer Sciences (2010) with the Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University, researching about Organisational Theoretical models. He has over 20 years of IT Industry experience, with practice in business and R&D working in projects in Australia, USA, Europe and Brazil. Dr Koch has over 40 papers published in the diverse areas, such as Smarter Cities, Health Informatics, Cloud Computing, and Multi-Agent Systems.
His research interests include computational social sciences, urban planning, health informatics, and distributed computing.
Dr Koch holds the awards of ACM Distinguished Speaker (2013)l IBM Outstanding Contributor Award (2013) and IBM Eminence and Excellence Award (2012).
Description: Fernando Koch photo
A/Prof Ray Su

Dr Ray Su is an associate professor of structural engineering at the University of Hong Kong. Dr Ray Su holds a bachelor of Science in Engineering and a PhD both from the University of Hong Kong.
He is involved in teaching for engineering drawing, engineering design and communication, theory and design of structures, interdisciplinary design projects, and advanced reinforced concrete structure design.
His research interests include seismic effects on high-rise buildings and transfer structures, strut-and-tie modelling, plate-strengthened concrete structures, and computational fracture mechanics.
Dr Ray Su’s current research projects include: earthquake risk assessment of high rise buildings with transfer structures; strengthening of reinforced concrete coupling beams by bolted external steel plates; reinforced concrete coupling beams with embedded steel plate; strut and tie modelling for non-flexural components; and fractal hybrid finite element method for two-dimensional crack analysis.
Prof A. Boominathan

Professor A. Boominathan currently works within the Department of Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Professor A. Boominathan holds a Master of Science in Engineering from the Russian University in Moscow, and a PhD from the Moscow Civil Engineering Institute.
He is involved in teaching for earthquake geotechnical engineering, advanced soil mechanics, soil dynamics, applied soil mechanics, ground improvement technique, and foundation engineering.
His research interests include earthquake geotechnical engineering, seismic hazard and risk assessment, seismic microzonation, and liquefaction and its mitigation.
Professor A. Boominathan’s recent research projects include: seismological and geotechnical investigations for development of shake maps for Chennai City; effects of embedment on seismic response of NIB-PFBR; Probablistic Seismic Hazard Analysis for Ground Motion Studies; Experimental / Numerical Evaluation of the Role of Drag Load in Reducing Pile Capacity; Modernization of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Geotechnic Laboratory; Study on the Enhancement of Recharge Potential in the Recharge Area of the Neyveli Deep-Seated Aquifers; Densification of Deposited as Slurry at Vijayawada Thermal Station Power; and Geosynthetics in Reinforced Earth Embankments.

Seminar information

A number of seminars are held each year to support collaboration and engagement in this disaster management area. Through the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety a monthly seminar on a disaster management related topic is held at the University of Melbourne. The seminar regularly features speakers from industry, other universities within Australia and around the world, and researchers from the University of Melbourne. These seminars are open to anyone who wishes to attend.

In the last year a number of seminars of varying topics were delivered including:

  • the identification of victims of mass disasters – what happens in a forensic mortuary
  • 360 degrees of crisis communication: key lessons about leaders and crisis communication and how this crucial role fits into emergency management
  • Disaster, media and ethics: the role and challenges of journalism post-disaster
  • Disaster, Design and Development: Lessons from Architects Without Frontiers and RedR
  • The environmental data deluge: challenges and solutions for disaster risk reduction


Other relevant joint activities

A number of joint activities have taken place and are planned for the future:

  • In the second half of 2017 a second China-Australia Disaster Management Conference will be held in Melbourne, following the first event which took place in Nanjing, China in July 2016.
  • Discussions to host a summer school in 2018 with students from China are underway
  • In November 2016 in Taiwan the newly developed RiskFinder application was showcased at the GSDI15 International World Conference
  • The Disaster Management Research Register (DMRR) was also showcased and the development and registration is progressing well with a number of colleagues from around the world signing up to list their work. The platform – support collaboration and sharing in this field by making the work related to disaster management accessible and visible.
  • An activity with IBM was conducted in September 2014. The activity showcased the work of the ADMP to national and international colleagues attending a disaster management symposium held at the University of Melbourne and hosted by the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety.
  • Professor Abbas Rajabifard travelled to Washington DC in the United States to deliver a talk and showcase disaster management research at the World Bank annual conference in March 2014.

Student projects

A number of students are involved in the IRRTF RNC project, from a range of countries. From Colombia 3 students from the Universidad de los Andes have visited to work with members from the CDMPS to share ideas on disaster management related research, and to together prepare collaborative research papers. The research team are also collaborating with students from Universities in India.
Additionally, a number of students are engaged in this project to provide support for technical aspects such as software development and coding for developing prototype systems in the form of demonstrators.

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