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The key research topics within the different curricula of the PhD in Understanding and Managing Extremes include general issues related to the characterization of actions caused by different natural (earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, etc.) and human-induced hazards. Specific focus is given to the geotechnical behavior of materials and structures, structural analysis, design of new facilities and retrofitting of existing structures, with particular attention to the study of data acquisition methods, material characterization methods, technologies and facilities, integrated hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment, including techniques of preservation of elements and facilities, as well as risk mitigation techniques, considering legal, insurance and economic matters.

The PhD programme is highly interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international and refers to the most advanced up-to-date applied research.

An International Seminar is organised every year, to provide the students with an opportunity to present and discuss their research work to an audience of international experts. It is also foreseen that contributions of the ROSE Programme to the seminar will be published, after a standard review process, in a special issue of the Journal of Earthquake Engineering, which will be distributed to all participants of the Seminar.


Cooperation agreements with a number of renowned institutions actively involved in earthquake engineering and engineering seismology, weather, geological, chemical and environmental risk research are currently in place, allowing cooperation in research activities, combined organisation of seminars and conferences, exchange of technical data and publications, and most important the possibility of student exchange initiatives.

Former agreements:

Imperial College London (UK), North Carolina State University (USA), University of Adelaide (Australia), University of Canterbury (New Zealand), University of Toronto (Canada), University of California at San Diego (USA), University at Buffalo (USA), Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), University of Cincinnati (USA), Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (Ecuador), Tongji University Shanghai (China), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), University of California at Berkeley (USA)

Agreements currently available:

University of Canterbury (New Zealand), University of Toronto (Canada), University at Buffalo (USA), McMaster University (Canada), Universidade Austral de Chile (Chile).

Other public/private organisations

European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE), GEM Foundation (Global Earthquake Model), Joint Research Centre (Ispra), National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), International Centre on Environmental Monitoring (CIMA Research Foundation), ImageCat, Inc., World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), Munich Re (Geo Risks Department), Oxfam International, Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management (University of Peshawar)