Increased complexities of technologies and their impact, and the need for better methods to assess natural threats such as extremely severe earthquakes, super volcanoes, coronal mass ejections, asteroids, and climate changes, necessitate more rigorous and science based information and methods for quantifying their risks than is currently available. The CRR provides the intellectual environment for multi-disciplinary teams of scientists, engineers, economists, social scientists, and practitioners, as well as other disciplines to formulate unifying theories of risk and uncertainty and develop needed methods and technologies for assessing and managing risks of rare and catastrophic events.

The Center for Risk Research focuses on the fundamentals of the real risks to society, including existential risk.  A regional risk management framework is one of the goals of the CRR; a framework that provides methods, guidance and information for the risk management of high population and environmentally sensitive regions, particularly with respect to such catastrophic events as super storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and their collateral impacts including tsunamis, fires and floods.  Anthropogenic impacts are an important part of the risk agenda. The concept envisioned is not just a spontaneous or temporary idea, but a culmination of a long standing set of actions that the principals of this initiative have actively engaged in to elevate risk science and engineering to a much higher level of service to the public and the protection of the environment.

In particular, among the initial focused areas of the Center for Risk Research are:

  • Developing foundations for harmonization of risk analysis theories and techniques applied in different domains.
  • Developing principles and guidelines for more effective interface between risk assessment and risk-informed decision-making, covering policy, regulatory and oversight functions, and response to accidents.
  • Implementing initiatives for achieving future generation risk methods that account for multiple and collateral consequences, dynamically interacting systems and phenomena, and socio and economic factors.
  • Increasing the transparency of risks that have the potential for catastrophic consequences in terms of human fatalities and environmental damage.
  • Enhancing the means for identifying and characterizing threats by geographic region to facilitate making the right decisions on how to manage catastrophic risk and better enable location-specific emergency planning and response.
  • Developing advanced methods for uncertainty characterization and assessment in risk modeling and quantification, particularly for risks of rare and catastrophic events.