The advancement and application of the risk sciences to save lives, protect the environment and improve system performance. 



The purpose of the Garrick Institute is for the research, development, and application of technology for (1) quantifying the risk of the most serious threats to society to better enable their prevention, reduce their likelihood of occurrence or limit their consequences and (2) improving system performance with respect to the capability to perform its intended function while assuring the health and safety of the public and protection of the environment.  The events of interest may be anthropogenic (e.g., pollution and industrial accidents), natural (e.g., earthquakes and severe storms) or their combination.  Quantification of the threats provides a roadmap for managing the risks through improved design and performance of systems and exposing the most effective recovery and emergency response options.  The events of interest include those that can lead to major fatalities, regional or global impacts, or possible species extinction. 

Disciplines considered within the scope of the Institute include quantitative risk assessment and management, reliability and resilience engineering, system performance assessment, and the social sciences.



The complexity of the risks to society and the environment has increased dramatically in the 20th and 21st centuries and will continue to do so well into the future. Thus, the threats to society may severely inhibit our ability to effectively manage them unless we meet the challenge with new thinking, methods, tools, and applications. The key issue is the need for rigorous analysis of systems to develop a fundamental understanding of the risks they represent to society. The overarching premise is that in order to manage the risk of complex systems and processes, the risk must be understood in terms of what can go wrong, how likely it is to go wrong, and what are the consequences if it does go wrong. This requires an interdisciplinary approach to research, technology development, and continuity of effort of a distinguished and dedicated staff of scientists, engineers, economists, social scientists, and practitioners, as well as adherence to other well defined disciplines.


Other Activities

Among the initial focused areas of the Institute for Risk Research are:

  • collaboration on research projects with federal agencies, industry partners, and researchers at UCLA and other U.S. and international universities
  • resource for independent technical review and assessment of the performance of systems with respect to such performance indicators as risk, reliability, and resilience
  • repository of risk sciences information
  • promote, distribute, and when possible commercialize methods and technologies developed at the Garrick Institute
  • organize or co-sponsor workshops and conferences on risk, reliability, resilience, and safety engineering,
  • publish research reports dedicated to fundamental research on theoretical foundations and applications of risk management,
  • distinguished lecture series in risk, reliability, and safety, inviting prominent policy makers, researchers, and industry leaders
  • awards recognizing excellence in risk research, including the highest Institute prize in the name of the founder
  • student fellowship programs through industrial affiliates and government agencies.
  • foundations for harmonization of risk analysis theories and techniques applied in different domains.
  • 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.
  • initiatives for achieving future generation risk methods that account for multiple and collateral consequences, dynamically interacting systems and phenomena, and socio and economic factors.
  • transparency of risks that have the potential for catastrophic consequences in terms of human fatalities and environmental damage.
  • enhance 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.
  • advanced methods for uncertainty characterization and assessment in risk modeling and quantification, particularly for risks of rare and catastrophic events.