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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
28-Mar-2014

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Contact: Jamie Brown
jamie.brown@liverpool.ac.uk
44-151-794-2248
University of Liverpool

Multimillion pound award supports 76 Ph.D.s in global risk

LIVERPOOL, UK 27 March 2014: The University of Liverpool, supported by an 8 million investment, will fund more than 70 PhD students to research areas of risk, such as financial crashes, nuclear disasters, and environmental crisis.

Funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and investment by the University and partners will allow for the recruitment of 76 students in five cohorts over eight years to work with leading researchers in its Liverpool Institute for Risk and Uncertainty.

The Institute is already home to forty experts working in areas such as engineering, mathematics, the natural sciences and psychology. Researchers at the Institute work with industry, charities and government bodies to develop strategies for dealing with unexpected events.

These can include natural disasters, such as the recent flooding in England, or other events resulting from systems or organisational failures, such as major oil spills or stock market crashes.

The new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) will allow PhD students to participate in this multi-disciplinary approach. Each PhD project will have at least two supervisors from different disciplines and will involve two six-month placements with partner organisations such as IBM, NNL, Schlumberger and ARUP.

The CDT is supported by 25 industrial partners, non-profit making foundations or national laboratories and 11 overseas university partners. Professor Michael Beer from the School of Engineering is the lead academic for the new Centre. He said: "The CDT provides a unique opportunity in the UK, and possibly in the world, for training PhDs who are able to communicate across the traditional boundaries of engineering, mathematics, economics, the environmental sciences and psychology.

"Those trained in this way will be able not only to enumerate the risks associated with a particular activity or process, but also to express clearly the meaning of the risk to the general public and decision makers. They will be able to cross the divide between mathematical intricacy and explanation in common language."

Liverpool has won funding for several other Centres for Doctoral Training in recent months in subjects such as advanced manufacturing, nuclear physics, environmental science, solar energy and the arts. Together these will train over 400 new PhD researchers over the next few years.

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