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Dr Michael Hammond (second from left) at the BIARI Graduation Ceremony.

Research funding success for Exeter Engineer

Dr Michael Hammond (Centre for Water Systems) has won research funding as a result of attending a summer research institute at Brown University.

Dr Hammond participated recently in the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) programme, which was held at Brown University in the USA. Along with some colleagues, he was awarded $5,000 to begin research on the vulnerability of people living in informal settlements in developing countries to floods.

BIARI is a programme supported by Brown University and Santander Universities and is in its fourth year. This ambitious programme is designed to provide needed professional development opportunities for young scholars embarking on lives in research and teaching. The BIARI programme aims to make a significant contribution to global research through transnational academic collaboration.

Dr Hammond attended the Climate Change and its Impacts Institute. Each Institute is organized as a mix of lectures, round table discussions, group work, field trips, cultural events and social interactions. Each is led by a team of distinguished Brown academics who have invited world-renowned lecturers and speakers to join and participate in the Institute's formal and informal activities. The Institutes are academically rigorous and admission is highly competitive.

Within the Climate Change and its Impacts Institute, participants presented their research on topics as diverse as disaster risk reduction, the vulnerability of migratory agricultural workers, land-use changes and food security, and water resource management. Senior academics gave lectures on topics such as the politics of climate change and international agreements, global climate modelling, and the use of indigenous knowledge in climate change adaptation.

At the University of Exeter, Dr Hammond works on the Collaborative Research on Flood Resilience in Urban Areas (CORFU) project. The overall aim of CORFU is to enable European and Asian institutions to learn from each other through joint investigation, development, implementation and dissemination of strategies that will enable more scientifically sound management of the consequences of urban flooding in the future.

Dr Michael Hammond has found the BIARI programme very fruitful, both personally and professionally: “The breadth of topics and ideas introduced to me at BIARI has been hugely inspirational and has helped me to think in more interdisciplinary ways. The networking opportunities have also led to discussions on other potential research collaborations and publications, as well as some new friendships.”

Date: 13 August 2012

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