Opinion Former Article

IET: Managing the risks and resilience of transport systems

Improving the security of critical infrastructure networks against terrorist attack will be discussed by experts and policy makers at a summit in central London this week (11 October).

Europe’s largest engineers’ group is bringing together experts to share the latest thinking on assessing and understanding risk and building resilience, particularly within our transport systems.

The event will be held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) which also plans to produce a related, special interest publication early in 2013.  It will analyse the results of a recent European Commission study into the security and resilience of road transport and  will also explore the broader issues of resilience within other infrastructure networks, energy and built environment sectors, exposed to natural, manmade and terrorist threats.

Bruce McLelland IET Built Environment Sector Head said: “Transport networks provide the backbone of highly interdependent supply chains that underpin economies and societies on a local, regional and global scale”.

“Failures within these networks can have cascading and unintended consequences that cannot be easily mitigated against.  For this reason organisations and governments are being challenged to understand and manage risk across interdependent infrastructure networks.”

The event is sponsored by the European Commission through the SeRoN (Security of Road Transport Networks) project. It is being organised by Parsons Brinckerhoff, in its role as a member of the SeRoN Project Team, in conjunction with the IET.

Dr James Kimmance, Head of Risk Management at Parsons Brinkerhoff, said: “Using the SeRoN approach, infrastructure owners can analyse critical transport networks and evaluate protection measures.

“We have already extensively tested these tools on major highway networks within the UK, Skandanavia, Austria and Germany.”

Addressing the seminar will be a range of leading specialists in the field of risk and resilience. While showcasing the latest findings from the SeRoN project, the seminar will also discuss issues of risk and resilience in terms of the broader energy and telecommunications sectors and the resulting interdependencies between them and transportation networks.

In addition to the threat posed by terrorism, the event will also consider the threat posed by a wider range of man-made and natural hazards.

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