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Professor of Disaster Management
Director, Global Disaster Resilient Centre,
University of Huddersfield, UK
Global Disaster Resilience Centre School of Applied Sciences University of Huddersfield, Queensgate Huddersfield, HD1 3DH, UK
044-1484 471387

Prof Dilanthi Amaratunga

Dilanthi Amaratunga is a Professor of Disaster Risk Management at the University of Huddersfield, UK with 30 years of experience in the higher education sector. She is a world-leading expert in disaster resilience with an international reputation. Dilanthi obtained her BSc (Quantity Surveying) Degree with First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka in 1993. She was the winner of “Sri Lanka Institute of Quantity Surveyors Award” for the best overall performance and “Professor H.P.S.Caldera Memorial Award” for the Best Performance at the final year examination.

In October 1997, she was awarded the prestigious Overseas Research Scholarship Award, which enabled her to begin her doctoral studies at the University of Salford, UK. In 2001, she received her PhD. Her work recognises that with a growing population and more extensive and interconnected built environments, the world’s exposure to hazards is increasing. Central to Dilanthi’s work is undertaking research and advocating for a stronger engagement and empowerment of women and gender mainstreaming in policy planning and implementation of disaster risk reduction programmes. She is engaged in many significant research engagements around the world, in partnership with key academic and other organisational stakeholders. Working closely with partners in the UK and globally, she has project managed to successfully complete several major international collaborative research projects.

She is regularly invited to provide expert advice on disaster risk reduction and management by national and local governments and international agencies. To date, she has produced over 400 publications, refereed papers and reports, and has made over 100 keynote speeches in around 30 countries. She is a member of the European Commission and UNDRR’s European Science & Technology Advisory Group (ESTAG) representing the UK, a Steering Committee member of the UK Frontiers of Development programme, a Collaborative Programme of The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Academy of Medical Sciences, The British Academy and The Royal Society. She also is the joint chief editor of the SCOPUD indexed International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment and the chair of the International Conference on Building Resilience (ICBR) series, which she co-created.

She, together with colleagues won the 2019 Prestigious Newton Prize. Newton Prize recognises the best research and innovation projects which create an impact socially and economically, between Indonesia and the United Kingdom from 2016 to 2019. Newton Prize is supported by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). In 2018, she received the “His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka Award” from His Excellency, Maithreepala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, for the contribution to Disaster Resilience in Sri Lanka. In 2018, CADRE research project she led received the UK UALL International Award, which recognises innovative engagement, including partnerships, that create change in an international and transnational context. She is an expert member of the IOC UNESCO ICG/IOTWMS ICG/IOTWMS WG-1 on Tsunami Risk, Community Awareness & Preparedness, and inter-sessional Task Team on “Tsunami Preparedness for a Near-Field Tsunami Hazard, and a member of the UNDRR Expert Review Group (ERG) for the Development of a new Global Disaster Risk Reduction Research Agenda towards 2030 and beyond She is a Fellow, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK; a Fellow and a Chartered Manager, Chartered Management Institute, UK; and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK.

Her networks and partnerships combine local and regional research and engagement with a strong international presence and these stretch across several continents. These opportunities provide the means to disseminate her research to international policymakers, industrialists and academics. They generate impact and enable her to play a leading role in shaping the built and human environment towards sustainable futures. The key contributions she has made have been in providing leadership within the University and the international research community, and peer respected research in issues relating to disaster risk reduction and management.

View Prof. Dilanthi’s full profile

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