Engineering Research Center Director Kazuo Furuta
The notion of probabilistic risk has contributed greatly to improvements in the safety and security of society. As the scale and complexity of sociotechnical systems have increased and technologies have been tightly coupled with society, people have recognized that conventional approaches for risk management are insufficient. New approaches for risk management are now desired in various domains, particularly after the experiences of the Lehman shock and the Tohoku Earthquake.
Based on the above background, the notion of resilience is now drawing attention from researchers and practitioners. Resilience is the intrinsic ability of a system to absorb the impacts of internal or external disturbances added to a system so that it can sustain the requested functionality or recover rapidly from damage under both expected and unexpected conditions. Resilience engineering is a field of study in which the principles and methodologies for realizing such resilient sociotechnical systems are sought.
Resilience includes not only the responsiveness to abrupt disasters or crises but also the ability of a system to adapt itself to long-term environmental changes for survival. Issues of resilience engineering also include how an enterprise can continue its innovation and remain competitive under a changing social and economic environment.
The Resilience Engineering Research Center (RERC), which consists of three divisions, was established in April 2013 to promote research into the principles and methodologies for realizing resilient systems. The center intends to contribute to a safe and secure society by establishing a new risk management framework that exceeds the conventional and static approaches of risk management.
Resilience engineering is an academic area where both principles and methods are studied for realizing systems robust against disturbances and early recoverable from damage. The Resilience Engineering Research Center (RERC) was established to promote research and education on resilience engineering by reorganizing element technologies for safety and risk management developed in conventional areas of engineering. The center consists of the following three divisions.
Mathematical modeling, advanced simulations, systems safety, maintenance engineering, informatics and knowledge management, human factors, etc. are studied, aiming at a structurization of the relevant concepts, the development of assessment and visualization methods of resilience, the development of base technologies, and the development of integration methods for these base technologies.
The modeling and simulation of energy systems; an analysis of the interdependencies among energy systems, the economy, and global, regional, or national energy policies; an introduction strategy for neo-energy technologies; an assessment of energy technologies; and other factors are studied to realize energy systems resilient to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or long-term changes in the economic environment and global climate.
The assessment of various risks in global businesses, analysis of enterprise collaboration for innovation, resilient supply chains, resilient financial systems, resilient service systems, and so on are studied, allowing business organizations to continue their operation after a crisis, adapt themselves under slow changes in the socio-economic environment and maintain their competitiveness.