Risky Monday: Rhine-Erft District

On October 24th Sabine Obermöller, head of department in the Rhine-Erft district, presented insights on tasks and responsibilities of an administrative district in the field of rescue service and fire and civil protection.


This flyer and the overview of all current sessions you can find here:



For further information and also the presentation slides please contact Celia Norf (celia.norf(at)th-koeln.de) and have a look at our events page.

Risky Monday: New Sessions

The Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection of the TH Köln University of Applied Sciences welcomes you to new sessions of the Risky Monday, the lecture series on interdisciplinary risk and crisis management.
We invite experts from different scientific and practical fields to share their experience and to discuss respective challenges and opportunities.

“Risky Monday” takes place from 5.30 – 7.00 pm at the TH Köln University of Applied Sciences, campus Deutz, usually in room ZS8-8 (south wing, floor 8, room 8).

In this semester the following sessions take place:


Barriers and Chances in French-German Cooperation on Urban Resilience and Crisis Management

On the topic of Urban Resilience and Crisis Management, the Franco-German Workshop in Lyon, Sept 28-30, hosted by Cerema, aimed at finding out “Perspectives, Barriers, and Innovative Pathways”. There were many topic identified as joint interests by a transdisciplinary group of 35 participants, but also certain barriers hindering cooperation. While language is still a major challenge, it is also necessary to understand responsibilities and subtle terminological differences in what is understood under “crisis management” in contrast to long-term planning in advance. Urban critical infrastructure, knowledge management and sharing, risk and resilience governance, integration of urban planning, smart technologies, cross-border topics and translation of academic reports into digestible guidance sheets for decision-makers, but also the need for joint education programs were just some of the topics intensively discussed. The group will set-up a network and position paper in order to improve visibility and opportunities for future project proposals and exchange.


Working Group Natural Hazards / Natural Risks 29th Meeting

On Sept 15-16 2016 the 29th annual meeting of the German working group “AK Naturgefahren/Naturrisiken” took place at UN campus in Bonn, hosted by UNU-EHS, Matthias Garschagen. The main topic this year was a discussion on how geographical risk research is developing and how it can contribute to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction process. “Understanding Risk“ as priority No. 1 in the Sendai Framework has been identified as one key aspect where it has to be analysed whether new knowledge is produced or rather, representation of existing knowledge and competencies is insufficient.

gruppenfotoTalks at the workshop presented insights into recent research on topics such as how society deals with a new vulcano as an unexpected and not much welcomed surprise on the calm canary island of El Hierro (Benedikt Orlowski, Universität Erlangen), how to generate overviews and find common indicators for Community Resilience in European countries (Sylvia Kruse, Universität Freiburg, and Stefan Schneiderbauer, EURAC Bozen), reconstruction and urban planning after the earthquake in Nepal 2015 (Rupesh Shrestha, TH Köln), flash flood monitoring and multi-stakeholder acceptance in Berlin (Thomas Kox, FU Berlin), downscaling of a global risk index for multiple risks in the Philippines (Mia Wannewitz, Universität Bonn und UNU-EHS), the relevance of the topic of critical supply infrastructure for resilience (Simone Sandholz, UNU-EHS) and a joint discussion on existing demands for inter- and transdisciplinary risk research within and beyond Geography (Matthias Garschagen, UNU-EHS, Alexander Fekete, TH Köln, and Sven Fuchs, BOKU Wien).

Fact Finding Mission in Myanmar

From Aug 25th to Sept 5th, TH Köln (lead by ITT) undertook a fact finding mission to Myanmar, with an adjoining visit in Bangkok, Thailand. The main objective was to identify mutual cooperation fields in education and research. We have visited Myeik in the South, Yangon, Yezin and the capital, Naw Pyi Taw in Myanmar. Alumni of ITT and our DAAD seminar have guided us and we have talked to universities, signed Letter of Intents. We also met with local ministry, FAO, embassy and other NGO representatives. We identified joint interests in the fields of food security, eco-based DRR and risk and crisis management. The earthquake near Bagon on 24th Aug was a topic for future collaboration in research, as were riverine and flash floods, droughts, landslides and rural livelihoods as well as urban topics, including electricity and blackouts, smart grids, supply chain security and others. In Bangkok, we met with the Asian Institute of Technology to discuss similar interests in the fields of natural disasters. We are looking forward to future collaboration and hope that also student and expert mobility will be upcoming steps.

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IRG excursion to institutions of civil protection and disaster prevention in Hamburg and Kiel

Foto HAW Hamburg2

(c) TH Köln/HAW Hamburg

A team of 25 students and several staff members from the Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection (IRG) at TH Köln including Prof. Alexander Fekete have carried out an excursion to Kiel and Hamburg from June 7-9, 2016. The main goal was to get a first-hand impression of civil protection and disaster prevention in science, practice and in governance structures in the North of Germany.


(c) TH Köln

It allowed to link topics discussed in the courses at the IRG with practical challenges and strategies in a geographic region in Germany, which is of high economic and strategic importance. The topics discussed comprised storm surges and dike control at German coasts and the Elbe River, logistics of large harbours and canals as well as the resilience of the electric grid system and other critical infrastructures in a large city like Hamburg.

Besides the visits to the Ministry of Interior of Schleswig Holstein in Kiel as well as Hamburg Port Authority and Hamburg Wasser, this excursion enabled a direct exchange with the staff and students of the courses Rescue Engineering and Hazard Control at HAW Hamburg. Students and lecturers from both Cologne and Hamburg were able to exchange ideas on challenges of civil protection today and the demands for related professional and scientific education and research at universities for the future.


(c) TH Köln

The team of IRG at TH Köln gives thanks to all the visited institutions and experts in Kiel and Hamburg as well as to the students, who actively participated and shaped this excursion.

For further information on the excursion, please contact Christiane Grinda (christiane.grinda(at)th-koeln.de).


Student exkursion to the Ahr valley

On June 1st 2016 the Risk ‘n’ Crisis team visited together with 40 students of the Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection the former bunker of the federal government. The so called “Alternative Accommodation of the Constitutional Organs of the Federal Republic of Germany in a Period of Crisis and wartime” is situated in the valley of the river Ahr and has been the most top secret building in the history of the federal Republic of Germany


Moreover, we were welcomed by the Academy for Crisis Management, Emergency Planning and Civil Protection (AKNZ) which is the central educational institution of the federal state regarding risk and crisis management, and regarding civil protection.


We thank all experts for their very interesing presentations!