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Article | WTW Research Network Newsletter

The Willis Research Network Brochure 2018: Science of Managing Extremes

February 25, 2020

The Willis Research Network is an award-winning collaboration supporting and influencing science to improve the understanding and quantification of risk, with the aim to improve the resilience of our clients and society as a whole.
Risk & Analytics|Corporate Risk Tools and Technology
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As we enter the 12th year of the Willis Research Network (WRN) it is inspiring to witness the continued and flourishing of collaboration between academic and industry partners across the world.

The tragic disasters in the US, Caribbean, Mexico, Peru, India and elsewhere in 2018 have issued us all with new demands in our collective mission to understand these risks to protect the lives, livelihoods and assets of exposed populations worldwide. The 2018 WRN compendium illustrates leading edge research and application across a full spectrum of risks including flooding in south-east Asian Cities and El Niño related modeling in Latin America. With so much news from climatic events this year it is important to remember the ever present threat from seismic risks. This year’s case studies illustrate particular focus on our seismic risks research programme including tsunami, volcanic eruptions, earthquake vulnerabilities, liquifaction and risk communication.

The WRN continues to support some very long-term relationships and partnerships and none more so than that with Professor David Stephenson at Exeter University and Dr Greg Holland at NCAR in Colorado with Dr James Done our WRN Fellow since 2008, celebrating a decade of industry-academia collaboration. We cover these in this edition and it is upon these enduring and trusting relationships that great research and work flourish, complimented by our newer partnerships and members.

Looking ahead, the discipline we still call catastrophe risk modeling is about to go through a revolutionary expansion. A growing concern around climate and natural hazard risk is creating demand to apply our sector methods, metrics and models far more widely. We are seeing a concerted push by governments and agencies to expand coverage to developing countries and widen access to new user groups and structural needs beyond the insurance sector alone. At the same time we are seeing a new generation of risk modeling platforms and open architecture frameworks that will expand these possibilities. The next five years is likely to see a transformation of the risk modeling adoption and the WRN will be at the heart of that new landscape.

Finally it’s my pleasure to thank all our WRN members and Willis Towers Watson team that drives our work forward and our clients and market partners that make it possible, collaborate on projects, employ the research and provide our sense of purpose.

Weather and Climate

  • A Global Historical Tropical Cyclone Wind Footprint Dataset
  • Hail Hazard Assessment
  • Characteristics of U.S. Tropical Cyclone Flood Insurance Claims
  • European Windstorm Risk
  • Managing Severe Thunderstorm Risk


  • Extreme Flooding


  • Modeling Volcanic Ash Dispersal in the Atmosphere
  • Ground Motion Risk Profiling
  • UK Landslide Tsunami
  • Coulomb Aftershock Forecasts Following Large Mainshocks
  • Seismic Gaps as the Sources for Future Tsunamis
  • Interdependent Infrastructure
  • Tsunami Fragility of Buildings


  • Global Risk Index
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