• University of Huddersfield
    HD1 3DH

    United Kingdom

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Last updated 17th April 2024


Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga  is a leading international  expert in disaster resilience with an international reputation. As of 2022, she collaborates with 288 research partners  in 57 countries, delivering a strong research portfolio focused on impact. 

Since joining University of Huddersfield in September 2014 as its Professor of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, she co-leads the University’s Global Disaster Resilience Centre , responsible for supporting research on disaster management portfolios. Her interdisciplinary background provides her the opportunities to work across a broader disaster management research agenda including developing partnerships of international research teams, government, NGOs and communities. As a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion in academia, she is supporting  initiatives to generate gender balance; early and mid-career research development; and create opportunities for research benefitting vulnerable  communities.

She has project managed to successful completion a large number of international research projects generating significant research outputs. To date, she has produced over 500 publications, refereed papers and reports, and has made over 100 key note speeches in around 44 countries. She is regularly invited to provide expert advice on disaster resilience by national and local governments and international agencies. She has lead and chaired a large number of international conferences, including the International Conference on Building Resilience (ICBR) series which she co-created. These events demonstrate her role, as a leader in the field and as a conduit for international collaboration and engagement. 

Among several other leadership roles, she is the joint editor chief of the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, a SCOPUS indexed journal, a member of the European Commission and UNDRR’s  European Science & Technology Advisory Group, and a Steering Committee member of the 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 is an  appointed member of the MCR2030 Regional Coordination Committee for Europe, an initiative led by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)  and its partners to support cities in taking action to reduce disaster risk in alignment with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. She is also a steering committee member of the UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR), motivation of which is to bring together the UK’s rich and diverse disaster research community, to facilitate collaboration and partnership in order to aid representation of the research community at government level in the UK. She is an expert member, IOC-UNESCO (The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO),  for ICG/IOTWMS (Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System) WG-1 on Tsunami Risk, Community Awareness & Preparedness. The IOC-UNESCO, established in 1960 as a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO, is the only competent organization for marine science within the UN system. ICG/IOTWMS member List including all Indian Ocean surrounding 28 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, British Indian Ocean Territory, Comoros, Djibouti, France - Reunion, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. 

Her outstanding contributions, publications and services to her field of expertise  have been recognised with numerous international awards and prizes.   She is the winner of the prestigious 2019 Newton Prize (with colleagues), which recognises the best research and innovation projects which create an impact socially and economically, between Indonesia and the United Kingdom from 2016 to 2019. In 2018, she received the 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, she  won the UALL International Award for 2018, which recognises innovative engagement, including partnerships, that create change in an international and transnational context.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK; Fellow/Chartered Manager of the Chartered Management Institute, UK.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Built Environment
  • Process Improvement
  • Disaster Management
  • Performance Measurement
  • Natural Disasters
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Disaster Studies
  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • Resilience
  • Risk
  • Disasters
  • Vulnerability
  • Resiliency
  • Post Disaster Reconstruction
  • Capacity Building in Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Understanding disaster risk
  • Preparedness for response
  • Post-Disaster Reconstruction
  • Gender-Responsive Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Women as a force in resilience building
  • Capacity building for disaster mitigation and reconstruction
  • Post-conflict reconstruction


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