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Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga  is a leading international  expert in disaster resilience with an international reputation. Dilanthi’s vision has always been to be an international leader in disaster risk reduction and management with specific emphasis on the built environment, and to champion the under representation of women in this key research area. She began her academic career as a lecturer at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka in 1994, which she commenced immediately after the completion of the BSc (Quantity Surveying) Degree with First Class Honours at the same University in 1993. Subsequently, 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 and since then, she has continued to develop her research in a manner that demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence, to encouraging colleagues and students to fulfil their full potential.

In 2007, Dilanthi was promoted to the post of Professor with a focus on disaster management.  Since joining University of Huddersfield School or Art, Design and Architecture in September 2014 as its Professor of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, she leads the University’s Global Disaster Resilience Centre , responsible for supporting research on disaster management portfolios. An interdisciplinary background in Quantity Surveying, Facilities and Business Continuity Management, Education and Training, Gender and Disasters and Disaster Mitigation and Reconstruction provides her the opportunities to work across a broader disaster management research agenda including developing partnerships of international research teams, government, NGOs and 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 300 publications, refereed papers and reports, and has made over 100 key note speeches in around 30 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 Confernece on Building Resilience (ICBR) seires which she co-created. These events demonstrate her role, as a leader in the disaster mitigation and reconstruction field and as a conduit for international collaboration and engagement. Many of these conferences have brought together major international networks to address global challenges and advance research agendas.

Among several other leadership roles, she is the Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Words into action on Accountability and Governance. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the UNISDR "Making Cities Resilient" Campaign. She is the joint editor chief of the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, a SCOPUS indexed journal. Her outstanding contributions, publications and services to the disaster resilience and management have been recognised with numerous international awards and prizes.  She is a member of the European Commission and UNISDR’s European Science & Technology Advisory Group representing the UK. she is also 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 a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). 

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Disaster Risk Reduction in the Built Environment -  Understanding disaster risk
  • Preparedness for response and Post-Disaster Reconstruction
  • Gender-Responsive Disaster Risk Reduction - Women as a force in resilience building, gender equality in DRR
  • Disaster resilience from the perspective of the social/political, economic and physical sciences
  • Social impact of reconstruction
  • Capacity building for disaster mitigation and reconstruction
  • Post-conflict reconstruction
  • Women in construction
  • Facilities and business continuity management 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Salford

25 Sep 19971 Aug 2001

Bachelor, University of Moratuwa

1 Jan 199010 Dec 1993

External positions

Steering committee member, Frontiers of Development programme, Collaborative Programme of The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Academy of Medical Sciences, The British Academy and The Royal Society) , Royal Academy of Engineering

1 Dec 2018 → …

Executive Board Member, Association of Disaster Management Professionals, Sri Lanka (ADRiM), Association of Disaster Risk Management Professionals of Sri Lanka (ADRiMP)

1 May 2018 → …

Member of the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) and UNISDR, European Science & Technology Advisory Group (E-STAG)., United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction

1 May 2018 → …

A member of the Advisory Board of the Federation of Local Governments Authorities Sri Lanka (FSLGA) , Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities

1 Apr 2018 → …

Memeber of the Board of Advisors, Article 25, Article 25

1 Jan 2018 → …

Expert member, ICG/IOTWMS inter-sessional Task Team on “Capacity Assessment of Tsunami Preparedness", ICG/IOTWMS, UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

1 Sep 2017 → …

Global Working Group Co- Leader. Words into action – UNISDR, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction

1 Jan 2016 → …

Advocate UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) Resilient Cities , United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction

1 Jan 2014 → …

Steering Committee Member - UNISDR Making cities resilient campaign, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction

1 May 2010 → …

Joint Editor in Chief, International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment. , Emerald Insight

1 Jan 2007 → …


  • 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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Disasters Engineering & Materials Science
disaster Earth & Environmental Sciences
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resilience Social Sciences
Sri Lanka Social Sciences
Tsunamis Engineering & Materials Science
reconstruction Social Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2011 2019

Research Output 2002 2019

Open Access
Climate Change
risk reduction
Risk Reduction Behavior

Resilient cities

Panda, A. & Amaratunga, D., 29 Jan 2019, Oxford Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards Governance. Gerber, B. J., Esnard, A-M., Glavovic, B., Wamsler, C., Aginam, O., Birkland, T. A. & Sim, T. (eds.). Oxford University Press, 25 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

urban population
international organization
rural population
2 Citations (Scopus)

A capacity analysis framework for multi-hazard early warning in coastal communities

Haigh, R., Amaratunga, D. & Hemachandra, D., 2018, In : Procedia Engineering. 212, p. 1139-1146 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Open Access
Alarm systems

A Conceptual framework to analyse consequences of post conflict reconstruction interventions

Sakalasuriya, M., Haigh, R. & Amaratunga, D., 2018, In : Procedia Engineering. 212, p. 894-901 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Open Access

Ageing in place framework as reference guide for housing in Malaysia: Landed property

Tobi, S. U. M., Fathi, M. S. & Amaratunga, D., 1 Jan 2018, In : Planning Malaysia. 16, 1, p. 130-143 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
landed property
aging population
living standard

Activities 1990 2019

Multi Hazard Early Warning Systems and Evacuation Planning

Dilanthi Amaratunga (Panelist)
17 Jan 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

Advancing Skill Creation to Enhance Transformation International Conference

Dilanthi Amaratunga (Chair), Richard Haigh (Chair)
Jan 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

ASCENT Festival 2019 (Event)

Chandana Siriwardana (Editor), Nishara Fernando (Editor), Chamal Perera (Editor), Chameera Randil (Editor), Gimhan Jayasiri (Editor), Dilanthi Amaratunga (Editor), Richard Haigh (Editor)
Jan 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work

Round Table on Multi-hazard Business Continuity Management for Small and Medium Enterprises

Dilanthi Amaratunga (Keynote speaker)
17 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

International Symposium on Making Cities Resilient (Event)

Chamindi Malalgoda (Editor), Dilanthi Amaratunga (Editor), Richard Haigh (Editor), Oshienemen Albert (Editor)
Sep 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work