Future of Floods

This webinar is in response to the recent flooding along Eastern Australia, our thoughts remain with those who continue to be impacted.

About this event

In this webinar, we heard insights on predicting extreme rainfall, flood warning designs, community resilience, and urban design solutions from our panel of QUT experts:

  • Dr Kate Saunders
  • Professor Ana Deletic
  • Professor Amisha Mehta
  • Associate Professor Karen Vella

The discussion was moderated by D/Professor Kerrie Mengersen. Find out more about this session below.

More about the topics

How often do we expect extreme rainfall events to happen? – Dr Kate Saunders

To understand how best to protect our communities against extreme rainfall and flooding we need to understand how often we expect these events to happen, and whether we expect these extreme rainfall events to happen more often in future. In this presentation, we’ll explore of understanding of these topics in relation to the recent floods.

The economic cost of surface run-off – simple urban design solutions could save households from future floods – Professor Ana Deletic

Councils and household owners can more strategically use simple decentralised water management designs – known as ‘Water Sensitive Urban Design’ (WSUD) solutions – to protect neighbourhoods from surface floods.

WSUD systems can easily fit into streets and parks, as well as our backyards, capturing water at source and preventing household flooding. They are green and beautify cities, it was found that they increase value of nearby houses and cool urban environment.

However far more monitoring is needed to accurately assessed their impact on flooding. Current flood models must be radically improved before we can use them for designing WSUD for flood protection.

Mind the gap: Towards community-oriented flood warnings – Professor Amisha Mehta

This presentation will identify community information needs about floods and share best practice flood warning design.

Building community resilience after disasters – A/Professor Karen Vella

This presentation will introduce social, political and policy problems that impact on community relocation and future disaster avoidance

More about the panel

Dr Kate Saunders – Lecturer in Optimal Ecological Management

Kate Saunders is a lecturer in the School of Mathematical Sciences whose research interests are in statistical climatology. Her primary focus is on modelling climate extremes; and understanding how the probability of extreme events might be influenced by climate change. Other interests include; statistical post-processing of meteorological forecasts, quality control of meteorological data and how to estimate the risk posed by compound weather events. Kate’s research improves our understanding of the probability of extreme climate/weather events and helps us to make informed decisions about natural disaster risk.

Professor Ana Deletic – Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering

Professor Ana Deletic is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Queensland (QUT). Previously, Ana held roles as the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of New South Wales and Associate Dean of Research Engineering Faculty and the Founding Director of Monash Infrastructure research institute at Monash University. Ana is an urban water researcher, focusing on stormwater management and socio-technical modelling. She led the development of several green nature-based water treatment systems which are now widely adopted in Australia and abroad. Ana is an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and Editor of Water Research. In 2012, the Victorian State Government awarded Ana the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation (Physical Sciences) for her lifelong achievements in stormwater research.

Professor Amisha Mehta – Professor, Faculty of Business and Law

Professor Amisha Mehta specialises in risk and crisis communication and trust in the Faculty of Business and Law at QUT. She applies this expertise in emerging industries like hydrogen energy and in the context of corporate, health, and natural hazard emergencies. Amisha’s research has been translated into new national policy via the Australian Warnings System and organisational practice.

Associate Professor Karen Vella – Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment

Associate Professor Karen Vella is an urban and environmental planner specialising in community resilience and environmental change. She is the Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen – Centre Director QUT Centre for Data Science

Kerrie Mengersen is a Distinguished Research Professor in Statistical Science and the Director of the QUT Centre for Data Science at QUT, and holds a concurrent role as Associate Member in the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford, UK. She was a Deputy Director in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (2015-2021) and an ARC Laureate Fellow (2015-2021). Her research focuses on using and developing new statistical and computational methods that can help to solve complex problems in the real world. These problems are in the fields of environment, genetics, health and medicine, and industry.



Location: Online
Start Date: 22/04/2022 [add to calendar]
Start Time: 12pm
End Date: 22/04/2022
End Time: 1pm (AEST)