There has never been a professorial chair in security and risk management in the Nordic countries. In Stavanger, Norway, there is a professorship in reliability that is mainly geared to the oil trade, not the broader field of risk and security analysis.
Kurt Petersen is project director of the research program Friva, which was commissioned by the Swedish Emergency Management Agency to establish national competence in risk and vulnerability analysis as a basis for the crisis readiness of the country.
According to Kurt Petersen, society has become more vulnerable since we are more and more dependent on complex systems (water, electricity, IT, transports, etc.) that moreover often lack sufficient back-ups when they fail.
Kurt Petersen is Danish and most recently served as research director at the Danish Transport Research Institute.
“Research on risk management is generally a matter of analyzing and understanding complex systems and processes, working with probability assessments and scenarios based on statistics from known events, for example. In cases where there is little empirical material, such as nuclear power accidents, other analytical models are applied,” says Kurt Petersen.