Prof Andrzej Kijko is the Director of the University of Pretoria Natural Hazard Centre, Africa which is located within the premises of the University of Pretoria. As an internationally acclaimed researcher, he has been active in engineering geophysics and seismology for over 36 years. Prof Kijko’s interests and responsibilities have taken him around the world and he has a wide range of experience from the various research posts and consulting positions he has held.
More than 100 of his publications have appeared in academic journals. Prof Kijko is the author of a book on statistical methods in engineering seismology and co-authored a book on mining seismology. At present he is working on a book on statistical methods in seismology, with special attention to engineering applications. This book was initiated and co-authored by the late Prof Keiiti Aki.
As head of the University of Pretoria Natural Hazards the goal is to expand and adjust the mathematical methods used to accommodate poor and incomplete data in seismology. Further development of these mathematical methods is aimed to become create formulisms that are useful for a wide variety of implementations where not enough is known to use methods which require complete data. In many instances, when considering natural hazards, there is a trove of datasets that consist of good but incomplete measurements. These datasets are meaningful but cannot be analysed using first-world methodologies. This syndrome is endemic to the third world where more sophisticated mathematics is required to compensate for the lack of data, skill shortages and lack of funds. The same approach used in seismology to overcome the lack of data can also be applied to hailstorms, tsunami, floods as well as terror related catastrophe.
The research over the coming years will be aimed producing research that could assist in facilitating economic growth in the developing world while protecting life and property as well as contributing to sustainable financial systems by quantifying various risks. Opportunities such as the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa requires the support of models as well as the use of good research to learn lessons for the future.