In 2019 the Environmental Science Group (ESG) in Cranfield Defence Chemistry hosted the inaugural International Symposium on Risk Assessment Approaches for Decision Making, bringing together risk assessment professionals from a wide range of industries to discuss how to improve the risk assessment process. The first event was hosted at Sudbury House to great success, resulting in a small group of attendees collaborating on an E-book to be published by IOP in January 2022 titled ‘Challenges in Risk Analysis for Science and Engineering: Development of a common language’.
The second symposium in 2020 was almost cancelled due to Covid-19, but in July, determined for it to go ahead, the ESG decided to turn the symposium into a wholly online event on the 18th and 19th November 2021. During the first lockdown MS Teams, and various online platforms, had been used to great success in teaching, even hosting a large student presentation day with tens of external guests through MS Teams. However, the ESG wanted something with a little more finesse for the symposium.
That was when we were introduced to Toby Thompson, David Medcalf and Chris Ripley who run the Grenville Turner studio at Cranfield and decided to use the studio as the main broadcast centre. As the symposium invited paying guests, we were keen to ensure that the symposium was professional and high quality, which the studio really helped us to achieve. We were also keen to add value through additional events throughout the two days and worked with Clare Pratchett and the design team to create a poster gallery and sponsors/ exhibitor area within MSTeams. Delegates were able to view posters created by attendees, and the ESG’s own PhD student Encina Gutierrez-Carazo won the poster prize presented by IEXpE President Andy Carr of the Institute of Explosive Engineers.
The symposium was a great success, but only because of the amazing support from our fantastic colleagues. In addition to the above, we had great support from the Symposia Team: Ryan Baker for the web page; Lynn Cade, Caroline Dawson, Leanne Lawson and Nick Lindley for the behind-the-scenes organization. Tracey Temple and Melissa Ladyman compered the two day event from the Grenville Turner studio and were joined remotely by session chairs Phil Gill, Rachael Hazael, Will Gilroy-Hirst and Fred Coulon, making the symposium a fantastic inter-disciplinary event. The symposium boasted a selection of excellent key note speakers, including Cranfield’s Professor Silke, who closed the event, as well as informative presentations from a range of industries, a live crisis management workshop and real-time networking opportunities through informal coffee and chat sessions. The symposium received excellent feedback and the ESG are working on next years’ event, set for the 17th and 18th November, once again to be entirely virtual! Have a look at the web page here!