Research projects

Technology-supported risk estimation by predictive assessment of socio-technical security (TREsPASS)

Current risk management methods provide descriptive tools for assessing threats by systematic brainstorming, which means that attack opportunities will be identified and prevented only if people can conceive them. Since this process is too slow and exceeds the limits of human imaginative capability, tool support is needed to predict, prioritise, and prevent complex attacks systematically. To this effect, this project builds an “attack navigator” to identify which information security attack opportunities are possible, which are the most urgent, and which countermeasures are most effective. To this end, the TREsPASS project combines knowledge from technical sciences (how vulnerable are protocols, software and building objects), social sciences (how likely are people to succumb to social engineering), and state-of-the-art industry processes and tools. More information is available here.

Improving the Robustness of Urban Electricity Networks (IRENE)

The societal and economic consequences of power outages can be severe, in particular if the outages last longer than a few hours. The objective of this project is to find out how best to mitigate vulnerabilities of urban electricity grids by utilizing the flexibility of future smart grids with decentralized generation and smart control. The aim is to ensure the availability of power supply for critical infrastructures to enable a minimal viable operation during large scale power outages or shortages caused by natural hazards or malicious attacks. To achieve this, the project identifies which social, economic and technical components will be needed to ensure that city-based power generation and storage are routed and prioritized to enable these critical city functions while other noncritical consumers reduce their electricity load. More information is available here and here.

Modus operandi of crime facilitated by information and communication technologies (MOIT)

The prevalence of cybercrime can be measured by defining cybercrime as a specific form of crime, and then quantifying it using, for example, police files. This project used an alternative method which involved measuring how much information and communication technologies (ICT) are associated with traditional crime. The analysis was done for 4 types of crime (i.e. residential and commercial burglary, threats and frauds) and a crime script consisting of 3 steps was used. More information is available here.

SamenAlert 24/7

The objective of this pilot project was to evaluate the extent to which a public-private partnership would increase the effectiveness of the response to emergency calls via the 112 (i.e. national emergency landline). The pilot project consisted of involving private security companies in reporting suspicious activity and answering calls for emergency. The evaluation which the University of Twente carried out was based on the linking of two police databases (i.e. calls for service and registered incidents). The indicators that that were used to measure effectiveness included emergency room and police patrol reaction times, number of calls per incident, rates of apprehension (including caught infraganti) and of dossiers handed over to the public prosecution office. More information is available here.

Improvement of the Cartographic Systems of Colombia (Mejora de los Sistemas de Cartografía del Territorio Colombiano)

The goal of this project co-funded by the European Commission was to increase the technological capabilities of Colombia on remotely-sensed geographic information from the point of view of production and use for planning, monitoring and land control. The project ran between 2003 and 2007 and achieved the following a) a platform for the production and dissemination of basic digital and thematic cartography, b) an efficient and modern system for the acquisition and distribution of data and c) a plan for dissemination, training, satellite technology transfer and cartographic information access. More information is available here and here.

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

This project was conducted in 2003-2004 and was part of the Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Program (AUDMP). Its objective was to build capacity on modern disaster mitigation tools for reducing disaster vulnerability of urban regions in Asia. It did so by providing support to the institutionalization of academic courses on disaster mitigation in existing urban planning curricula at university level, thus providing Asia with young urban planners knowledgeable of modern disaster mitigation tools. The project was carried out in 2003 by three partners: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, (ITC) and ENSG (e.g. school of geomatics of the French National Geographic Institute). Through this project the partners shared their knowledge on Remote Sensing & Geographic Information System applications for hazard/risk mapping and distance education with a group of 15 Universities and training institutes from Asian countries. To support knowledge sharing cost-effectively, an Internet-based platform for E-learning was developed. Among the results of the project were GIS case studies and course modules dealing with earthquake- , flood - , landslide-, coastal- , volcanic- and technological hazard assessment as well as urban vulnerability and risk analysis. More information is available here.

Strengthening local authorities in risk management (SLARIM)

Many medium-sized cities in developing countries do not yet use Geographic Information Systems for urban planning, despite many being threatened by natural hazards. The objective of this research project was to develop a methodology for spatial risk information collection and management for municipalities, which would allow local authorities to evaluate the risk of natural disasters in their municipality, in order to implement strategies for vulnerability reduction. The methodology focussed on the application of methods for hazard assessment, elements at risk mapping, vulnerability assessment, risk assessment, and the development of GIS-based risk scenarios for varying hazard scenarios and vulnerability reduction options, using structural and/or non-structural measures. More information is available here.

Rapid inventory of earthquake damage (RIED)

This project used aerial photographs to obtain a rapid inventory of the earthquake damage right after a seismic event. This inventory was subsequently used to identify any existing relation with subsurface and topographic conditions. More information is available here.