Paolo Bazzurro is professor of Hazard and Risk Assessment at the University Institute for Superior Studies (IUSS) Pavia and Head of the “Hazard and Risk Assessment” Section at the (European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE) Foundation. He earned his M.S., Engineer Degree, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Stanford University where he was Consulting Assistant Professor from 2001 to 2005. Since 2009 he has served as the Deputy Chair of the Scientific Board of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) (http://www.globalquakemodel.org/), is a large scale project financially supported by dozens of private and public organizations and countries throughout the world that is dedicated to quantifying and reducing seismic risk. Bazzurro is also member of several other international scientific and editorial boards.
Before joining IUSS, he gained more than 25 years of professional experience in consulting firms in Europe and United States dealing with risk assessment of monetary losses for corporate clients (e.g., Sony, General Motors, Dow Chemical, Devon, Chevron, Unocal, British Petroleum, Agip, Total, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sun Microsystems and Xicor), most of the world’s largest insurance companies, reinsurance companies and brokers, sovereign and local governments (e.g., Mexico and the California Department of Water Resources) and other public institutions (e.g., the World Bank and the California Earthquake Authority). Many of these projects dealt with assessing the economic risk borne by corporations, insurance and reinsurance companies, and governments resulting from the threat posed by natural and man-made events. In this context, Bazzurro has been the Director of Risk Engineering and Analysis department of the risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide for over 11 years. During this period Bazzurro led the risk assessment work and contributed directly to the design of the final risk mitigation strategies in such pivotal and ground-breaking endeavors as the CatMex (2005) and the MultiCat (2008 and 2012) projects, which led to the issuance of hundreds of millions of USD in insured-linked securities and in more traditional insurance coverage for the Government of Mexico, and the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative in the Pacific Region, which brought to fruition the first insurance facility in that region of the world. Bazzurro is currently the Chief Risk Assessment Advisor to EuropaRE Reinsurance Facility Ltd. In this capacity he supports the design of viable and innovative business plans that provide insurance coverage to underdeveloped areas at an affordable cost. All the projects specifically cited above have had the direct involvement of the World Bank.
In addition to the traditional engineering component necessary for the assessment of threat, most of the projects Bazzurro tackled in his career had a large and, in many respect, more critical risk mitigation component that mandated the investigation different strategies that ranged from insurance, portfolio optimization, risk diversification, and, in a few site-specific cases, re-location and engineering strengthening.
During is his professional career, however, Bazzurro has also never lost track of the research aspects whose mastery is crucial to providing the most robust risk assessment and mitigation solutions to clients. He was the principal investigator numerous research and application-oriented projects for prestigious organizations such as the United States Geological Survey, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the World Bank. He is also author of more than 90 refereed publications in various engineering and insurance-related areas.
In summary, the overall fil rouge of Bazzurro’s diverse professional career is his unique ability to apply techniques that are firmly rooted in hard-core engineering and probabilistic foundations in order to devise novel risk mitigation strategies for the very diverse group of stakeholders who are in need of reducing their risk exposure to natural events. In this effort, he expanded the horizons from the original field of engineering to the world of insurance and beyond.
• Degree in Civil Engineering (Laurea), University of Genoa, Italy, 1987
• Master of Science (MSc) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, USA (1991)
• Engineer Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, USA (1993)
• Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, USA (1998)
APPOINTMENTS, HONORS, AWARDS, AND MEMBERSHIPS
• Full Professor, University Institute for Advanced Studies (Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori – IUSS), Pavia, Italy (http://www.iusspavia.it/) (2011-present)
• Head of the Hazard and Risk Assessment Area at Eucentre, Pavia, Italy, (http://www.eucentre.it/index.php?lang=en) (2012-present)
• Member of the Italian National Committee for Great Risks, appointed by the Italian Government to advise in matters related to national security due to natural events (2013-current)
• Consulting Assistant Professor, Stanford University, Stanford, USA (2001-2005)
• Deputy Chair of the Scientific Board of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) (http://www.globalquakemodel.org/) (2009-present)
• Member of the FIB Task Group 7.7 Performance Based Seismic Design (http://fib.epfl.ch/about/organisation/commtg/) (2009-present)
• Member of the Scientific Board of International Conference on Applications of Statistics and Probability in Civil Engineering (ICASP) (http://www.ibk.ethz.ch/fa/icasp11/) (2010-present)
• Member of the Scientific Board of International Forum on Engineering Decision Making (IFED) (http://www.ifed.ethz.ch/organisation/organisation.html) (2004-present)
• Member of the Board of Editors of Earthquake Spectra (2008-present) and Chief Editor of a Special Issue on the Molise Earthquake (2004).
• Co-author of the 1998 Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERI) Oustanding Paper (1998)
• Recipient of the SEAONC 2009 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award (2009)
• Italian National Research Center Fellow (1992).
• Professional Engineer Society of Genoa (1987-present)
• EERI Damage Reconnaissance International Team Leader for the 2002 and 2009 Molise and Abruzzo Earthquakes
• Member of several international organizations (SSA, EERI, ASCE, SEAOC, COSMOS).
• Director and Partner of RED — Risk Engineering and Design (formerly EQCO) (an engineering company specializing in design and risk assessment for earthquakes and other natural hazards (2012-2015)
• Senior Principal Engineer & Director, Engineering Analysis and Research (highest technical ranking), AIR Worldwide Corporation, San Francisco, CA (2nd largest catastrophe risk assessment company in the world with approx.. 40% of market share and 350 employees – www.air-worldwide.com) (2001-2012).
• Associate and Director, Geodeco Consulting Engineers, S.p.A. (a small engineering company specializing in earthquake risk assessment and geotechnical engineering — www.geodeco.it) (1997-2011)
• Principal Engineer, EW Blanch/K2 Technologies, Inc., San Jose, CA (a catastrophe risk modeling company which was absorbed by a larger company in 2002) (1999-2001).
• Senior Staff Engineer (ISEC, Inc., San Francisco, CA) (a small earthquake engineering company which dissolved in 2008) (1996-1999)
• Project Engineer & Project Manager, D’Appolonia Engineering Consulting, S.p.A., Genoa, Italy (a large international engineering consulting company — http://www.dappolonia.it/) (1987-1990 and 1993-1995)
• Technical Director, Project Manager or Team leader for more than a hundred risk assessment projects for a variety of natural events (earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones, flood, waves, wind, current), and single structures, portfolio of structures, and lifelines (buildings, bridges, offshore platforms, dams, levees, pipelines, industrial plants, nuclear and conventional power plants, power and water distribution systems, ports, wind turbines) located in five continents. These studies underpinned risk mitigation strategies for billions of USD using a variety of measures (retrofit, insurance, reinsurance, catastrophe bonds and combinations of the above). A selected list of recent projects includes:
o Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), Earthquake, Tsunami, and Tropical Cyclone Risk Assessment for 15 island countries in the Pacific. Client: the World Bank, 2009-2011.
o Flood and Earthquake Risk Modeling for Albania, Serbia and Macedonia in support of the EuropaRE Reinsurance Facility Operations. Client: the World Bank (2011-present).
o Global Catastrophe Mutual Bond Risk Modeling Study for the perils of earthquake and hurricanes, which led to the issuance of $290m catastrophe bonds for the Mexican Government. Client: the World Bank in collaboration with SwissRE, MunichRE, and Goldman Sachs (2009).
o Recompiling, Analyses, Quantification, and Modeling of Seismic Risk of the United Mexican States, due to Earthquakes of Major Proportions”, which led to a $450m catastrophe bond and reinsurance transactions for the Mexican Government. Client: the World Bank in collaboration with SwissRE (2006).
o Hurricane Risk Analysis for the Dow Chemical Plant in Freeport, TX (the second largest in the world with 13 billion USD in assets). Client: Dow Chemical; (2007-2008).
o Tropical Cyclone Risk Model for Offshore Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico (2007-2008), Earthquake Risk Model for the United States (2008-2009), Earthquake and Tropical Cyclone Risk Model for Industrial Facilities in the United States (2009-2010). These models are used by most insurance/reinsurance companies and brokers in the world. Client: AIR
o Seismic risk analyses for the General Motor’s manufacturing plants in Japan, Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela and of the Endesa South America Assets in Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Client: General Motors and Endesa (2002 and 2008).
o Seismic Risk Analysis of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Portfolio”. Client: Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs Company (HRH) now absorbed by Willis (2004).
o Ground Motion Scenarios for the Seismic Risk Assessment of the Levees in the Sacramento River Delta. Client: California Department of Water Resources (2007).
o Reviewer of the Site Response Analyses for the Beznau, Goesgen, and Leibstadt Nuclear Power Plants in Switzerland – PEGASOS Project. Client: National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), (2003 and 2010).
o Seismic risk assessment of the San Francisco AT&T Stadium, the Sun Microsystems campuses in California and in Colorado, the San Francisco Pier 39 including superstructures and parking garage, the YMCA Central building in San Francisco, the Xicor semiconductor headquarter in Milpitas, CA, the Chirag 1 offshore platform in the Caspian Sea (1996-1999).
o Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) studies for many sites in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Clients: AGIP, Total, and BP (1995-1998).
• Author of more than 90 papers and reports some of which broke new ground on several aspects of probabilistic seismic hazard and risk assessment
• Principal investigator of several research projects funded by United States Geological Survey (USGS), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), and Stanford University on different aspects of seismic risk and engineering seismology. (2001-2008)