UME School

The Understanding and Managing Extremes (UME) Graduate School ( runs a number of graduate programmes geared towards the evaluation of uncertainties, risk mitigation and emergency management. The UME School has been recently set up by the Institute for Advanced Study (IUSS) of Pavia, to respond to an increasing need in today’s society to study, understand and deal with extreme events, providing a system within which Master and Doctoral candidates can study and carry out research related to such topics. UME was born after the international success of the IUSS-Pavia’s earthquake engineering and engineering seismology programme, internationally known as ROSE (, which has been active in the seismic risk sector for more than 10 years, as well as from the will to respond to a growing need for post-graduate experts in analysis of risk related to multiple natural and human-made phenomena. The programmes of the UME School have been designed to deal with three main areas:

  • Disaster risk assessment, focusing mainly on natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, landslides and floods (with possible extensions to the topics of climatology, desertification, human-made and technological risks etc.)
  • Extreme situation management, which includes topics of statistics and probability, law, economics, resource management, finance, insurance, sociology, ethics, psychology and medicine.
  • Engineering for risk mitigation, which includes topics on engineering to increase the capacity of the built environment to withstand the demands from extreme events.

At the UME School each course is intensively taught in a period of one to four weeks, during which the respective lecturer is able to fully dedicate his/her time and efforts exclusively to the scholastic activities at the School, thus ensuring teaching and research training at the highest possible levels of quality. In addition, other international aspects of the School are: a Faculty Board composed of international experts in the fields of earthquake engineering, seismology, structural engineering, risk assessment and emergency management; the possibility to take advantage of advanced numerical and experimental facilities, including also the laboratories of the Eucentre and the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture (DICAR) of the University of Pavia.
Currently, three programmes of the UME School are fully operational: Master and Doctoral Programmes in Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (ROSE) and in Risk and Emergency Management (REM); and Doctoral Programme in Weather Related Risk (WRR). Recent academic developments include the interaction between IUSSPavia and the University of Toronto, Canada, with the aim of setting up a unique joint doctoral degree focusing on the Management of Extremes and the Physical and Operational Resilience of Infrastructures. A Memorandum of Understanding for Educational and Research Collaborations has therefore been signed by the two institutions. This initiative, bringing Europe and North America together for the first time in a joint doctoral degree, is based on the already existing cooperation agreement between IUSS-Pavia and University of Toronto.

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