In the last decade, cats have caused more than CAD$1 billion in annual losses in Canada – CAD$3.1 billion in 2023 alone. The World Economic Forum identified cat-related issues as the three top concerns for the next decade for governments across the world. As such, it is fundamental that local and federal governments become better prepare to respond and recover to cat-induced losses. This presentation will provide an overview of cat modelling, covering the socio-technical challenges and opportunities that exist in this field, and highlighting how engineering expertise can be leveraged to foster cat-resilient communities.

About the speaker

Prof. Rodrigo Costa is an assistant professor at the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Prof. Costa's research investigates how communities' physical, economic, and social systems interact to create disaster risk and exacerbate socioeconomic and racial inequalities. Beyond academic boundaries, Rodrigo has collaborated with emergency managers, urban planners, resilience officers, and insurance companies to advance the state of knowledge in disaster risk and subsequently distill that knowledge into decisions that foster urban resilience.

Prof. Costa works in the interface between engineering, planning, and social sciences. His research focuses on developing high-fidelity, high-detail regional risk models to simulate the impact of disasters on urban communities. Prof. Costa is interested in object-oriented models, agent-based simulation, hazard and exposure modelling, machine learning, optimization, and multi-stakeholder decision-making to inform urban resilience planning. Prof. Costa received the 2021 Best Graduate Paper Award from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his contributions to the holistic simulation of disaster impacts on communities.

Prof. Costa Rodrigo