Prof M.J.C. (Marc) van den Homberg is the new professor at the Princess Margriet Chair. This chair, offered in 2018 by the Red Cross and the University of Twente to Princess Margriet in honour of her 75th birthday, aims to make better use of knowledge on natural disasters and climate change for disaster prevention and to measure and improve the impact of humanitarian aid in the field of disaster prevention.
The Princess Margriet Chair is attached to the Faculty of Geo-information Sciences and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente. The appointment is for two days a week.
In this chair, Van den Homberg focuses on the topic of “Data for disaster resilience”: enhancing the quality of risk and impact data, forecasting models to predict the impact of a natural disaster to trigger anticipatory action (preparedness) and selecting, monitoring and building evidence for nature-based solutions (prevention).
“The unique collaboration with the University of Twente enables The Netherlands Red Cross to underpin its humanitarian activities with scientific insight and to better measure and monitor its programmes for resilience and nature-based community solutions”, Marc explains. “Through its collaboration with the Red Cross, the University of Twente can have its scientific research contribute directly to societal impact. Students are also highly motivated to apply their research to the vulnerable communities hit hardest by extreme weather. Likewise, new innovations can be created by working together; innovations that are sorely needed given the increase in humanitarian crises”.
From 2018 to 2022, the Princess Margriet chair was held by Prof Dr M.C. (Maarten) van Aalst, who was appointed last year as the new chief director and also chief science officer of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). Van Aalst will remain at the University of Twente as a part-time professor.