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The University of Southampton
Centre for Risk Research

The Centre for Risk Research reaches its 30th anniversary

Published: 19 February 2020
Professor Johnnie Johnson

It is 30 years since the Centre for Risk Research (CRR) was first established by Professor Johnnie Johnson. In recognition of this important milestone, Professor Johnson recently looked back over the past three decades and described why he created the CRR, what it has achieved and what he believes the future holds for the Centre.

Professor Johnson said “Before I joined the University of Southampton, my work with a variety of organisations made it clear to me that the nature of risk was poorly understood and, as a result, opportunities were often missed, poor decisions were being made and risk was badly managed. I noticed that for many businesses, risk was addressed from silos, with each discipline developing their own approach. This ignored the essential multi-disciplinary nature of risk. When I joined the University in 1988, I soon realised that we had the nucleus of a multi-disciplinary team who could help address this pressing issue. Hence, in 1990 the Centre for Risk Research was born. Since that time, the Centre has grown significantly, embraced an even wider set of disciplines and developed an international reputation for its distinctive multi-disciplinary approach.

It is rewarding to see that the current multi-disciplinary team is uniquely placed to offer a wide combination of quantitative and qualitative risk skills, to assist individuals and organisations in improving the quality of their decision-making and the management of risk and uncertainty. I am proud of the research council, industry and business related research projects that the Centre has undertaken, each of which have led to significant improvements in competitiveness, wealth creation and economic performance. I am particularly proud of the projects for which we were awarded the Certificate of Excellence by Innovate UK. It is also great to see the plethora of innovative international research publications the Centre has generated, which have led the way in new ways of thinking about risk-taking, risk analysis, and risk and opportunity management. Perhaps, the thing which gives me the greatest pleasure is knowing that there are now several thousand graduates, post-graduates and professional course delegates, who have been educated in the Centre for Risk Research’s multi-disciplinary approach. These people are now spreading the word throughout organisations across the world.

The world faces many enormous challenges over the next 30 years. My hope is that the Centre for Risk Research will be at the forefront of making a better future; a world in which risk is better understood, better decisions are made, risk is better managed, and exciting opportunities are grasped.”

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