BD4EM: Understanding Big Data in Emergency Management: Agenda for Future Research

Workshop co-located @


  • 17 Mar 2021: Only two more days to go! Remember to join us on 19 Mar through iConference2021@iChair.
  • 23 Feb 2021: The first BD4EM workshop will be held on March 19, 17:00-20:00 (GMT +8:00)! Welcome all the attendees on March 19. Please browse our web page for the schedule.
  • 18 Dec 2020: We are pleased to announce that the first BD4EM workshop will be hosted at iConference2021 between 17 and 31 of March 2021! Please browse our web page for more information about this event. Stay tuned for more update to come!


With the increasing frequency of natural disasters in the world due to factors such as global warming, emergency management has become an increasingly important research area, where studies are conducted with an aim to better manage disasters and reduce their potential damage to the society. Big data are playing a more and more important role in the lifecycle of emergency management, and timely and effective emergency management relies highly on the integration and utilization of the heterogeneous data. Thus a better understanding of the big data and their use in information systems for emergency management has become a top priority for authorities and policy makers.

The workshop aims to develop a deep understanding of the multi-dimensional disparate data sources used by information systems in the emergency management, and identify key trends that inform future research agendas and practices. The intended participants include academic researchers, practitioners and policy makers with interest and/or involvement in emergency management and big data. We hope to develop and foster a multidisciplinary forum consisting of different parties that will continue their collaboration in this direction in the long term.


The workshop consists of two invited talks to be delivered by leading scholars working in the area of emergency response and management, a presentation of findings from an ongoing research project (partially funded by the GCRF networking grants) related to the use of big data in managing urban waterloggin/pluvial flooding disasters, and a panel discussion joined by leading researchers and scholars in this field. Audience participating the workshop is encouraged to join the discussion.

The workshop will be arranged into two sessions structured as follows.:

  • Session 1
    • 17:00-17:40 Invited talk: Professor Xianhua Wu (Shanghai Maritime Unversity, China)
    • 17:40-18:10 Presentation by the organizers
    • 18:10-18:40 Break
  • Session 2
    • 18:40-19:20 Invited talk: Professor Fabio Ciravegna (Department of Computer Science, the University of Sheffield, UK)
    • 19:20-20:00 Panel: Panel members and organizers

Check out the exciting profiles of our speakers and panelists below!

Invited Speaker: Professor Fabio Ciravegna is Professor of Pervasive Technologies at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is the Academic Director and founder of the University Technology Centre in Artificial Intelligence for Defence and Security. His research field concerns large scale data collection and analysis from multiple devices and multiple modes. He has created technologies for tracking mobility used by a million users and which have collected over a billion mobility data points. He has created three spin out companies, two of which in the area of tracking and modelling mobility. He is currently the CEO of Aeqora Ltd (, a company providing solutions for tracking of physical movements using mobile technologies and IoT.
Invited Speaker: Professor Xianhua Wu is a distinguished professor of Shanghai Maritime University, China. His areas of specialty include disaster risk analysis, big data analysis, and applied statistics. He has published 7 books and more than 120 academic articles in journals like Annals of Operations Research, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Science of the Total Environment, Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Weather, Climate and Society and others. As a Principal Investigator, He has 7 national research projects such as The Major Research Plan of National Social Science Foundation (18ZDA052), Training Program of the Major Research Plan of the National Science Foundation of China (91546117) and etc. He is also a member of Steering Committee of Economics Educaiton (2018-2022), MOE, China.
Panel: Prof Xiaomi An is a professor at Renmin University of China. She is editor-in-chief or author of 20 books and has published over 290 academic papers, chaired over 50 research projects. She has over 16 years experiences in international standards development and is convener of IEC SyC Smart Cities WG 1 on Terminology and Task Force on Data Use in Smart City of ISO/IEC JTC1/WG11. Her current research areas are information resources management standardization enabled big data governance and data use in smart city . She is chair of the Major Program of the National Social Science Foundation of China: Studies about data governance and data use capability in Chinese government.
Panel: Dr Nan Zhang is Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University. His research interests focus on e-Government and Mobile Government, big data in public sector and policy informatics, Innovation 2.0 and smart city. He has published articles in several important international journals, including Government Information Quarterly, Information & Management, Information Processing & Management, Information Systems Frontiers, Journal of Global Information Management, etc. Dr. Zhang has been the project leader or key member for several research projects funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China as well National Social Science Foundation of China. He also holds positions in institutions such as Chinese Society for Urban Studies.
Panel: Prof Lu An is a professor and the deputy director of the Department of Information Management, Wuhan University. Her research interests are online data analysis and crisis informatics. She serves as the executive board member of International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO), the Chair Elect of the ASIS&T SIG-KM, the deputy editor of Knowledge Organization, the director of the Research Office of Data Management and Knowledge Service at the Center for Studies of Information Resources (CSIR) of Wuhan University, a director of Scientific and Technological Information Society of China, a director of China Information Economy Society, a member of Artificial Society Special Committee of China Simulation Society, and a director of Hubei Province Information Society. She has published more than 100 papers on the core LIS journals and conferences and two monographs.
Panel: Dr Dhaval Thakker is Associate Professor in Computer Science from the University of Bradford, UK, and the head of Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Lab. Dr Thakkar is renowned for developing innovative methods and technologies based on IoT, in the context of Smart Cities, Digital Health, Circular Economy and Emergency Response.
Panel: Dr Amanda Lee Hughes is an assistant professor in the IT & Cybersecurity Program at Brigham Young University (BYU). She is a renowned scholar in the area of Crisis Informatics, where her current work investigates the use of social media during crises and mass emergencies. She is currently the head of the Crisis Informatics Lab at BYU.

Important Dates

The workshop will take place on March 19, 17:00-20:00 (GMT +8), 2021.


We welcome anybody with a broad interest in the area of emergency response and the use of big data and/or information systems in managing emergency situations. To take part in the workshop, you must register with the iConference

Workshop Presentations

All presentations delivered at the workshop will be made available here after the event.

Organizing committee

  • Prof Ming Ren: Renmin University of China, China (correspondence organiser)
    Organizer: Ming Ren associate professor at School of Information Resource Management, Renmin University of China, received her Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2007 and B.E. in Management Information Systems from Tsinghua University in 2002. Her research interests focus on information systems and management, big data analytics, knowledge graph and its applications. Dr. Ren has published articles in several important international journals in domain of information science (e.g. Information Sciences, Decision Support Systems), and has been the project leader or key member for several research projects funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) as well as government. She has been visiting scholar at Indiana University, University of Texas at Dallas, and Gent University.
  • Dr Ziqi Zhang: University of Sheffield, UK (correspondence organiser)
  • Mr Guozhi Li: Beijing Jianghe RichWay Technology Development
  • Prof Xianhua Wu: Shanghai Maritime University, China
  • Dr Jun Zhang: University of Sheffield, UK


This event is partially sponsored by GCRF and the Renmin University of China