Predicting Natural Disasters - Forensic Engineering
Predicting Natural Disasters
On Sunday 11th May an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale devastated much of Sichuan province in China. A week before a fierce tropical cyclone hit Burma (Myanmar). Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost and many more are in peril from the after effects. Can science tell us if natural disasters like these are on the increase? Do they come in clusters? Quentin Cooper is joined by Julian Heming, UK Metrological Office, Exeter, Professor Bill McGuire, Hazard Research Centre, University College London, and Dr. Paul Burton, Geophysical Sciences, University of East Anglia.
Quentin finds out how a unique collaboration between scientists at Leicester University and Northamptonshire Police has come up with ingenious new techniques in the fight against crime. These include the detecting of previously undetectable fingerprints, and the creation of a lead chemical database of lead samples from churches across the country. It could help tackle the increase in theft of lead from church roofs which costs millions of pounds year to ecclesial insurers. Quentin is joined by Dr. John Bond, Scientific Support Manager, Northamptonshire Police and Dr. Sarah Hainsworth, Materials Mechanics, University of Leicester.