Our team of researchers, led by Dr Milad Haghani from the Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering advised that these experiments are designed to provide evidence that will help build models, guidelines, and educational tools to improve crowd safety and save lives in disaster situations, especially those that occur in enclosed spaces.

Dr Haghani says: “With these experiments, we are providing empirical evidence of how training, mental preparedness, awareness and enhanced knowledge of the public can be effective in disastrous situations such as those in crowded spaces. 

“One of the goals of the experiments is to discover easily communicable behavioural modifications that can make the response of the crowd more efficient and save lives in times of danger.

“This is in line with a broader line of research that I am leading in the public safety domain, which is the role of measuring and enhancing public preparedness for all forms of mass emergencies and disasters, such as floods, bushfires, or terror attacks in crowded spaces.

“In the case of an attack in a crowded space, for example, statistics have shown that the incident usually ends by the time police and authorities arrive and take control. Within that time period, the response and preparedness of the people involved, what I refer to as zero responders, is the most important determinant of their survival, and that is exactly what we are looking into.” 

Funded by Australian Research Council DE210100440 and UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Dr Milad Haghani