Cees van Westen is  a Full professor Multi-Hazard Risk Dynamics at the Earth System Analysis Department of  the faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Twente University, the Netherlands.  After obtaining his MSc in Physical Geography from the University of Amsterdam in 1988 , he joined the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) as a Ph.D. researcher and specialized in the use of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems for natural hazard and risk assessment. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Delft in 1993. He was involved in projects related to the development of open source GIS software and developed many training materials on the use of GIS for hazard and risk assessment. From 2005- 2015 he was Director of the United Nations University - ITC Centre on Geoinformation for Disaster Risk Management. He has carried out research on different hazard and risk related aspects: landslide hazard and risk (e.g. Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Romania, India, China, Vietnam, Colombia, Central America, Caribbean), volcanic hazard and risk assessment (Colombia, Philippines, Central America, South America) and technological risk assessment (India). He worked on national scale risk assessment projects in Central America, the Caribbean, Caucasus, and Central Asia. His current research interest is to develop methods for the analysis of changing multi-hazard risk. These changes can be abrupt, e.g. after major disasters (e.g. earthquakes, tropical storms, volcanic eruptions), or gradual (e.g. analyzing how future scenarios of climate change, land-use change, and population change have an impact on risk) or as a decision support tool for the planning of risk reduction measures.

Expertise

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences

    • Landslide
    • Model
    • Hazard
    • Inventory
    • Earthquake
    • Datum
    • Investigation
    • India

Organisations

Ancillary activities

  • UN-APCICTRegular training courses
  • European Research CouncilReview Panel for European Research Council

Cees van Westen is Full professor Multi-Hazard Risk Dynamics at the Earth System Analysis Department of the faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Twente University, the Netherlands. After obtaining his MSc in Physical Geography from the University of Amsterdam in 1988, he joined the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) as PhD researcher and specialized in the use of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems for natural hazard and risk assessment. He obtained his Ph.D. in Engineering Geology from the Technical University of Delft in 1993, with research on "Geographic Information Systems for Landslide Hazard Zonation". He is working in the Department of Earth Systems Analysis, and contributes to the research theme 4D-Earth, specifically to Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Management. He was involved in projects related to the development of open source GIS software and developed many training materials on the use of GIS for hazard and risk assessment. From 2005- 2015 he was Director of the United Nations University - ITC Centre on Geoinformation for Disaster Risk Management.  The overview of activities of the UNU-DGIM can be downloaded here. He has carried out research on different hazard and risk related aspects: landslide hazard and risk (e.g. Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Romania, India, China, Vietnam, Colombia, Central America, Caribbean), volcanic hazard and risk assessment (Colombia, Philippines, Central America, South America) and technological risk assessment (India). He worked on national scale risk assessment projects in Central America, the Caribbean, Caucasus, and Central Asia. His current research interest is to develop methods for the analysis of changing multi-hazard risk. These changes can be abrupt, e.g. after major disasters (e.g. earthquakes, tropical storms, volcanic eruptions), or gradual (e.g. analyzing how future scenarios of climate change, land-use change and population change have an impact on risk) or as a decision support tool for the planning of risk reduction measures. 

Publications

2024
Event-based rainfall-induced landslide inventories and rainfall thresholds for MalawiLandslides, 21(6), 1403-1424 (Accepted/In press). Niyokwiringirwa, P., Lombardo, L., Dewitte, O., Deijns, A. A. J., Wang, N., Van Westen, C. J. & Tanyas, H.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-023-02203-7Space-time modeling of landslide size by combining static, dynamic, and unobserved spatiotemporal factorsCatena, 240, Article 107989. Fang, Z., Wang, Y., van Westen, C. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2024.107989Application of beta regression for the prediction of landslide areal density in South Tyrol, Italy¬†. Moreno, M., Opitz, T., Steger, S., Westen, C. v. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-17785From spatio-temporal landslide susceptibility to landslide risk forecastGeoscience Frontiers, 15(2), Article 101765. Wang, T., Dahal, A., Fang, Z., van Westen, C., Yin, K. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2023.101765Space-time data-driven modeling of precipitation-induced shallow landslides in South Tyrol, ItalyScience of the total environment, 912(169166), Article 169166, 1-17. Moreno, M., Lombardo, L., Crespi, A., Zellner, P. J., Mair, V., Pittore, M., van Westen, C. J. & Steger, S.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.169166Unveiling spatial inequalities: Exploring county-level disaster damages and social vulnerability on public disaster assistance in contiguous USJournal of environmental management, 351(119690), Article 119690, 1-12. Han, Y., Jia, H., Xu, C., Bočkarjova, M., van Westen, C. J. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.119690Landslide hazard spatiotemporal prediction based on data-driven models: Estimating where, when and how large landslide may beInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 126, Article 103631. Fang, Z., Wang, Y., van Westen, C. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2023.103631Standing on the shoulder of a giant landslide: A six-year long InSAR look at a slow-moving hillslope in the western KarakoramGeomorphology, 444, Article 108959, 1-17. Ahmad, S. M., Sadhasivam, N., Lisa, M., Lombardo, L., Emil, M. K., Zaki, A., Van Westen, C. J., Fadel, I. & Tanyas, H.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2023.108959
2023
Mapping landslides through a temporal lens: an insight toward multi-temporal landslide mapping using the u-net deep learning modelGIScience and Remote Sensing, 60(1), Article 2182057 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Bhuyan, K., Meena, S. R., Nava, L., van Westen, C., Floris, M. & Catani, F.https://doi.org/10.1080/15481603.2023.2182057From ground motion simulations to landslide occurrence predictionGeomorphology, 441, Article 108898. Dahal, A., Castro-Cruz, D. A., Tanyaş, H., Fadel, I., Mai, P. M., van der Meijde, M., van Westen, C., Huser, R. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2023.108898Mapping and characterising buildings for flood exposure analysis using open-source data and artificial intelligenceNatural hazards, 119, 805-835 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Bhuyan, K., van Westen, C., Wang, J. & Meena, S. R.https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-022-05612-4Impact-based probabilistic modeling of hydro-morphological processes in China (1985‚Äď2015)Journal of environmental management, 344, Article 118463. Wang, N., Cheng, W., Zhang, H., van Westen, C., Xiong, J., Liu, C. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118463Space‚ÄďTime Landslide Susceptibility Modeling Based on Data-Driven MethodsMathematical geosciences (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Fang, Z., Wang, Y., van Westen, C. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1007/s11004-023-10105-6A breakthrough in fast flood simulationEnvironmental Modelling and Software, 168, Article 105787. van den Bout, B., Jetten, V. G., van Westen, C. J. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2023.105787Space-time data-driven modeling of precipitation-induced shallow landslides in South Tyrol, Italy. Earth ArXiv. Moreno, M., Lombardo, L., Crespi, A., Zellner, P., Mair, V., Pittore, M., van Westen, C. & Steger, S.https://doi.org/10.31223/X59M3JFrom space-time landslide susceptibility to landslide risk forecast. Earth ArXiv. Wang, T., Dahal, A., Fang, Z., van Westen, C., Yin, K. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.31223/X5XT1FFunctional regression for space-time prediction of precipitation-induced shallow landslides in South Tyrol, Italy¬†. Moreno, M., Steger, S., Lombardo, L., Opitz, T., Crespi, A., Marra, F., Vugt, L. d., Zieher, T., Rutzinger, M., Mair, V., Pittore, M. & van Westen, C.https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-9538Space-time landslide size modelling in Taiwan. Lombardo, L., Fang, Z., Wang, Y. & van Westen, C.https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-6999Space-time modelling of co-seismic and post-seismic landslide hazard via Ensemble Neural Networks.. Dahal, A., Tanyas, H., van Westen, C., van der Meijde, M., Mai, P. M., Huser, R. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-3496Fastflood.org, an open-source super-fast flood model in the browser. van den Bout, B., Jetten, V., van Westen, C. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-3611From ground motion simulations to landslide occurrence prediction. Earth ArXiv. Dahal, A., Cruz, D. A. C., Tanyas, H., Fadel, I., Mai, P. M., Meijde, M. v. d., Westen, C. v., Huser, R. & Lombardo, L.https://doi.org/10.31223/X5WM0PSpatio-temporal evolution of glacial lakes in the Tibetan Plateau over the past 30 yearsRemote sensing, 15(2), Article 416. Dou, X., Fan, X., Wang, X., Yunus, A. P., Xiong, J., Tang, R., Lovati, M., van Westen, C. & Xu, Q.https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15020416Generating multi-temporal landslide inventories through a general deep transfer learning strategy using HR EO dataScientific reports, 13(1), Article 162. Bhuyan, K., Tanyaş, H., Nava, L., Puliero, S., Meena, S. R., Floris, M., van Westen, C. & Catani, F.https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-27352-yRealities of bridge resilience in Small Island Developing StatesMitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 28(1), Article 1. Trigg, M. A., Dehghani, M. S., Kesete, Y. Y., Carr, A. B., Trigg, S. G., Zekkos, D., Lopez, D., Pertierra, M., van Westen, C., Jetten, V. & Ogden, F. L.https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-022-10035-4
2022

Other contributions

  • UNESCAP/ APCICT 2020. Development of the APCICT Academy module on ‚ÄúICT for Disaster Risk Management‚ÄĚ by Dr. Cees Van Westen and Dr. Manzul Kumar Hazarika. It provides an overview of how ICTs can be used for disaster risk management. Link.¬†
  • Tajikistan, 2019-2020. Multi-hazard Risk Assessment at District Level in Tajikistan. UNDP funded project. http://tajirisk.ait.ac.th/

Research profiles

He has been teaching courses since 1994 on topics such as Introduction to GIS, Spatial Information for Disaster Risk Management, Natural Hazard Assessment, Empirical Modelling, Landslide susceptibility Assessment, Multi-Hazard risk Assessment, Disaster Risk Reduction.

From 1998 to 2000 he was Programme Director of the Earth Resources and Environmental Geosciences" educational programme, and he has been coordinating the specialization on Natural hazards for a number of years.  He has been active in the development of joint educational programmes with IIRS (India), UGM (Indonesia), ICIMOD (Nepal), ADPC (Thailand), CLAS-UMSS (Bolivia) and UNAM-CIGA (Mexico), and CDUT (China). He has given short courses in many different countries. 

Training packages, that deal with the application of GIS and Remote Sensing for natural hazards and risk assessment:

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses academic year 2022/2023

  • Pakistan, 2020-2021. SUPARCO.¬†Advice on the methodology for national-scale multi-hazard risk assessment for Pakistan. SUPARCO.
  • Colombia, SGC, 2020.¬†Review of Guidelines for debris hazard and risk assessment for planning (Lineamientos Metodol√≥gicos Para La Incorporaci√≥n De Las Geoamenazas En Macroproyectos De Infraestructura). Servicio Geologico Colombiano.
  • Colombia, SGC, 2020.¬†Review of Guidelines for Geohazard assessment in macroprojects of infrastructure (
  • UNESCAP/ APCICT 2020.¬†Development of the APCICT Academy module on ‚ÄúICT for Disaster Risk Management‚ÄĚ by Dr. Cees Van Westen and Dr. Manzul Kumar Hazarika. It provides an overview of how ICTs can be used for disaster risk management.¬†Link.
  • Dominica, World Bank , 2020.¬†Reducing Debris and Water Flow Risks from landslides for Infrastructure Resilience of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
  • Tajikistan, 2019-2020.¬†Multi-hazard Risk Assessment at District Level in Tajikistan. UNDP funded project.¬†http://tajirisk.ait.ac.th/
  • Dominica, 2019. Evaluation of landslide susceptibility for geothermal project area. Dominica Geothermal Development Company.
  • Ecuador, ESPE, 2019.¬†Maestr√≠a de Ciencias de la Tierra de la ESPE.¬† Tem√°tica enfocada a ‚ÄúDisaster Risk Management‚ÄĚ. Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas.
  • Colombia, SGC, 2019.¬†Review of Guidelines for landslide risk assessment along roads (Lineamientos Metodol√≥gicos Para La Incorporaci√≥n De Las Geoamenazas En Macroproyectos De Infraestructura). Servicio Geologico Colombiano
  • Abkhazia, 2018.¬†COBERM programme funded by the European Union and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that supports initiatives of people and local communities affected by conflict.
  • Colombia.¬†2017. Advise on the development of a methodology for landslide hazard zonation at 1:25.000 scale as a basis for territorial planning.
  • China, 2017.¬†Atlas of Wenchuan-Earthquake Geohazards: Analysis of co-seismic and post-seismic Geohazards in the area affected by the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
  • ¬†2016-2017. Capacity building project funded by UNEP to apply Geo-Information for Multi-Hazard risk assessment.¬†
  • Caribbean:¬†CHARIM project. Caribbean Handbook on Disaster Information Management (World Bank project) National scale datasets were organized and stored in the CHARIM¬†GEoNode platform. National scale landslide and flood hazard maps were made for¬†Belize, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.¬†http://www.charim.net/¬† and¬†http://charim-geonode.net/
  • Nepal, 2015:¬†Post-earthquake landslide hazards.
  • Vietnam: Landslide hazard assessment method. 2013-2014. Consulting project for the Vietnamese Institute of Geology and Mining (VIGMR)
  • Pakistan: IST, 2013.¬†Training Course on Advanced Geo-Spatial Disaster Management Techniques, at the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Eastern Europe, EU PPRD EAST project. ¬†EU-funded Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Man-made and Natural Disasters in the ENPI East Region (PPRD East).
  • Vietnam: ¬†GHITRA project. 2010-2011.¬†ITC was lead partner in the Geo-information Technology for Hazard Risk Assessment (GITHRA) project in Vietnam, funded by the Asian Development Bank.
  • Georgia, MATRA project. 2009-2012.¬†Institutional Building for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Georgia, funded by NL Government. Development of a¬†Digital Atlas of Natural Hazards in Georgia¬†and a¬†Web-GIS.¬†http://drm.cenn.org
  • Central America: CAPRA evaluation, 2009-2010 (World Bank). Review of CARPA methodology and software.
  • SE Asia, CASITA University Network project.¬†2002-2004. Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Application (CASITA). EU EuropAid ASIA IT&T Project.
  • Central America, UNSECO-RAPCA project. 1998-2003.¬†UNESCO project on Capacity Building for Natural disaster Reduction, regional Action Programme Central America (RAPCA) with participants from the following countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicarague, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize;
  • Colombia: Rapid Inventory of Earthquake Damage, 1999-2000.¬†Rapid assessment of the damage inflicted by the 1999 Armenia earthquake.
  • Peru, 1999. Curriculum development. GEneration of the "Atlas Ambiental de Trujillo", and the "Atlas Ambiental de Lima".
  • Argentina, 1996. Course "Curso de Actualizacion: Nuevas tecnologias en el analisis y mitigacion de riesgos naturales en Sudamerica Neotropical" in S.M. de Tucuman
  • Nepal: GLOF hazard, 1996.¬†Expedition in the Tamba Koshi and Rolwaling valleys, together with 6 Nepalse students, to map the possible effect of a glacial lake outburst (GLOF) of the Tsho Rolpa glacier lake.
  • India, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing GEONEDIS. 1996-2006. Curriculum development and frequent training courses at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS, Department of Space). Project coordinator for a number of years and coordinator of a Joint Master Course on Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Management.¬†
  • Bolivia, UMSS, 1995-2012. Joint courses on "Evaluaci√≥n de amenazas y riesgos para desastres naturales" , for the¬†CLAS project¬†in Cochabamba.¬†
  • China: ESCAP, 1995.¬†Training Course on Environmental and Urban Geology of Fast-growing Cities‚ÄĚ, organised by ESCAP and the Chinese Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources (MGMR), held in Shanghai
  • Malaysia: MACRES,¬†1999:¬†Course on Remote Sensing and GIS for Landslide Hazard Assessment in MACRES, Malaysia
  • Costa Rica: ICE, 1994. Course¬†"Introduccion a los sistemas de informacion geografica. Aplicaciones en las ciencias de la tierra", Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, San Jose
  • Colombia: support of IGAC,¬†1988 - 1993. Support of curriculum development and organization of training courses on natural hazards at the Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi (IGAC), collaboration with INGEOMINAS, Universidad de Caldas and Universidad Nacional.

Address

University of Twente

Langezijds (building no. 19), room 1432
Hallenweg 8
7522 NH Enschede
Netherlands

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Additional contact information

https://research.utwente.nl/en/persons/cj-van-westen

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