Reading flood forecasting expert on Queen’s Birthday Honours list
Release Date 07 June 2019
A University of Reading scientist who has helped develop flood forecasts that allow early action to save lives globally has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Professor Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist in the University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Science and Department of Meteorology, was named on the 2019 list for services to flood forecasting and the development of hazard early warning systems.
Her work includes advising the UK government on national and international flooding incidents, such as the 2013/2014 winter floods in the UK. She was also instrumental in advising the UK government and humanitarian partners on preparation for the severe floods in East Africa over the last two months.
Professor Cloke said: “I am deeply honoured and incredibly proud to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen. I work as part of a fantastic team of researchers and collaborators who really are dedicated to ensuring we can use the best science to keep people safe from flooding.
“We’ve made great strides in predicting where floods will hit, how bad they will be and when they will happen. This information allows civil protection authorities and humanitarian agencies to make better decisions and take action to prepare before floods even happen, meaning many more lives can be saved.”
Working with partners at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and the European Commission, Professor Cloke’s Reading team has used the latest global earth system models to develop world-leading flood modelling systems that allow early warnings to be provided ahead of severe flooding events.
The team produced up-to-date forecasting reports for the Department for International Development and humanitarian partners following Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth.
Professor Cloke co-directs the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC’s) programme and works closely with other local, national and international partners such as the Environment Agency, the Met Office, flood forecasting agencies around the world and local flood groups.
She was by the European Geosciences Union in 2018.