Bergung einer verschütteten Person durch Helfer des THW und DRK (Image: Labor für Großschadensereignisse/FH Köln)

Contact & Service

Faculty of Process Engineering, Energy and Mechanical Systems

  • How to find us

Insitute Director

Prof. Dr. Alexander Michael Lechleuthner

Prof. Dr. Alexander Michael Lechleuthner

  • Room ZS-04-1b
  • Phone: +49 221-8275-4568

Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection

The Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection deals with all of the technical and organizational elements in operative civil protection to provide rescue for people, as well as with elements to recognize hazards and protect against them, such as regulatory and occupational risk and crisis management as well as social and methodical competences for leaders and managers.


Civil protection and security entail a wide range of disciplines and the institute especially focuses on prevention and operative emergency response.

There are many technical, medical, and organizational tasks required in the area of non-police aversion of danger in prevention and operative emergency response and security technology. At the same time, the requirements for quality and cost-effectiveness are rising steadily. Due to financial constraints and critical resources, corresponding solutions have to be efficient.

Disciplines in Civil Protection and Security:

Operative Civil Protection
(Firefighting, Rescue Services, Technical Aid and Catastrophe Protection)

Preventive Civil Protection
(Fire Protection, Environmental and Civil Protection, Management System)

Safety Technology
(Plant and Process Safety, Machine Safety, Worker Protection)

Increasing complexity, financial constraints, and time sensitive problems require interdisciplinary and comprehensive education and training for emergency responders. We meet these requirements through our research and teaching activities.

Risk and crisis management in research and teaching

Risk and crisis management deals with crises and catastrophes and how to prepare for such events and cope with them. We focus on these events, which include natural catastrophes such as floods, earthquakes, or storms, as well as man-made ones such as disruptions in vital supply infrastructure, i.e., water, energy, or emergency and rescue organizations. In doing so, we take into account major natural, technical, and social changes such as climate change, global and demographic changes, technical innovations and also cyber-attacks and cascading interlinkages of primary and secondary hazard impacts.

In addition to dealing with hazard impacts, we essentially deal with the vulnerability, resilience, robustness, and adaptability of our society and its infrastructure as well as the risk governance of institutions. Modern and holistic risk and crisis management concepts integrate and allow participation of multiple parties and stakeholders, convey methods for: spatial and temporal risk analyses; criticality, vulnerability, and resilience studies; risk perception; evaluation procedures; develop risk mitigation and adaptation measures, and use risk communication as a central process, which interpenetrates all of these phases. Next to crisis management and subsequent re-construction, we primarily focus on disaster preparedness, i.e., on learning effects from catastrophes that already occurred as also in using scenarios and models to estimate future events and preventive measures.

The research and teaching in our institute cover the disciplines in risk and crisis management with mutual, systemic interdependencies between natural, technical and man-made hazards and social vulnerability and critical infrastructure:

• Civil protection and security
• Development cooperation
• Interdisciplinary
• Infrastructure criticality
• Natural & Man-made hazards
• Risk analysis, risk communication, risk management / risk governance
• Vulnerability and resilience