M. Lusková, B. Leitner, Z. Dvorak

University of Zilina (SLOVAKIA)
In last years, a variety of extreme weather events, including droughts, extreme temperatures, forest fires, rain induced landslides, river floods, storms, hurricanes, have threatened and damaged many different regions across Europe and worldwide. According to data, collected since 1980 by the insurance industry, the number of weather-related catastrophes recorded worldwide increased from an annual average of 335 events from 1980 to 1989, to 545 events in the 1990s and to 716 events for 2002–2011. Floods, heat waves, droughts and wild fires show the most pronounced upward trend, followed by storms. These events have a severe impact on society. They affect human lives, livelihoods, cause irreversible changes in the environment and have also a devastating impact on infrastructure systems.

In this context, in the year 2012, the Faculty of Security Engineering of the Zilina University became a member of consortium that prepared and submitted FP7 project proposal titled Risk Analysis of Infrastructure Networks in response to extreme weather – RAIN. This project was submitted within the call of FP7-SEC-2013-1, topic SEC-2013.2.1-2: Impact of extreme weather on critical infrastructure. The RAIN project was approved by the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission for financial support from May 2014 to April 2017. The main objective of the RAIN was to provide an operational analysis framework that identifies critical infrastructure components impacted by extreme weather events and minimise the impact of these events on the EU infrastructure network.

The aim of this paper is to present the ways of exploitation of the RAIN project results in education of critical infrastructure protection professionals at the Faculty of Security Engineering, University of Zilina within the study programme “Security and Protection of Critical Infrastructure”. The study programme „Security and Protection of Critical Infrastructure“ is unique in central Europe, multidisciplinary oriented, focusing on various types of infrastructure networks, based on the needs of practice, supported by the Slovak Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development and the Ministry of Economy and is primarily focused on the fields of energy and transport.

Linking research projects to education has a significant impact on the quality of graduates in each study program. From the results of the project, achieved in the context of the work packages, a lot of deliverables in the form of research reports and practical case studies can be used. Their incorporating into the curriculum contributes to the better specification and innovation of the content of the more profile courses , e.g. Energy infrastructure, Transport infrastructure, Civil protection, Protection of critical infrastruture objects in the energy and transport sector, Protection of people and property, Transport in crisis situations, Crisis management, Planning of critical infrastructure protection, Controlling and information systems of critical infrastructure, Risk management of critical infrastructure, Project of CI element protection and others.