Articles, lectures, talks and workshops

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We have courses running around the world in 2017. 

Details of course content are listed on this link.

If you are interested in a professional qualification in crowd safety and risk analysis and would like to book a place on any of the international courses or lectures, please click here - email

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Click here for our international partner links and contact details 

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2017 Short courses, lectures and publications

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Scientific paper published in "Medicine, Science and the Law” April 2017

Acute forces required for fatal compression asphyxia: A biomechanical model and historical comparisons

Mark W Kroll, G Keith Still, Tom S Neuman, Michael A Graham and Lanny V Griffin

Conclusions

A biomechanical ribcage model predicts that an adult male requires at least 2550 +/- 250 N (260 +/- 26 kg) of static chest mass to cause flail chest. This is consistent with the records of judicial pressing. The model predicts that an adult male requires 4050 +/- 320 N of dynamic force to cause flail chest.

Click here for the pressure research page

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis 

14th, 15th and 16th Nov 2017 Dublin, Ireland.

Click here for further information _________________________________________________

Speaking at te 56th ICCA Congress in Prague (12th - 13th Nov)

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Holland 30th October 2017

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course


For a short interview of Prof Still (for ESI in Holland) - click on this link

For a short overview of the course delegates work (for ESI in Holland) - click on this link.

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Mail Attachment

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis at Arena MK 

23rd - 25th October  2017

Click here for further information.

For details contact info@safeandtrained.uk 

Web: www.safeandtrained.com

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20th September 2017 - Edinburgh                       

Professor Keith Still

Manchester Metropolitan University

Crowd Science and Real-time analysis

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Berlin (delivered in German by Capt Marcel Altenburg)

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

6th - 8th Sept 2017

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Prof. Still and Marcel Altenburg

11th July - public lecture - Manchester

Click here for further information



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Prof. Still - Talking on the OR applications for Crowd Science

22nd June 2017 - MMU Business School

Tickets available on this link

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Main logo

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

New Zealand  8th - 9th - 10th May 2017

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Ottawa

Canada - Ottawa

18th  April 2017

Evening Lecture -  Crowd Science and Real-time analysis

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Ottawa

Canada - Ottawa

18th - 19th - 20th April 2017

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

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Canada - Calgary (police training college)

11th April 2017

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Lecture

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Calgary Police Service Tenete Lineam Logo

Canada - Calgary (police training college)

5th - 6th - 7th April 2017

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

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Austria - 30th March 

Keynote talk at the conference.

Click here for details 

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

27th - 28th - 29th March

Vienna, Austria

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21st March 2017

Prof. Still talking at the conference in Ghent

Crowd Risk Anlaysis - General introdution

and Real-Time Decision Support Analysis

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

15th - 16th - 17th March

Middlesborough Council

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10th March 11:45-12:45                          

The Cobden Rooms, Manchester Central

Professor Keith Still and Marcel Altenburg

Manchester Metropolitan University

“How many people were at Trump’s inauguration?”

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Lecture Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis - 

Suffolk University 2nd March

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21st Feb 2017 - G.36 Business School

Click here to register for a ticket

(book early - we are expecting a million, million and a half people in the lecture theatre G.36)

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XenoFractals and Heart Rate Variability: 

Healthcare Science Research Seminar 2017

E412, 1-2pm on 15 Feb.

John Dalton Building
Oxford Road.Manchester
M1 5GD

My other research - www.XenoFractals.com

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis 

8th, 9th and 10th Feb 2017 Dublin, Ireland.

For detail, contact mark@cuckoo.ie

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https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/i-am-scholar-caught-trump-inauguration-crowd-controversy

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https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/18/us/politics/How-Crowds-at-the-Capitol-Have-Been-Counted.html

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/20/us/politics/trump-inauguration-crowd.html?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/22/us/politics/womens-march-trump-crowd-estimates.html

More details on this link

http://www.gkstill.com/CV/Projects/Counting.html

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Article in the New York Times

Trump’s Inauguration vs. Obama’s: Comparing the Crowds

click here for the link

Below - view from the Podium (front 1/3rd is similar - all seated)

Below - view from the rear (back 2/3rds are empty.

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How many people will be at Donald Trump’s inauguration? Professor Keith Still and Marcel Alternburg answer - live for New York Times

Crowd scientists to provide rolling analysis from 3pm UK time (January 20)

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http://www.mmu.ac.uk/news/news-items/5037/

New York Time article link - click here

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Crowd Counting article (New York Times) - click here for the link

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Aritcle in the Washington Post (Jan 9th 2017)

Ignoring safety, what’s the maximum number of people that can fit in Times Square? Fewer than you might think. washingtonpost.com 

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2016 Short courses, lectures and publications

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Talk at the Environmental Health AGM on Fri 2nd Dec at the 

Roundthorn Country House Hotel, Beacon Edge, Penrith

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Prof. Still lecturing on “Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis at Major Events” 

30th Nov 2016

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Holland 22nd - 24th November 2016

Stadion Galgenwaard, Herculesplein 241 - Utrecht

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

For a short interview of Prof Still (for ESI in Holland) - click on this link

For a short overview of the course delegates work (for ESI in Holland) - click on this link.

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Lecture - Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis for major events

Annual Conference - Birmingham - 11th  October 2016

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Sept 12th - 16th 2016 

First year induction week at 

Manchester Metropolitan University

MSc in Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis 

9th - 11th August 2016

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Prof. Still confirmed as a keynote speaker at the 

Security 2016 Conference & Exhibition.  20th - 22nd July

Programme details - here

Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia 

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19th July 2016

Lecturing at Western Sydney University

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Melbourne Cricket Ground

Short course - Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

18th July 2016

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis 

13th - 15th July 2016 - Melbourne, Australia

Click here for course details

Click here for a press release

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Article in ManMetLife

https://manmetlife.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/helping-increase-crowd-safety-in-the-usa/

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Lecture at Melbourne University

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

11th July 2016

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Hong Kong - Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

18th - 23rd June 2016

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Lancaster - FGH - Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

13th - 15th June 2016

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

16th - 17th - 18th May 2016

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

Edmonton, 9th - 1oth - 11th May 2016

And 1/2 day workshop - details here

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

Click here for course details 

Ottowa 3rd - 4th - 5th May 2016

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Holland 29th - 31st March 2016

Stadion Galgenwaard, Herculesplein 241 - Utrecht

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

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Webinar -  Monday 21st March 2016

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis (USA) 


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BBC News (Live) on the escalator experiment in London - Maths and Psychology

Friday 11th March 2016 (1950)

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Article in the Denver Post-Telegraph - crowd estimation

10th March 2016 One of the MSc students uses crowd science to assess crowd numbers at a major event

http://www.post-telegraph.com/news/experts-broncos-parade-estimate-3-5-times-too-high/

http://www.post-telegraph.com/news/a-look-at-methodology/

http://www.post-telegraph.com/news/through-the-transportation-lens/

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“Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

One day course 

8th March - Antwerp, Belgium

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Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Courses

16th - 18th February  2016 and

21st - 23rd February  2016

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29th Jan 2016 - Utrecht, Holland

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Signing a MOU with InControl - Pedestrian Dynamcs. Working together to develop a range of crowd risk analysis tools, teaching and training projects. We use the Pedstrian Dynamics crowd simulation system on the MSc programme at MMU.

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Jan 19th - 20th 2016 Bucks New University

Introduction to  Crowd Science

BU510 Module - Foundation Degree - Level 5

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Fingal County Council

7th, 8th,  9th January 2016

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

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2015 Workshops, lectures and publications

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Dec 16th - 17th 2015 Bucks New University 

Applied Crowd Science

SF610 Module - BA (Hons) - Level 6

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Dubai Mall, 6, 7, 8th December 2015

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis and

Crowd Modelling and Simulation Course

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Plymouth University - 24th November 2015

Events Management Lecture

Crowd Science and the MSc course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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London - Institute of Mathematics - 21st November 2015

Lecture on the importance of mathematics for crowd safety in the Events Industry.

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Birmingham - Institute of Licensing 

18th November 2015

Lecturing at the Institute of Licensing -  National Training Conference 2015

Outdoor Evetns (Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis)

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Article in this months Health and Safety (about the book)

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10-11-12th November 2015.  Stadion Galgenwaard, Utrecht. Holland

ESI-Logo rgb

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course 

Click here for courses content.

Click here for ESI and future courses in Holland.

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9th November 2015.  Stadion Galgenwaard, Utrecht. Holland

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Masterclass session


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Arup - 8 Fitzroy Street, London

October 9th 2015 - lecture on the importance of crowd safety

when developing crowd simulations.

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Hajj disaster articles - various (worldwide) TV, Radio and press interviews

http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/after-billions-spent-on-safety-saudis-lost-control-of-crowd-pilgrims-say-road-was-blocked-police-deny/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/03/hajj-crush-how-crowd-disasters-happen-and-how-they-can-be-avoided

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Crowds article in the Philadelphia News - click here for link

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Institute of Environmental Health

Penrith (lecture/seminar)

25th September 2015

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22nd Sept 2015 - Article in the Washington Post

Click here to read the article

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MMU Logo (shadow)

Sept 14th - 18th 2015 

First year induction week at 

Manchester Metropolitan University

MSc in Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

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Sept 8th - 10th 2015 Redditch (UK) 

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

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August 21st 2015 - Membership of the Expert Witness Institute

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Piece in the Philadelphia News about the forthcoming visit from the Pope.

Click here to read the full article

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June 2nd - 4th 2015 Wembley Stadium

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

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Australia - May - Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

Queensland (Brisbane) 25th - 27th May 2015

New South Wales (Sydney) 18th - 20th May 2015

Western Australia (Perth) 6th - 8th May 2015

Victoria (Melbourne) 11th - 13th May 2015 

Western Australia (Perth) 5th May 2015 (Perth Stadium Team - seminar)

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Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 15.16.56Apr 22nd - 23rd 2015 Chorley (UK) 

Institute of Licensing “How to plan a safe event”

This is a short course for licensing officers

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13th April 2015 - Keynote talk at MMU







International Events Management: Future Perspectives ...

An insight into future trends in the live events industry.

Venue: C1.01 (Cavendish). 

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Conference and  Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

Mar 30th - Apr 2nd 2015 The Phillips Stadium (Holland)

Frederiklaan 10a, 5616 NH Eindhoven. Click on this link for further information

Our partners in Holland and Belgium

www.eventsafetyinstitute.nl


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Mar 24th 2015 - Ghent. Manifestaties en evenementen - Crowd Risk Analysis lectures

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Mar 10th 2015 Inauguration lecture and Crowd Science conference

Click here for a link to the lecture video

Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course

Mar 11th and 12th 2015 Manchester Metropolitan University

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Feb 25th - 26th 2015 Camden, London. 

Institute of Licensing “How to plan a safe event”

This is a short course for licensing officers

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Feb 9th 2015 - Lectures to Events Students.

0900 - 1100 Geoffrey Manton Building, Room 337

1100 - 1200 NBS lecture theatre G.27

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Jan 27th - 28thBucks Logo 2015 Bucks New University 

BU510 Module (Foundation Degree)

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Jan 17th 2015 - Article in Midlands News - click here for link

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Jan 13th - 14th 2015 Redditch (UK) - Crowd Risk Analysis Workshop

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Jan 10th 2015 - Feature article in the Worcester News

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Jan 1st 2015 BBC World Service (Interview on the Shanghai crowd crush)

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Jan 2015 article in the ICSS Journal – Vol 2 | No 4 pages 47 - 51

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2014 Workshops, lectures and publications

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Bucks LogoDec 17th - 18th 2014 Bucks New University 

SF610 Module (BA Hons)

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Dec 15th - 16th 2014 Manchester Central, UK. 

Introduciton to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis Course


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Dec Article in Security Insider Vol 19 Issue 5 (Australia) - click here for the magazine

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 09.18.36

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Nov 18th - 19th 2014 Train the Trainer course (part 1) 

Manchester Metropolitan University

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Nov 12th 2014 University of Cumbria - Crowd Risk and Crowd Safety Analysis lectures (afternoon)

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Oct 24th 2014 Sydney, Australia. Premiers Department. 

New Year Events (one day workshop)


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Oct 20th - 22nd 2014 Sydney, Australia. 

Introducion to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis  

Police Training College (Manly)

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Oct 7thth - 9 2014 Holland, Leeuwarden Introducion to Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis

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Oct 6th 2014 - Mathematics Webinar - Safer Crowds: Modelling Complexity with Keith Still

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Oct 1st - 3rd 2014 Belfast, Crowd Risk Analysis Workshop

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Sept 1st - 2nd 2014 Manchester UK (Eventcity), talking at "The Venue Expo"

Sept 1st  2014 - Keynote Theatre (12:30) - Crowd Risk Analysis at Large Events

Sept 2nd 2014 - Keynote Theatre (12:30) - Crowd Management at Large Events

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Aug 8th - 17th 2014 Australian Institute of Police Management, 

Sydney, Australia. Introduction to Crowd Safety and Risk Analyssi

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Keith and Val in Sydney - 2014

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Jun 29th  2014 “Introduction to Crowd Science” now available as an Amazon Kindle purchase. Click here for link

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Jun 23rd 2014 London UK, Criminal justice special interest group lecture.

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Jun 17th - 19th 2014 London UK, Lecture and panel session for "Safe Cities”.

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Jun 10th - 11th 2014 Lancaster City Centre, Crowd Risk Analysis workshop

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The One Show


6th June 2014 - 7:30 - BBC 1 Broadcast of the “String” 

and “Egg timer” effect. The work I did over 22 years ago. 

Very nice piece (popular science). Thanks to the team 

who put this together - it was a lot of fun filming.


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May 8th - 9th 2014 Manchester, Lancashire County Cricket Club UK. Introduction to Crowd Science workshop

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April 24th 2014 Article in the ICSS Journal on Crowd Risk Analysis - click here to download

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Apr 15th 2014 AmsterdamStudiedag 2014, Keynote talk on Crowd Risk Analysis and Crowd Dynamics.

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Bucks LogoApr 8th - 9th 2014 Bucks New University UK. 

BU510 - Introduction to Crowd Science

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Apr 4th 2014 - Article in City Security (Issue 51 - Spring 2014) 

on behavioural based safety “This way out.”



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Apr 1st - 2nd 2014 Birmingham UK. Introduction to Crowd Science Workshop

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Mar - Now a specialist fellowship of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management

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Mar - Articles in City Security and ICSS approved - Spring publication

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 21.09.36

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Mar 13th - 14th 2014 Belfast, IVCES, Lecture on Crowd Science. 

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Bucks LogoMar 11th - 12th 2014 Bucks New University (High Wycombe) 

SF610 Applied Crowd Science

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Bucks LogoMar 1oth 2014 Bucks New University (High Wycombe) 

Crowd safety lecture to event students

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Feb 27th 2014 Hampden Park, (Glasgow). Introduction to Crowd Science seminar/lecture 

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Feb 24rd - 25th 2014 Bristol, Introduction to Crowd Science workshop

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Feb 11th 2014 - Filming at Manchester City stadium for the One Show

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Feb 5th - 6th 2014 Edgbaston (Birmingham), Introduction to crowd science workshop

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Feb 1st 2014 - Article in the 50th Edition of Mathematics today. 

Click here to download the article.



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Jan 28th 2014 - London, Crowd Management Workshop (all day)

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Jan 26th  2014 - Article in “The Times of India” 

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Jan 22rd - 23rd 2014 - Bristol, Introduction to Crowd Science Workshop

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Jan 15th 2014 - TV programme on Crowd Control with David Mead. Click here for a link (1.36Gb)

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2013 Workshops, lectures and publications

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Keynote speaker

Professor Keith Still

Crowd risk analysis and safety engineering for events

MMU Connect Student Conference 29th Nov 2013 



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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College

Introduction to Crowd Science (11th - 12th December 2013)

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G. Keith Still - Finalist - Security consultant of the year

Security excellence awards 2013




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Developing a crowd management plan - LCCC (Internal training)

13th November 2013

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BBC News Article "Can technology help avoid stampedes?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24463736

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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College - Introduction to Crowd Science (23rd - 24th October 2013)

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Prof. Still's talk on "Crowd Science and Mass Evacuation of City Buildings" City of London (17th Oct 2013)

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Prof. Still's lectures "Crowd Science and Risk Assessment" Public Events and Major Incidents Workshop 

Norfolk and Suffolk Police, (14th October 2013)

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Filming BBC Documentary "Crowd Management" 8th October 2013

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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College - Applied Crowd Science (16th - 17th September 2013)

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Channel 4 Documentary "The Human Swarm part 2" broadcast September/October

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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College - Introduction to Crowd Science (9th - 10th September 2013)

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Austin, Texas, USA. 6th Street Lectures, USA (9th - 17th August 2013)

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Liverpool - City Wide Events Workshop - 4th - 5th July 

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Emergency Planning Society - Webinar - Major City Events (26th June 2013)

In this webinar Prof Still outlines the key issues related to major events in city centres with specific focus on crowd safety. This is a general over view of event planning for city wide events.

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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College - Webinar - Planning Major City Wide Events - (20th June 2013)

This one hour interactive webinar will cover the key issues of city wide events and planning requirements for crowd safety. This is a teaching session focussing on the key issues of crowd planning. 

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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College (Introduction to Crowd Science) 5th - 6th June 2013

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Channel 4 Documentary "The Human Swarm part 1" broadcast May 30th

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Prof. Still Keynote talk "The Underlying Causes of Crowd Accidents" San Francisco (May 28th - 30th 2013)

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Copenhagen, Denmark - Crowd Safety Conference - 14th - 15th May

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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College (Introduction to Crowd Science) 29th - 30th April 2013

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Camden - How to Plan a Safe Event - Institute of Licensing - 22nd - 23rd April 2013

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Foundation Degree Classes - Bucks New University 8th - 9th April 2013

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Manchester - How to Plan a Safe Event - Institute of Licensing - 26th - 27th March 2013

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Aberdeen - Workshop on crowd safety - 18th March 2013

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Hong Kong (Webinar) - Crowd Modelling - 14th March 2013

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Bucks LogoBA (Hons) Classes - Bucks New University 12th - 13th March 2013


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Global Aviation Forum - Amsterdam - 26th February 2013

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NPIA - Police Commanders lecture (teaching crowd science) 30th Jan 2013

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UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College (applied crowd science) 28th - 29th January 2013

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2012 Workshops, lectures and publications

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Prof. Still talk "Crowd Science" at the Midlands Operations Research Society on the 21st November 2012

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Drive Time "Lincoln Christmas Market" Radio 4 broadcast 11th Oct 2012

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MSNBC broadcast (USA) "Caught on Camera: Crowd Control"  September 30th on MSNBC at 8PM ET/U.S.

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Recent articles in the Guardian and Times Extra (June/July 2012)

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Article in Move - Event Magazine (click here to download)

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Brief

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In safe hands

Prof Keith Still, Professor of Crowd Science at Bucks New University (International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies), helped model crowd safety for the Royal Wedding. Keith was involved in advising the organisation, The Royal Parks, in evaluating crowd risks, density and ‘park full’ elements for the areas from Horse Guards Parade to Buckingham Palace, Green Park and Hyde Park. In addition, the company Show and Event Security, which is run by Tony Ball, who sits on the policy board of the International Centre, and whose employees include Bucks lecturer Tony Wright, was also involved in overseeing 1,400 staff on the big day.

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Urban Realm

Crowd Dynamics 7 Apr 2011

Britons might be renowned for their queuing civility but bucketfuls of patience haven’t proved sufficient to prevent a number of crowd related disasters from occurring on our shores, from Ibrox to Hillsborough. With the Olympics and Commonwealth Games now figuring large in everyone’s thoughts Urban Realm decided to delve a little deeper into a diverse field which marries architecture, mathematics and psychology. 

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12th European Health and Safety Conference 

Bucks LogoThree might be a crowd in popular parlance but what is an everyday nuisance for most can become a deadly dance with death for some when a gathering of individuals turns its thoughts from party to panic. Caught in the middle of this phenomenon is Professor Keith Still, Aberdeenshire mathematician, Harley Davidson fanatic and collector of dodgy signage. Still is the world’s foremost authority on the science of crowd management and someone anyone who finds themselves in a tight spot can count on.

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April 2011 - Article for the UK Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College

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Wired Magazine

"Faith in Numbers"

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Contingency Today Magazines.

Make space for the crowd

25 January 2011

Developments in improving, understanding and modelling the spatial awareness of crowds are providing a valuable tool in helping the safety industry plan and adapt to emergency situations and terrorist attacks.

Dr. G. Keith Still FIMA FICPEM SFIIRSM MEWI, Professor of Crowd Science at Buckinghamshire New University (BNU)

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BBC 4 Live interview Saturday 18th December 2010 (0935-0945)

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Inauguration Ceremony - Bucks New University

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29th November 2010 - Prof. Dr Chris Kemp and Prof. Dr. G. Keith Still

Bucks Logo

G4S Professor of Crowd Science

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G4S Appoints Leading Crowd Science Expert

G4S Secure Solutions has today appointed Professor G Keith Still BSc PhD FIMA FICPEM 

as a Senior Consultant in Crowd Science in its Events business (Sept 2010)

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Health and Safety Seminar / Reeperbahn Campus 2010 (Hamburg - Germany) 

23rd September 2010 

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Festival Awards

Festival Awards - Panel discussion on Non-ticketing event safety.

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Research Symposium - Policing Major Public Events

Higher Institute of Police Sciences and International Security

Lisbon, Portugal 13th - 16th September 2010

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Prof. Still talking at ESPN Global Security - ESPN Headquarters Connecticut. USA

August 18th 2010

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Prof. G. Keith Still, Leonard Bonacci and Other Sports Security Professionals Speak at NCS4 Conference 

August 4th (New Orleans)

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European Academy of Venue Management residential week

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September 5th  - September 10th  2010, Missenden Abbey, Buckinghamshire England.


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"So You Want to be a Scientist"

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Prof. Still wearing the crowd pressure monitoring suit. 

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November 2009 - When Shoppers Attack -- How to Survive a Black Friday Stampede

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November 2009 - Emergency Services Lecture 2009

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October 2009 - Secure London Lecture 2009

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August 2009 - MENSA Magazine

Article on Crowd Safety

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July 2009 - Policing Today - Leading the Crowd

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Policing Today is the official journal of ACPO (the Association of Chief Police Officers) and is published five times per year. The journal includes in-depth articles, news, and in-depth features covering policy, working methods, legal and parliamentary changes, and the latest information technology.

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Guardian : June 27th 2009. Critical mass

When does a packed but happy crowd become a dangerous, even lethal one? Emma Brockes investigates a growing trend - the 'crowd craze'. 

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June 2009 - iSquared - Institute of Mathematics - Cover Story

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April 2009 - BBC Focus Magazine

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CROWDS : The trouble with crowds - The scientists working to prevent another Hillsborough. 4 page article on crowds and crowd behaviour in the BBC science magazine.

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Understanding Crowd Science

By Dr. G. Keith Still - The Main Event (published Nov 2005 - first edition of the NOEA news monthly)

“The accident was caused by inappropriate crowd behaviour” is an all too common an excuse for problems that result in personal injury. When accidents occur one of the first thing to blame is the crowd behaviour - obviously. But what site factors affect the crowd’s behaviour?

Imagine the mood of the crowd kept waiting outside a venue that fails to open on time or the frustration of long, unmanaged queues for concessions and toilets. Badly managed car parking (one of my personal boiling points) and poor signage can badly affect the mood (and subsequent behaviour) of the crowd. How much can we influence the appropriate behaviour of crowds in our event management and safety plans?

Over the last five years we have run a series of workshops around the world on “understanding crowd dynamics” and reviewed hundreds of events from the local village firework display to the three million pilgrims attending the “stoning the devil” ceremony during Haj (the annual pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia). There are many common features to crowd safety that are worth highlighting as these can significantly improve safety and have a direct affect on both profits and appropriate crowd behaviour.

There are two main elements to the problems of crowd dynamics. The physical elements (we call these the hard issues) and the behavioural elements (these are called the soft issues). Hard issues relate to physical layout, location of facilities, provision for adequate means of ingress/egress, planning for emergency responses and process and procedures. Soft issues relate to communication, behaviour and management effects on the crowd. Post mortem analysis of crowd disasters show that both hard and soft issues contribute to the major crowd disasters. A review of these problems can help improve crowd safety in general. Sadly there is little in the literature that helps event organisers understand the nature of the crowd and how both hard and soft issues need to be considered in the overall safety planning of events both large and small.

One of the main failings of the many sites we’ve reviewed is information and communication systems. Poor signage not only confuses and frustrates people but, in the event of an emergency, can cause frustration that leads to crowd violence.

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There are four main behavioural groups relating to crowd violence:

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Frustration can give rise to Group III behaviour and therefore how frustration manifests itself and how it may be controlled is an important element in understanding crowd dynamics and managing crowds safely. When levels of frustration increase beyond reasonable levels it can result in crowd violence.

It is important to distinguish between what is and what is not within your power to change. We can examine the different types of reaction to a frustrating event. For examples: excessive queueing, bad weather, delays on public transport. Frustration often arises out of trying to change an uncontrollable circumstance. Careful site design, assessing queueing times, ingress and egress rates and facilities provision all help reduce frustration. Many of these elements are under our control.

When dealing with an uncontrollable circumstance (such as the weather), you do control one thing: how you communicate with the crowd.

“We are sorry but there is no further information at this time” is an announcement that keeps the management in contact with the crowd. No announcement can increase frustration so consider talking to the crowd, keeping people informed of the situation even if there is no change in the circumstances.

When dealing with crowds you should consider the hierarchy of human needs (first proposed by Mastlow in his book “Motivation and Personality” 1970). These, in order of importance, are as follows:

  1. Food, drink, temperature regulation, toilet facilities, rest, oxygen.
  2. Safety, protection, security.
  3. Affection, involvement, trust.
  4. Being part of the group, esteem and self esteem.
  5. Respect, recognition, self respect
  6. Knowledge, order, understanding
  7. Self actualisation, Max personal development

If you use the above as the crowd’s fundamental requirements you can construct a checklist. How many of the venues are designed around these basic human needs? Where signage towards the toilets is ambiguous are we creating unnecessary frustrations? Many issues of communication can be solved using simple techniques – such as putting a distance on the signage 

(Toilets 200m this way ->). 

Frustrations shapes crowd behaviour and event organisers should try to reduce crowd frustration at every possible opportunity.

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Haj Missions, Ministry Team Up for Safety

Habib Shaikh, Arab News - Saturday, 27, November, 2004 (14, Shawwal, 1425). 

JEDDAH, 27 November 2004 — The foreign Haj missions to the Kingdom have been urged to support the action plan that has been formulated by the Ministry of Haj after long deliberations, research and studies for the safety of the more than two million pilgrims who are expected to come for Haj this year.

“We appeal to the foreign Haj missions in Saudi Arabia to enhance and strengthen their cooperation for greater safety and comfort of the Hajis. And we are confident of a positive response from them,” said Dr. Sahl A. Al-Sabban, assistant deputy minister of Haj for projects and holy sites affairs. “We in Saudi Arabia consider the foreign Haj missions as major players in Haj plans and services. They represent the Hajis in many ways and are the best contact and source to convey the message,” he told Arab News on Thursday. Al-Sabban said the action plan is the product of an integrated and scientific approach by the Ministry of Haj, General Security, Civil Defense, Municipality of Makkah, Haj Research Center, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs, Red Crescent, and the General Secretariat for Development of Makkah and Madinah and Holy Sites, as well as the Tawafa establishments in Makkah. “The plan is a result of many years of experience in this area,” said Dr. G. Keith Still f the UK-based Crowd Dynamics. Still, who has been conducting workshops, lectures and seminars for the last three years, said his company has been doing consultancy work for the Ministry of Haj. The company prepared several reports and has had some input in the design of the new Jamarat Bridge. He also said the plan was safety tested using well-established and reliable scientific methods and practices. Al-Sabban said the foreign Haj missions are a strong link between the Ministry of Haj, various Haj organizations, institutions and agencies and Hajis from their respective countries and are well placed to disseminate messages and guidelines regarding stoning at the Jamarat. “These missions can play a major role,” Al-Sabban said. “They maintain good contacts with the Ministry of Haj, attend workshops and seminars every year, and are well aware of the plans. Travel agents and group leaders can also play a significant role in the matter.” He said a favourable response would be forthcoming from these missions bearing their duties and responsibilities to do more for the safety and security of the pilgrims. Of late, many countries have begun to educate, train and orient the Hajis coming from their countries. One such country is India, from where the second largest number of pilgrims come for Haj. India started a program to train Hajis in 1999, stressing safety, especially at the Jamarat area. The embassy and the consulate general are the key players in the program. Audio-video orientation programs are conducted for the pilgrims in various states. The pilgrims are taught how to move, when to move, what precautions to take, and the like.

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Making the Jamarat Bridge Safer for Pilgrims

Arab News Staff Writer Sunday, 26, September, 2004 (11, Sha`ban, 1425). 

JEDDAH, 26 September 2004 — All organizations involved in the Haj rituals at Jamrat Bridge will be reorganized and restructured for better and safer crowd management, according to Haj Minister Iyad Madani. Inaugurating a six-day workshop on crowd management here yesterday, Madani explained that the process will comprise scheduling of stone-throwing, and enhancement of operations in order to get better performance and help enhance pilgrims’ safety. The workshop, conducted by Dr. G. Keith Still of the UK-based Crowd Dynamics, is attended by senior officials from Public Security, Civil Defense, Makkah Municipality, Haj Research Center, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs, Red Crescent, and General Secretariat for Development of Makkah and Madinah and Holy Sites. The minister said the changes planned for the forthcoming Haj were in keeping with the ongoing work on the new bridge where the shape of the basement has been changed from round to oval thereby increasing the capacity by 25 percent. He said the goal of the workshop was to increase cooperation and contribute to coordination between different authorities, and strengthen their working as a team. He said the government was always ready and keen to use the best expertise in crowd management. Dr. Sahl Al-Sabban, assistant deputy minister of Haj for projects and holy sites affairs, said different government authorities dealing with Jamarat have their own planning for crowd management. “The workshop is focusing on team, joint approach and effort. It is good to have a common strategy, administration, management and operations,” he added. Keith told Arab News that with the change in the bridge’s shape there will be a change in capacity necessitating a change in management as well, and “it is important to plan, anticipate and prepare.” He said there will be three more workshops, which would conclude well before Haj. The present one is focusing on the overall management of change. The other three will be devoted to scheduling, operations and an advanced class termed Master Class. Keith, who has been conducting workshops, lectures and seminars for the last three years, said his company has been doing consultancy work for the Ministry of Haj. It has prepared several reports for it, and has had some input in the design of the new Jamarat Bridge. “Crowd dynamics is a new science,” he said. It deals with how and where crowds are formed, how they move, how and where they reach critical mass, what is crush potential, what are the safety limits, design effects and so on. “Earlier, we just looked at action and reaction. Now we study anatomy of disaster. We can learn a lot from regular studies of crowd disasters worldwide,” he said. There used to be just crowd control where mainly force was used to make the crowd do what it did not want to do. Crowd management is designed to change their behaviour through established and proven management procedures. He said big, open spaces are not easier to manage than confined, underground areas, which are difficult to handle. Pillars also create problems. It is necessary to test different models and carry out simulations. Analyzing the anatomy of disasters, one learns that unfamiliar environment poses higher risks. People tend to return the way they had gone. To change the environment it is necessary to change the perception as well. “One way of doing that is through signboards. Information changes behaviour,” he said, and added, “All of the best ideas and principles have been observed and used in the design of the new bridge. It is designed with equilibrium and balance.” There should be both good design as well as good management, and the workshops, hopefully will contribute to that, he said.

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Outline of the Crowd Science Workshops - Ministry of Haj - 2004 (for 2005 Haj)

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PC Magazine -- 4/1/1996

Programming Crowd Behaviour: Point and Run--Sheryl Canter--Math whiz studies flocks of birds and Wembley Stadium for programming.

The ability to do repetitive tasks at lightning speeds makes computers seem omnipotent--leave them crunching away at a problem at the end of the day and they'll come up with a solution. Research scientists, however, have discovered some problems that are simply impossible to solve with traditional techniques, no matter how big or fast a computer may be. Such a problem occurs when the number of elements to analyze is very large, because a program must consider every possible situation. Modelling the movements of crowds at a stadium, for example, poses two potential difficulties: You must provide to the computer knowledge of every contingency and, if the number of possibilities is large, you may have to wait literally forever for the solution to be computed. Scottish mathematician G. Keith Still, who studies crowd dynamics, has invented some powerful and efficient programming techniques to deal with this problem. Still's approach, which he calls "entity-oriented programming," couples a virtual-reality landscape based on dynamic fractal calculations with self-aware entities that can react to the landscape as well as to one another. He then encodes the rules that govern how systems operate, rather than the behaviour of each individual element. Still has developed a library of routines called Myriad to implement this technique. "We program in simple rules and let the system replicate, evolve, and grow. What happens is awesome when you first see it-you get emergent behaviour, something for nothing," says Still. With entity-oriented programming, the problem shifts from determining all possibilities to determining the rules that give rise to complex behaviour. "For example, a simple set of rules can model a flock of birds," explains Still. "To create birds, we need three rules: Match speeds with the nearest neighbour, maintain a minimum distance from the nearest neighbour, and try very hard to get to the centre of the flock. When we do this, the birds display all the characteristics of a flock of living birds--swooping, dividing around solid objects, and reforming again--a whole range of complex behaviour from a few simple rules." Still's company, applies these techniques to crowd management, entrance and exit design for buildings, and barrier design for minimizing bottlenecks for London's Wembley Stadium and other clients. The rules governing the behaviour of a crowd trying to get through an exit are even simpler than for a flock of birds. Each person wants to get through the door in the shortest time, following the shortest route. That's programmed with two simple rules: point and run. Legion can be applied to more than just crowd control. Still also has had success using it to model financial markets, and he is working on encryption and compression applications. In fact, the technique can be applied to any complex interactive system such as biological cells, currency markets, or ecosystems.

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PC Magazine -- May 28, 1996

Programming Crowd Control--Sheryl Canter--Math whiz studies crowd dynamics at Wembley Stadium.

The ability to do repetitive tasks at lightning speeds makes computers seem omnipotent: leave them crunching away at a problem at the end of the day and they'll come up with a solution overnight. Research scientists, however, have discovered some problems that are simply impossible to solve with traditional techniques, no matter how big or fast the computer. Such a problem occurs when the number of elements to analyze is very large, because a program must consider every possible situation. Modelling the movements of crowds at a stadium, for example, poses two difficulties: You must provide to the computer knowledge of every contingency, and if the number of possibilities is large, you may have to wait literally forever for the solution. G. Keith Still, a Scottish mathematician who studies crowd dynamics, has invented some powerful programming techniques to deal with this problem. Still's approach, which he calls "entity-oriented programming," couples a virtual-reality landscape based on dynamic fractal calculations with self-aware entities that can react to the landscape and to one another. He then encodes the rules that govern how systems operate, rather than the behaviour of each individual element. Still has developed a library of routines, called Myriad, to implement this technique. "We program in simple rules and let the system replicate, evolve, and grow. What happens is awesome when you first see it--you get emergent behaviour," says Still. With entity-oriented programming, the problem shifts from determining all possibilities to determining the rules that give rise to complex behaviour. "For example, a simple set of rules can model a flock of birds," explains Still. "To create birds, we need three rules: match speeds with the nearest neighbour, maintain a minimum distance from the nearest neighbour, and try very hard to get to the centre of the flock. When we do this, the birds behave like a flock of live birds--swooping, dividing around solid objects, reforming again--a whole range of complex behaviour from a few simple rules." Still's own company, applies these techniques to crowd management, entrance and exit design for buildings, and barrier design for minimizing bottlenecks for London's Wembley Stadium and other clients. Still has also had success using his algorithms to model financial markets, and he's working on encryption and compression applications. In fact, the technique can be applied to any complex interactive system, such as biological cellscurrency markets or ecosystems

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