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Modeling Crowds to Help European Football Association on Contingency Planning

Matt Ball on September 26, 2014 - in Buildings, Corporate, Planning, Simulation

Dr. Lou Marciani, director of National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi, was invited to be a keynote speaker at the annual Union of European Football Association and the European Union (UEFA-EU) Stadium and Security Conference in Warsaw, Poland Sept. 11.

Marciani presented on “Crowd Modeling for Contingency Planning” to more than 250 safety and security officials, government and league agencies, and stadium owners and operators of major European football clubs. “Football Takes Centre Stage” was the theme of the conference, focusing on the joint action and responsibilities needed from stakeholders to stage matches in a safe environment.

“Crowd Management is a global challenge facing the sports industry in striking a delicate balance between crowd safety and comfort factors,” said Marciani.  “It was an honor to share about NCS4’s holistic research, training, certification and technology approach, including computer simulation-based training and exercise to address crowd management.”

Through previous research grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NCS4 has developed a 2D/3D computer based crowd simulation modeling software system and has recently partnered with INCONTROL Simulation Solutions to enhance the system in order to provide an effective day-to-day real-time contingency planning and predictive operational response system.

The system (SportEvac™) models any venue physical infrastructure and surrounding environment, simulates and visualizes various user-defined “what if” scenarios to evaluate standard and emergency operation plans, and supports data-driven decisions for effective evacuation capabilities related to any natural or man-made emergency evacuation that cannot be rehearsed or fully explored in real life.

In addition to the emergency management, the system also provides the venue owners and operators effective crowd management capabilities to optimize normal pre-event, during-event and post-event performance and operational issues to ensure crowd comfort and improve revenue.

“I’d recommended that the sports industry adopt a best-in-class ‘safety and security culture’ based on multi-agency, multi-year continuous training and exercise program using computer simulated dynamic contingency and operational planning as a best practice approach to address overall sports enterprise people, process and technology gaps and disconnects,” said Marciani.

For more information about SportEvac™, visit http://www.ncs4.com/train/sportevac. For more information about NCS4, visit http://www.ncs4.com.

About The University of Southern Mississippi
Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to five teaching and research sites in Mississippi and through Online at Southern Miss. Since 2006, Southern Miss students have collected seven Goldwater Scholarships, three Truman Scholarships and 10 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Our Center for Undergraduate Research affords our students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, we conduct transformative research that translates into real-world solutions. As one of a select number of institutions in the nation accredited in art, dance, music and theatre, we are a haven for creativity and artistic expression. In the classroom or lab, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, we strive to have a positive impact not only on our students, but also the world around us. Further information is found at www.usm.edu.

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