we4DRR members in focus: Regine Ortlepp

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Foto: we4DRR

On June 21st 2022, the third edition of the webinar series we4DRR members in focus was held online. Regine Ortlepp from the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development gave insights about her career, research topics, and personal views on work and life.

Regine studied architecture at the University of Dortmund and civil engineering at the University of Dresden. She finalised her PhD on the topic "Investigations for the bond anchoring of textile reinforced fine-grained concrete strengthening layers of RC-members". In 2013 she became a research associate at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, and since 2014 she has held the venia legendi in concrete structures. Since 2021 Regine has been head of the Research area Built Environment - Resources and Environmental Risks at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development. Regine's research interest is dedicated to buildings, infrastructure and anthropogenically modified open spaces and their vulnerability to natural hazards – especially floods and heat waves. Understanding the implications of the built environment's use, development and materiality, and spatial interactions calls for an integrated approach. Therefore, interdisciplinarity is vital in Regine's research, which aims to expand the knowledge of sustainability issues. In one of her current projects, "HeatResilientCity", she analyses local vulnerabilities of buildings in German cities and helps to find approaches to combat heat waves in cities. Her motto "keep calm and resist" fits to the topic DRR, stay calm in emergency situations, think about it, then make your decisions.


  • As a child, I wanted to become: nothing in particular, I wanted to remain a child. If I had to answer, I answered mathematician – my parents are mathematicians.
  • The three most essential things on my office desk are: scribbling paper, pen, rubber, coffee, and tea – always drinking coffee is not so good
  • My perfect workday starts with: getting up well-rested, without an alarm clock, and breakfast
  • I restore my energy by: sleeping, if there is time, taking walks in my neighbourhood in the woods, and I play Pokémon-Go with my son
  • My secret of success is: I have the ability to focus on individual things and push through, in contrast to doing everything so-so, I use my creative phases, take breaks when I spin in circles
  • What means "success" for you? When I have accomplished something that other people can benefit from.

Motivations to work in the field of DRR

The interdisciplinarity of the field. I already loved it when I worked in material science – to understand the findings of other disciplines and how they work methodologically. It is interesting to experience how researchers of different disciplines think. DRR is similar, and one needs to combine social, natural and engineering science and practice to gain the complete picture. The motivation behind my work is to facilitate change and produce and disseminate knowledge that is still missing. Making connections between the research fields helps us to illuminate the missing links.

Limiting thoughts and outdated assumptions

Regine thinks it is an outdated assumption that a lot of working time automatically means getting a lot done. The effectiveness of your work drops after a certain period. Some companies have already recognised this, unfortunately, the demand for long working days is still prevailing. However, scientific findings conclude that 6 hours a day is the most effective.

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