Dr. Peter Burgherr

photo of Peter Burgherr

Group Leader

Paul Scherrer Institut
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI

Peter Burgherr joined the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) as a risk analyst in 2001. Since August 2008 he leads the inter-disciplinary Technology Assessment group of the Laboratory for Energy systems Analysis (LEA), which carries out comprehensive assessments of energy systems to support the complex decision-making processes towards a sustainable energy future with objective facts. Since 2014 he also leads a risk group on “Assessing and Measuring Energy Systems Resilience” within the Future Resilient Systems (FRS) program of the Singapore ETH Centre (SEC) in Singapore. Finally, he is the leader of the WP4 on “Future Supply of Electricity” within the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE).

His primary research interest is the comparative analysis of accident risks in the energy sector, and its relevance in the broader context of sustainability, resilience, energy security and critical infrastructure protection. He is also the primary responsible for PSI’s database ENSAD (Energy-Related Severe Accident Database), ), which is the world's largest database on severe accidents in the energy sector. Since 2010, he is also co-responsible for the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD) that was jointly developed with the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETHZ, and subsequent case studies included collaborations with the Energy Policy Institute Chicago (EPIC) and the Pearson’s Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the Harris School of Public Policy, University Chicago. Furthermore, he is strongly involved in the sustainability assessment of current and future energy technologies as well as their evaluation within Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA).

He is regularly presenting his work at international conferences and meetings, publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, contributing to books, and various other publications. As part of his duties, he is also engaged in the supervision of students at different levels (PhD, MSc, BSc, interns), and lectured at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), University Geneva, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), and KINGS (Busan, Korea).

Peter Burgherr holds a MSc and doctoral degree from ETH Zurich. From 1996 to 2000, he conducted research leading to his PhD at the Department of Limnology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG).