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NSF invests additional $19 million in research infrastructure for earthquake, water and wind hazards

Antonio Bobet and Julio Ramirez in a Purdue lab

Researchers nationwide can access new resources for engineering designs that resist natural hazards.

October 5, 2016

Recognizing that many U.S. communities are vulnerable to more than one kind of natural hazard, the National Science Foundation (NSF) launched the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) in 2015 with a $40-million investment. NHERI provides a network of shared, state-of-the-art research facilities and tools at universities around the country to help us better understand and resist the impacts of wind, water and earthquake hazards.

Today, NSF announced the establishment of three additional components of NHERI with a planned investment of $19 million over the next five years. The new awards include a network coordination office, a computational modeling and simulation center and a post-disaster, rapid response research facility.

“As earthquakes and hurricanes have shown all too well, a single natural hazard can present danger on multiple fronts,” says Grace Wang, acting NSF assistant director for Engineering. “NSF’s investment in NHERI will advance fundamental knowledge about engineering design that can reduce our vulnerability to natural hazards, whether from storm surge, strong winds or seismic activity.”

With all the NHERI resources in place, hazards researchers are set to explore and test ground-breaking concepts for protecting our homes, businesses and infrastructure lifelines, and to enable innovations that will help prevent natural hazards from becoming societal disasters.

The NHERI program also offers critical investments in the nation’s human capital, providing educational opportunities to the students who will engineer our communities and plan our disaster response in the future.

NSF partners with the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program to share new knowledge and tools, create more resilient designs and protect lives and property.

The three new components of NHERI are:

NHERI cyberinfrastructure and seven other experimental facilities, where researchers can test engineering designs and materials against powerful storms and earthquakes, were awarded in 2015.

NSF’s investments in NHERI and natural hazards research expand on the Foundation’s previous support.

During 2004-2014, NSF supported the operation of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), a distributed, multi-user, national research infrastructure for earthquake engineering research, innovation, and education.



Media Contact
Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738,

Program Contacts
Joy Pauschke, NSF, (703) 292-7024,  

Related Websites
Lifesavers special report: Resilient designs to weather hazards:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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