Hurricanes are one of nature's most powerful natural hazards. Jenni Evans of Pennsylvania State University and Jeff Donnelly from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are studying how hurricanes form and what factors influence where and when they make landfall in an effort to save lives. See more in this video.
Credit: NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation
Disasters don't have to be disastrous. Engineering advances enable buildings and infrastructure to better withstand natural, technological and malicious hazards. With resilient new designs, infrastructure can bounce back faster with minimal loss. Find out more in this Special Report.
Credit: UC San Diego/Jacobs School of Engineering
The Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) in NSF's Directorate for Engineering supports the integration of research and education in all of its programs. CMMI promotes the creation, development and application of next-generation theories, tools, and models that enable the CMMI community to address major emerging challenges and opportunities. Computation, data analysis and interdisciplinary research partnerships and perspectives are integral to the advancement of knowledge.
Recognizing the national need for resilience against multiple natural hazards, NSF has initiated a new chapter in hazards research with a $40-million investment in Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI). To help better understand and resist the impacts of earthquake, wind and water hazards, NHERI will provide a network of shared, state-of-the-art research facilities and tools located at universities around the country.
Science Nation is taking a brief hiatus. Look for us to return in May with new and exciting stories about the research--and the researchers--that will change our lives.
February 20, 2017
Terraformer wind tunnel takes hazards engineering research to a new level
Next generation wind engineering facility draws researchers from all over the country; new tools provide information to help save lives, protect property
Wind engineer and 13th generation Floridian Forrest Masters knows how to ride out a hurricane. In fact, hurricanes have become his life's work. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Masters and a team at the University of Florida are developing a world-class facility with new technology to help engineers and scientists better understand the high wind storms that batter communities along U.S. coastlines. This facility is part of NSF's $62-million investment in Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI).
NSF-funding supports new tools, such as the Terraformer wind tunnel, which can dial up any type of terrain in 90 seconds, and a second high-speed simulator that can generate winds over 230 miles per hour.
NHERI has the broad goal of supporting research that will improve the resilience and sustainability of civil infrastructure -- such as buildings and other structures, underground structures, levees, and critical lifelines -- against the natural hazards of earthquakes and windstorms, in order to minimize loss of life, damage and economic loss.
The research in this episode is supported by NSF award #1520843, Experimental Facility with Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, Wind Load and Dynamic Flow Simulators, and Pressure Loading Actuators.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.