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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of California-Berkeley
  • Sanjay Govindjee
  • (510) 642-6060
  • Ahsan Kareem
  • Gregory G Deierlein
  • Satish B Rao
  • Laura N Lowes
Award Date:09/16/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 12,750,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 3,172,476
  • FY 2021=$3,172,476
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2025
Transaction Type: Cooperative Agreements
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure: Computational Modeling and Simulation Center 2021-2025
Federal Award ID Number:2131111
DUNS ID:124726725
Parent DUNS ID:071549000
Program:Natural Hazards Engineering Re
Program Officer:
  • Joy Pauschke
  • (703) 292-7024

Awardee Location

Street:Sponsored Projects Office
Awardee Cong. District:13

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of California-Berkeley
Cong. District:13

Abstract at Time of Award

The Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a distributed, multi-user national facility to provide the natural hazards engineering research community with access to research infrastructure that includes earthquake and wind engineering experimental facilities, cyberinfrastructure (CI), computational modeling and simulation tools, high performance computing resources, and research data, as well as education and community outreach activities. Originally funded under program solicitations NSF 14-605 and NSF 15-598, NHERI has operated since 2015 through separate, but coordinated, five-year research infrastructure awards for a Network Coordination Office, CI, Computational Modeling and Simulation Center (SimCenter), and Experimental Facilities, including a post-disaster, rapid response research facility. This award will renew the SimCenter component of NHERI at the University of California, Berkeley, from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2025, along with its ten partner institutions: Georgia State University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at San Diego, University of Delaware, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California, and University of Washington. The SimCenter’s mission is to provide next generation computational modeling and simulation software tools, user support, and educational materials for natural hazards engineering research to simulate the impact of natural hazards, such as earthquakes and windstorms, on buildings, transportation and lifeline systems, and communities. The SimCenter’s software development is motivated by three grand challenges for natural hazards engineering that entail (1) quantifying the damaging characteristics of earthquakes, hurricanes, and other hazards; (2) assessing the physical and social vulnerabilities of civil infrastructure and communities exposed to hazards; and (3) creating technologies and engineering tools to design, construct, retrofit, and operate a multi-hazard resilient and sustainable infrastructure for the nation. The SimCenter will address these challenges through the development of an extensible library of software components and computational workflows that foster multi-disciplinary research collaboration to simulate the impact of natural hazards on communities with unprecedented scale, complexity, and resolution. Education and outreach activities, including a researcher in residence program for visiting faculty, post doctoral scholars, and students; biennial meetings for developers and current and potential users; seminars; workshops; software training bootcamps; community-engaged working groups; and user support, will empower a diverse and collaborative workforce to tackle challenges that can inform decision making on planning, design, and deployment of mitigation strategies to create more resilient communities. This award will contribute to NSF's role in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP). The SimCenter’s software framework is a robust, open-source, extensible, and cloud-based system that will utilize the high-performance computing (HPC) and data management tools provided by NHERI’s DesignSafe CI web portal ( The SimCenter’s computational tools will be designed to integrate modeling and simulation from the source of a hazard through to assessment of its impact and consequences across multiple scales, e.g., from detailed assessment of damage and repair of individual buildings due to a hurricane to regional impacts on recovery of communities. The software will enable modeling of seismic, wind, and hydrodynamic actions, simulating linear and nonlinear dynamic response to these actions, assessing performance, and analyzing networks. The software framework will aid analysis throughout the modeling and simulation process with advanced tools for workflow management, machine-learning-assisted tools for modeling and inventory development, statistical optimization tools for surrogate model development and calibration, and methods for uncertainty quantification. Testbed studies of regional natural hazard scenarios will drive development by identifying key research needs and integrating needed tools. Test data, refined numerical simulations, and user experiences will be used to build skills and confidence in high-resolution computational models. Desktop application interfaces will provide convenient user control to create computational workflows that combine underlying software components and databases. The software tools will enable unparalleled integration and interoperability of applications empowering multi-disciplinary research teams to collaboratively address the three grand challenges using the best HPC available. Information about the SimCenter research and learning tools is available on the SimCenter page on the NHERI web portal ( This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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