NHERI Lehigh Researcher Workshop Attracts Researchers from Across the Country

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A group photo of the workshop participants during the ATLSS tour.

Lehigh recently hosted a two-day workshop showcasing the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Real-Time Multi-Directional (RTMD) facility. The workshop, planned in coordination with the NHERI facility at UC San Diego and the NHERI SimCenter at UC Berkeley, attracted researchers from across the country.

Lehigh’s NHERI RTMD facility operates within Lehigh’s Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center within the Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure & Energy (I-CPIE). Preceded by Lehigh’s Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) RTMD facility, the NHERI RTMD facility was established in 2016 under funding from the National Science Foundation to help meet the grand challenge of community resilience to natural hazards.

The workshop provided researchers with information and demonstrations about capabilities at the NHERI facilities at Lehigh and UC San Diego, as well as the UC Berkeley SimCenter. Workshop participants also learned about example research projects and discussed grand challenge earthquake engineering research topics. The goal of these workshops is to encourage new National Science Foundation proposals that utilize NHERI facilities.

As Operations Manager for the Lehigh NHERI facility, Dr. Chad Kusko, I-CPIE Director of Operations, has organized the workshop for several years. Reflecting on the almost 40 registrants who participated, Kusko noted that the workshop confirmed that, “interest in NHERI and its facilities remains strong” and that, “the opportunities that utilizing NHERI facilities can provide researchers is unique.” Dr. James Ricles, Director of the NHERI Lehigh RTMD Facility and Deputy Director of ATLSS, kicked off the workshop with a presentation about Lehigh’s RTMD facility.

The day’s events included a tour of ATLSS. Kusko, who participated in the presentations, concluded that the workshop provided Lehigh with, “the opportunity to showcase the NHERI Lehigh facility and capabilities and build off of strong relationships with UC San Diego and the SimCenter to highlight what these operations can provide to potential NHERI researchers.” Lehigh’s Tommy Marullo (NHERI IT Systems Administrator), Liang Cao (NHERI Research Scientist), and Alia Amer (ATLSS Research Assistant), also participated in the presentations.

Presentations from other institutions included:

  • Joel Conte, NHERI UC San Diego
  • Wael El haddad, SimCenter
  • Larry Fahnestock ‘98G ’06 PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Robert Fleischman ‘89G ’95 PhD, University of Arizona
  • Tara Hutchinson, NHERI UC San Diego
  • Laura Lowes, SimCenter
  • Gilberto Mosqueda, SimCenter
  • Benson Shing, NHERI UC San Diego
  • Adam Zsarnoczay, SimCenter

The workshop concluded with a series of presentations and discussion about grand challenges, which was facilitated by Dr. Richard Sause, Director of I-CPIE and ATLSS. NHERI Lehigh staff will participate in a similar collaborative workshop in December, which will be hosted by UC San Diego and will include participation by the NHERI SimCenter. 

  • Workshop participants tour ATLSS.
  • Workshop participants tour ATLSS.
  • I-CPIE Director Richard Sause facilitates a discussion about grand challenges.