The National Science Foundation has awarded Purdue University more than $4 million in funding. Purdue says the five-year grant will allow the university to coordinate a national initiative that aims to make civil infrastructure safer from various types of hazards.
Purdue civil engineering professor Julio Ramirez will lead the team, which will direct the National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure’s Network Coordination Office at the university. Ramirez previously led research at the NSF’s Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, which focused on mitigating earthquake damage.
"The NHERI NCO will lead the engineering community into adopting sustainable multihazard approaches," said Ramirez. "With NEES, our focus was earthquakes and associated natural hazards such as tsunamis and landslides. With NHERI, we focus on windstorms and associated hazards such as coastal storm surge and inundation, too. Things that we’ve learned in earthquake engineering can be applied to engineering for windstorms and vice versa."
Ramirez says the team will first develop a five-year science plan, which will eventually become the research agenda that will be used to make civil infrastructure safer against windstorms and earthquakes. Purdue says the team will also work to develop strategic partnerships throughout the world to "form a cohesive, global natural-hazards engineering research infrastructure."