NSF Praises Lehigh Shared-Use Research Facility


NHERI Lehigh
NHERI Lehigh is 18 months into a five-year award from the National Science Foundation with the goal of improving the resiliency and sustainability of the civil infrastructure to better withstand the effects of earthquakes and other natural hazards.
 

From June 26 to June 28, the National Science Foundation visited the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Lehigh Real-Time Multi-Directional (RTMD) Experimental Facility, located within Lehigh’s ATLSS Engineering Research Center, to review the facility’s business systems, technical operations, and accomplishments.

NHERI Lehigh is currently in year two of a five-year operational award worth $5 million. It is one of eight national sites participating in the initiative aimed at improving the resiliency and sustainability of the civil infrastructure to better withstand the effects of earthquakes and other natural hazards.

“The site visit was a positive experience with the recommendation from the NSF team for the NHERI Lehigh facility to continue operations,” said James Ricles, the Bruce G. Johnston Professor of Structural Engineering and principal investigator (PI).

During the award’s first 18 months, Ricles says the Lehigh facility has pushed the envelope in the area of advanced experimental testing methodologies, including hybrid simulation. “We have expanded our simulation capabilities to enable researchers to investigate the effects of a broader portfolio of natural hazards, including earthquakes and wind, on the built civil engineering infrastructure.”

Over the next several years, Ricles says NHERI Lehigh plans to continue to collaborate with researchers interested in utilizing its unique capabilities for conducting large scale simulations on their natural hazards focused research programs.

“We currently have several projects in the queue to utilize the facility for structural testing over the next year, and are engaging researchers to propose to utilize the site on developing proposals,” he says. “We are also looking to continue to enhance our portfolio of real-time hybrid simulations.”

For more information on Lehigh’s NHERI facility, visit https://lehigh.designsafe-ci.org/.

By John Gilpatrick

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