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Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH)


Tuesday, September 15, 2015


The goals of the Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) program are to prevent natural hazards from becoming disasters, and to broaden consideration of natural hazards independently to the consideration of the multi-hazard environment within which the constructed civil infrastructure exists. The ENH program, PD 15-7396, replaces the annual George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) research (NEESR) program solicitations to enable proposal submissions during the two CMMI unsolicited proposal submission windows each year, with the due dates shown above, and to support fundamental research for a broader range of natural hazards, including earthquakes, windstorms (tornadoes and hurricanes), tsunamis and landslides. The ENH program also supports natural hazards engineering research that had been supported under the Hazard Mitigation and Structural Engineering Program (HMSE) (PD 13-1637) and the Geotechnical Engineering (GTE) Program (PD 12-1636). .

The constructed civil infrastructure supported by the ENH program includes building systems such as the soil-foundation-structure-envelope-nonstructural system, as well as the façade and roofing, and other structures, geostructures, and underground facilities such as tunnels. While research may focus on a single natural hazard, research that considers civil infrastructure design and performance in the context of multiple hazards, that is, a multi-hazard approach, is encouraged. Research may integrate geotechnical, structural, and architectural engineering advances with discoveries in other science and engineering fields such as earth and atmospheric sciences, materials science, mechanics of materials, dynamical systems and control, systems engineering, decision theory, risk analysis, high performance computational modeling and simulation, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Multi-disciplinary and international collaborations are encouraged. .

Research topics of interest to the ENH program include, but are not limited to: advances in system-level design concepts for new and existing sustainable civil infrastructure to achieve desired lifetime system-level performance under single or multi-hazard loadings; advances in geotechnical engineering for design and construction of natural hazard-resistant foundations and geostructures, liquefaction mitigation, soil-foundation-structure interaction, levee and earth dam stability, and landslide, mudflow and debris flow analysis and mitigation, with a focus on field or system performance; applications of decision theory for design concepts for civil infrastructure to achieve desired lifetime system-level performance for both multi-hazard resilience and sustainability; and advances in computational modeling and simulation that integrate theory, computation, experimentation, and data, as appropriate, to advance natural hazard mitigation for civil infrastructure. The ENH program encourages knowledge dissemination and technology transfer activities that can lead to broader societal benefit and implementation for natural hazard mitigation for civil infrastructure..

The ENH program will also support research that addresses the grand research challenges for earthquake and wind engineering impact reduction outlined in the following two reports:

• National Research Council, Grand Challenges in Earthquake Engineering Research: A Community Workshop Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011,

• NIST GCR 14-973-13, Measurement Science R&D Roadmap for Windstorm and Coastal Inundation Impact Reduction. (This roadmap developmental effort was supported in part by NSF, through award CMMI-1235689, to obtain community input on related long-term fundamental research challenges in windstorm and coastal inundation impact reduction),

The ENH program does not support research on investigation of blast loads and fire effects on civil infrastructure, sensor technologies, or long-term structural and field site monitoring. .

As appropriate to the awards supported under the ENH program, ENH-supported research will contribute to NSF’s role in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, created by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, created by the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act of 2004 (PL 108-360).

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