Abstract collage of science-related imagery

Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


The Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) program supports fundamental research that advances knowledge for understanding and mitigating the impact of natural hazards on constructed civil infrastructure.  Natural hazards considered by the ENH program include earthquakes, windstorms (such as tornadoes and hurricanes), tsunamis, storm surge, and landslides.  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 performance over its lifetime 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, dynamic 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.  The ENH program encourages research integrated with knowledge dissemination and activities that can lead to broader societal benefit for reducing the impact of natural hazards on civil infrastructure.

Research areas supported by the ENH program include, but are not limited to, the following: 

·        Understanding and modeling the underlying physics of the performance of civil infrastructure subjected to natural hazards;

·        Advances in design and decision theory for existing and new sustainable civil infrastructure to achieve desired system-level performance under lifetime single natural hazard or multiple hazard loadings;

·        Advances in adaptive, natural hazard-resistant civil infrastructure, whose design integrates understanding of human cognitive, behavioral, and social processes and enhances the quality of life of individuals, cities and regions, e.g., reflecting understanding of changing urban demographics; emergent individual and societal behaviors; and emergent infrastructure technologies, among other factors;  

·        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;

·        Advances in physics-based computational modeling and simulation, which integrate theory, computation, experimentation, and data and build upon advanced computing techniques and tools to advance natural hazard mitigation research and education for civil infrastructure; and 

·        Advances in biological and bio-inspired processes and systems for the design of new materials, systems, and infrastructure to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on constructed civil infrastructure.  

The ENH program supports research that utilizes the NSF-supported Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) cyberinfrastructure and earthquake and wind engineering experimental facilities; the program also supports research that does not require the use of NHERI.  NHERI resources are the following:

·        Network Coordination Office at Purdue University, which schedules NSF-supported projects for access to the NHERI experimental facilities;

·        Cyberinfrastructure at the University of Texas at Austin;

·        Computational Modeling and Simulation Center at the University of California, Berkeley;

·        Twelve-Fan Wall of Wind at Florida International University;

·        Large-Scale, Multi-Directional, Hybrid Simulation Testing Capabilities at Lehigh University;

·        Large Wave Flume and Directional Wave Basin at Oregon State University;

·        Geotechnical Centrifuges at the University of California, Davis;

·        Large, High-Performance Outdoor Shake Table at the University of California, San Diego;

·        Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, Wind Load and Dynamic Flow Simulators, and Pressure Loading Actuators at the University of Florida;

·        Large, Mobile Dynamic Shakers for Field Testing at the University of Texas at Austin; and

·        Post-Disaster, Rapid Response Research (RAPID) Facility at the University of Washington.

All ENH awardees are strongly encouraged to utilize the NSF-supported NHERI cyberinfrastructure resources (http://www.designsafe-ci.org) for archiving and sharing of their research data in the NHERI Data Depot as part of their proposal’s Data Management Plan, using and contributing computational modeling and simulation tools, accessing high performance computing resources, and broadly disseminating research outcomes.

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 and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program.

The ENH program does not support research on:  hazard characterization for and hazard mitigation of   the impact of explosions, blast loading, wildfires or other types of fire, solar wind and storms, and drought on civil infrastructure; sensor and measurement technologies; long-term structural and field site instrumentation and health monitoring; induced seismicity; and hazard characterization for and hazard mitigation of nuclear power plant, transportation (including bridges), and wind energy infrastructure.   Research on natural hazard characterization is supported through programs in the NSF Directorate for Geosciences. 

Program contacts

Joy M. Pauschke
jpauschk@nsf.gov (703) 292-7024 ENG/CMMI
Richard J. Fragaszy
rfragasz@nsf.gov (703) 292-7011

Awards made through this program

Browse projects funded by this program
Map of recent awards made through this program