Meet the NHERI/DesignSafe Webmaster, Hedda Prochaska

Published on May 1, 2017



Visitors to the NHERI website see the handiwork of Hedda Prochaska, our web designer based at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).  Here's a brief introduction, in her own words.


Q: What is your job title and primary role within NHERI?

I created, maintain, and oversee the public sections of NHERI's DesignSafe website — which basically means everything that is accessible without having to log in.  This includes the primary website and the secondary websites for each of the experimental facilities.

My family is a curious and intelligent bunch, so when they ask about my job I have the luxury of being able to explain straightforwardly my day-to-day responsibilities of coding, designing, and working alongside a fantastic team at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

However, they love to embellish upon my employer being a supercomputing center, so I'm pretty sure most people back home think I run the place.


Q: What's the most surprising thing you've discovered since you started working with the NHERI NCO?

Almost every new project I work on instantly becomes my favorite, because I've been given the opportunity to see brilliant scientists pour themselves into discoveries that can literally make the world a better, safer place.  Interacting directly with NHERI's Experimental Facilities to set up their websites has been exactly that kind of a privilege.  Each facility is unique, and passionate, and crucial to people surviving and recovering from natural disasters all over the world.  This community isn't just about predicting hazards; they are working together to help people survive the aftermath.


Q: What is your job at University of Texas, Austin?

I'm a web designer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).  In addition to my NHERI/DesignSafe responsibilities, I maintain TACC's public website and contribute to a variety of other web projects.


Q: What do you enjoy doing after work?

My favorite thing about living in Austin is that it's truly the live music capital of the world.  I go see as many live shows as possible — the smaller, the better.  I also volunteer and foster for Pug Rescue Austin, so I occasionally have a houseful of pups waiting to be adopted.  If I'm home, I'm reading.  I have an unreasonable number of books, and can happily lose hours (and most of my paycheck) in a good independent bookstore.


Q: What is your next big project?

I'm in the process of updating the navigation of the NHERI/DesignSafe website, and adding projects to all of the experimental facility websites — so that should keep me busy for a while.


Q: Have you ever personally experienced a natural disaster?  If so, briefly describe it.

Yes!  I'm originally from Orlando, Florida, so hurricane season was always on our radar (pun intended).  I remember sneaking out of the house to fly kites during a couple storms — sorry, mom — and hunkering down without power on other occasions.  We didn't get as much devastation since we were in the middle of the state, but it was certainly something we all learned to take very seriously.


Hedda with her dogs, Dudley and Wolfie
Hedda Prochaska
NHERI/DesignSafe Webmaster
Cyber-Infrastructure Team