Researchers at Texas Tech, NWI land NSF grant to study tornadoes

Published on May 22, 2017


Researchers at the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech recently received a $350,001 NSF grant to study tornado loading on low-rise buildings, such as school buildings and single-family homes.

Researchers Delong Zuo, an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, and Darryl James, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, investigate ways to make buildings safer and less susceptible to wind damage through the use of VorTECH, the second largest tornado simulator in the world.

Researchers also will use VorTECH to test models with different types of roofs in various tornadic conditions and the NSF-supported Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) facility at the University of Florida to test those models in simulated straight-line winds to provide two distinct base data sets. That will give researchers the ability to study the differences between tornadic and straight-line wind; the impacts each have and the best ways to enhance building construction to withstand those winds.


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