SimCenter Welcomes 2018 Summer REU Students

Published on July 18, 2018


The NHERI SimCenter is hosting three REU students at UC Berkeley this summer. NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program promotes education and research through internships in active research. The three REU’s contributions and impressions are shared below, and their research outcomes will be presented in early August at Oregon State University with the other NHERI REUs.

Matt Schoettler, SimCenter associate director of operations, was an REU intern himself and knows the benefits of the program. “This is a great opportunity for Evan, Zach and Zachariah to step out of the classroom and apply what they’ve learned, and also overcome the challenges of their research and complete their projects in the short timeframe. The group has been great to work with, and their multidisciplinary background is helping to advance their related but independent projects.”



Zach Martin – an undergraduate at the University of Alaska, will finish his BS degree in December 2018 in computer science, with a particular interest in machine learning.  At the SimCenter, Zach is working on validating aspects of the newly released Regional Earthquake Workflow by comparing the output of modeled building responses with observational building response data from past earthquakes.  Zach finds that the SimCenter REU experience “is challenging and fun, because I am applying what I know to something bigger and more impactful than a class project.”


Evan Mazur – is an undergraduate in civil engineering, with an emphasis in coastal engineering, at the University of South Alabama. Her work at the SimCenter is focused on the Regional Earthquake Workflow, showing how it can be applied to different geographical regions and hazards. The Workflow is being adapted to conditions in Charleston, South Carolina, with new building data being subjected to earthquake loads and hurricane-force winds. Evan finds the SimCenter experience interesting because of the collaborative environment, and “you get to take on responsibility for your own project.”


Zachariah Bettner – is an undergraduate at UC San Diego, and he is in his fourth year of a five-year BS-MS degree program majoring in structural engineering. At the SimCenter, Zachariah is working on the adaptation of the Regional Earthquake Workflow’s San Francisco Testbed to a new coastal city. He notes that the earthquake scenario for the coastal city considers interplate movement whereas the current testbed is for plate boundary movement. Zachariah enjoys his “first 9 to 5 engineering job, and it’s great to reconnect with friends in the Bay Area.”

About the SimCenter. The NHERI Computational Modeling and Simulation Center (SimCenter) provides researchers access to next-generation computational modeling and simulation software tools, user support, and educational materials needed to advance the capability to simulate the impact of natural hazards on structures, lifelines, and communities. The SimCenter’s cyber-infrastructure framework allows collaborative simulations from various disciplines to be integrated, while accounting for pertinent sources of uncertainty. More information about the NHERI SimCenter can be found at