Another NSF Career Award at the NHERI-FIU Wall of Wind Experimental Facility

Miami, May 24,2018 — Catherine Gorlé, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, recently received a 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. The award recognizes early career faculty who show equal dedication to research and education within their departments and institutions.

The research will use the NSF-supported Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Wall of Wind facility at Florida International University and archive project data in the NHERI Data Depot. The Data Depot is a repository of hazards engineering information where researchers upload, organize, collaborate, analyze, visualize and formally publish their data with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Gorlé leads Stanford’s Wind Engineering Lab, where she and her team research and assess complex environmental issues in urban environments. The lab’s research seeks to quantify the uncertainties facing designers and policymakers in their efforts to grow sustainable cities by developing predictive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) frameworks that model or solve wind flow and transport problems. She and her team work to apply these findings to resilient and breathable cities, improved ventilation systems, and energy optimization around the world.

Gorlé was recognized for her proposal, Quantifying Wind Hazards on Buildings in Urban Environments, which centers on the use of CFD to design resilient buildings and cities. The research program will enable considerable advances in CFD modeling for urban flow and wind loading, and will result in a fundamentally improved understanding of interference effects that occur in complex urban environments. The results will provide new insights on the fitness-for-purpose and integration of models with different levels of fidelity, and they will investigate the potential of leveraging urban sensor networks to improve the accuracy of the predictions. The novel computational strategies resulting from this research will benefit a variety of sustainable urban design problems influenced by wind, such as street canyon and building ventilation, outdoor and indoor air quality, harvesting renewable energy resources, and urban planning for heat island mitigation.

The NSF CAREER Award grants faculty members like Gorlé five years of financial support to promote balanced approaches to STEM education, focusing on both teaching and research.


Media Contacts:

Maryam Refan

Catherine Gorlé

About NHERI: The Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure, NHERI, is a network of 10 experimental facilities for research engineers. Funded by NSF, NHERI researchers explore and test innovative concepts to protect our civil infrastructure and society from earthquakes, windstorms, and coastal disasters like storm-surge. Follow us on Facebook @NaturalHazardsEngineeringResearchInfrastructure and on Twitter @NHERIDesignSafe.

About the Wall of Wind Experimental Facility: The WOW facility at Florida International University was funded by NSF to be a national facility that enables researchers to better understand wind effects on civil infrastructure systems and to prevent wind hazards from becoming community disasters. The facility also helps researchers to obtain data for validating computational simulation methods, assessing and reducing uncertainties in simulation results, and pursuing topics in fundamental fluid dynamics. The NHERI WOW EF is powered by a combined 12-fan system capable of repeatable testing in up to 157 mph wind speeds through its flow management system. The facility uses a wide range of equipment, instrumentation, and experimental simulation protocols, as well as a distinguished group of faculty, staff, and a well-trained team comprised of technical and operations personnel that allow for the delivery of world-class research.