NHERI SimCenter Releases Updated Report on Computational Simulation


An authoritative collection of resources advances natural hazards engineering

BERKELEY, Calif., March 5, 2021 — The NHERI SimCenter’s second report on the "State of the Art in Computational Simulation for Natural Hazards Engineering" provides an updated overview and review of the available methods, simulation approaches, and software tools for natural hazards engineering. Download the report. (26MB PDF) The SimCenter, headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley, serves as the computation and modeling hub for the NSF-funded Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure, NHERI.

This second edition reflects comments and suggestions provided by leading researchers, and it also includes new chapters on disaster recovery modeling and applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. The report is the result of a concerted effort by a large number of experts in the field of natural hazards engineering, and it is a valuable resource for researchers to incorporate into future research plans.

“Approaches to simulation, the methods and the tools, change more rapidly than most of us can follow on our own, said SimCenter co-director Greg Deierlein. “That’s why it is so important to provide this report. Significantly, the report relies on input from many subject-matter experts, individuals who have analyzed and synthesized these methodologies for each hazard, asset type, and specialty area.”

The simulation methods discussed in this report are an essential component of the research required to address the three grand challenge areas and associated research questions outlined in the NHERI Science Plan (2020). Chapters of the report are organized into five sequential parts including: (1) simulation methods to characterize natural hazards; (2) response simulation of structural and geotechnical systems and localized wind and water flows; (3) quantifying the resulting damage and its effects on the performance of buildings, transportation systems, and utility infrastructure systems; (4) strategies and emerging tools to model recovery from natural disasters; and (5) the cross-cutting applications of uncertainty quantification methods and artificial intelligence to natural hazards engineering.

In addition to summarizing the state of the art in the various topic areas, each chapter of the report identifies major research gaps and needs, with the intent that researchers will prepare research proposals to NSF and other agencies to advance the field by filling these gaps. Further, the report summarizes how tools being developed by the NHERI SimCenter help advance research in various areas of natural hazards engineering and allow the research community to leverage state-of-the-art simulation methods and high-performance computing resources.

“SimCenter efforts benefit all aspects of the natural hazards engineering community. In fact, we consider ourselves a truly multihazard resource,” said Sanjay Govindjee, SimCenter director and principal investigator. “Ultimately, we foresee a time when policymakers worldwide rely on integrated simulations to make vital decisions for mitigating the social and physical damage from natural disasters.”

The SimCenter encourages reader feedback on the report and on SimCenter simulation tool development. Contribute your thoughts via the online SimCenter Forum at

Media Contacts

Grace Kang, SE
NHERI SimCenter Communications

About the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure, NHERI, is a network of experimental facilities dedicated to reducing damage and loss-of-life due to natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, windstorms, and tsunamis and storm surge. It is supported by the DesignSafe Cyberinfrastructure. NHERI provides the natural hazards engineering and social science communities with the state-of-the-art resources needed to meet the research challenges of the 21st century. NHERI is supported by multiple awards from NSF, including the NHERI Network Coordination Office, Award #1612144 and NHERI SimCenter, Award #1612843.