NSF NHERI Milestone: the 2024 Natural Hazards Research Summit

Two days of learning, discussion and networking in College Park, Maryland

Published on May 29, 2024


The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded NHERI network kicked off the summer with the 2024 Natural Hazards Research Summit, May 14 and 15, at the University of Maryland.

The Summit theme was “Research-to-Impact: Building Partnerships to Strengthen Community Resilience.” In this spirit, this highly anticipated event provided the community an amazing opportunity to see and interact with colleagues old and new, including post-docs, students, researchers, practitioners, and federal, state, and local partners. Among the nearly 275 attendees were NSF-funded researchers and international researchers from Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Co-organizers Jennifer Bridge, Julio Ramirez, Daniel Cox and Jennifer Thornhill give a special thanks to professors Shelby Bensi and Allison Reilly, along with the University of Maryland team, for flawlessly hosting this important community meeting. If you were unable to attend, here are some of the highlights.

Day One opened with an inspiring talk by Susan Margulies, assistant director of the NSF Directorate for Engineering, and remarks from Danielle Sumy, program director of the NSF Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) directorate. The keynote talks from NIST technical leadership, Judy Mitrani-Reiser and Maria Dillard, focused on the importance of establishing partnerships to successfully tackle major complex problems.

An expert panel of leaders in federal government and industry led a research-to-practice session called called Calculations, Codes, and Communities. Panel members shared their experiences with natural hazards and answered questions about the intricacies of transferring research results into engineering practice — to make tangible impact on community resilience and safety. Nora Schneider of the Nexight Group gave an overview of the NHERI Decadal Visioning Study. Also on Day One: a series of five-minute lightning talks on a wide variety of topics; and a large networking-poster session, with about 100 posters, that afforded researchers, including many students, to share substantive technical information.

Kudos and thanks to the Natural Hazards Research Summit 2024 leadership team, Dan Cox, Julio Ramirez, Jennifer Thornhill, Allison Reilly, Shelby Bensi and Jennifer Bridge.

Day 2 opened with informative remarks from Joy Pauschke, program director of the NSF Engineering for Civil Infrastructure program (ECI) and NHERI, and from Dan Linzell, division director of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI). The Summit’s final afternoon was rounded out with 16 concurrent sessions, providing deep dives into important technical issues and questions

The Summit organizers are grateful to NSF for its support if this event, including the participation of 54 early-career researchers and another 20 or so local participants through a supplement to the NHERI-NCO Award CMMI-2129782.

A gallery of Summit snapshots is available here. Video and professional photos will be available soon. And stay tuned for the Summit follow-up report with access to pdf versions of many Summit presentations.

Colleagues gathered at the University of Maryland, in College Park, MD, for the 2024 Natural Hazards Research Summit.