NHERI User Forum

The Community Shaping NHERI's Future

The User Forum (UF) committee is a NHERI-wide group focused on providing the NHERI Council with independent advice on community user satisfaction, priorities, and needs relating to the use and capabilities of NHERI.

The elected volunteers of the UF bring input from the community into NHERI operations, assess the effectiveness of the support to NHERI users, and contribute to the Network Coordination Office (NCO) and NHERI-wide efforts to build a community of satisfied users.  The UF committee is engaged in the development and continuous update of the NHERI-wide Science Plan.  The UF functions as an additional voice of the community within the Governance of NHERI.

2023 User Forum Committee Election

Each year some committee members end their term of service.  After a nomination period to find respected and trusted candidates from NHERI researchers and practitioners, an election is held for the entire community to vote on who will join the User Forum to represent their voice within the governance of the NHERI network.

The committee thanks all who voted this year and is pleased to announce our new members:

  • Idil Akin (North Carolina State University)
  • Sara Hamideh (Stony Brook University)
  • Sabarethinam Kameshwar (Louisiana State University)

hand dropping ballot into ballot box

Activities and Responsibilities

The User Forum committee has representation across NHERI activities, with three representatives working directly with the NCO, two representatives working with the Education and Community Outreach (ECO) team, two representatives working with the Facilities Scheduling committee, and one representative working with the Education Transfer committee.

The UF committee meets once per month via teleconference and once per year in-person.  The first and second in-person meetings were held in San Antonio, Texas, simultaneously and in conjunction with the Summer Institute.

The UF committee is responsible for conducting annual community user satisfaction surveys for NHERI users.

Each year, the User Forum committee publishes an Annual Community Report on the NHERI website.


User Satisfaction Survey Report

The User Forum makes available for public review the annual user satisfaction survey report.


Meeting Minutes

The User Forum makes available for public review the approved minutes from each meeting of the committee.










User Forum Membership

As the community voice with the governance of NHERI, the User Forum committee is composed of members nominated and elected by the NHERI community for a term of 1-2 years.  Each year the committee will hold this election process through the DesignSafe website for the community to nominate and then vote upon any changes to the membership.  The current committee members are:



Mohammad Khosravi, Ph.D. (Chair)

Montana State University

Specializes in soil mechanics and geotechnical earthquake engineering, including liquefaction and its remediation, ground improvement, seismic performance of soil structures, slope stability and embankment design, and soil-structure interaction.

Website: http://www.montana.edu/ce/directory/2116837/mohammad-khosravi(opens a new window)


Wei Song, Ph.D. (Vice Chair)

University of Alabama

Specializes in structural dynamics and structural condition assessment, including reduction of structural response under natural hazards, dynamic testing techniques, infrastructure monitoring and evaluation, and cyber-physical systems promoting community resilience.

https://wsong.ua.edu/(opens a new window)


Idil Akin, Ph.D. (Secretary)

University of California Los Angeles

Dr. Idil Akin specializes in post-wildfire slope stability (landslides, erosion, debris flows), geoenvironmental impacts of wildfires, remote sensing in post-wildfire environments, soil stabilization, and unsaturated soil mechanics.

https://www.uclageo.com/idilakin/(opens a new window)


Additional Members

Shane Crawford, Ph.D.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Specializes in applying geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and emerging technology to interdisciplinary research in multi-hazard vulnerability and recovery studies for communities and physical infrastructure.


Sara Hamideh, Ph.D.

Stony Brook University

Sara Hamideh is an Associate Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University (SUNY). Her specializations are disaster recovery and community resilience. Her research involves empirical and simulation modeling of post-disaster housing recovery and qualitative analyses of mitigation and recovery planning processes. Hamideh is an Investigator on several federally funded research projects about community resilience, including the Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning at Colorado State University funded by National Institute of Standards and Technology.

https://you.stonybrook.edu/sarahamideh/(opens a new window)


Sabarethinam Kameshwar, Ph.D.

Louisiana State University

Dr. Sabarethinam Kameshwar specializes in resilience of infrastructure exposed to multiple hazards (specifically bridges and oil storage tanks) and hazard mitigation decision support tools for infrastructure systems considering deep uncertainties.


Yazen Khasawneh, Ph.D.

University of Notre Dame

Specializes in design, construction, and retrofit of onshore wind turbine foundations, underground structures, deep foundations, geodesigns, slope stabilization, and foundations


Stephanie G. Paal, Ph.D.

Texas A&M University

Specializes in machine learning and machine vision and applications of these technologies in infrastructure and structural condition assessments and other infrastructure-related practices.


Stephanie Pilkington, Ph.D.

University of North Carolina Charlotte

Research area primarily focuses on community resilience to natural hazards, including topics such as: infrastructure damage, impact and recovery modeling, socio-technical interactions, infrastructure networks, societal use of infrastructure systems, applications in AI, and creating smart and resilient cities.

https://et.uncc.edu/directory/stephanie-f-pilkington-phd(opens a new window)


Composition of the User Forum

The User Forum committee is composed of ten representatives from the broad scientific and engineering communities served by NHERI, who conduct research and education activities using NHERI's resources and services but who are not affiliated with NHERI awardee institutions.  The user community elected members of the UF for two-year terms, with the opportunity of being re-elected. Antonio Bobet, an ex officio member from the NHERI NCO Executive Council, has been appointed to keep the NCO leadership apprised of UF progress and to coordinate needs of the UF with the rest of the natural hazard community.  The UF members have representation across all activities supported by NHERI.


Including the NHERI Graduate Student Council

In addition to working with representatives from the other NHERI network governance groups, the User Forum is pleased to have a representative from the Graduate Student Council (GSC) to ensure the voices of over three hundred promising upcoming hazards engineers are included in User Forum efforts.

The current GSC representative to the User Forum is Esteban Villalobos Vega from University of Oklahoma.


The User Forum is very interested in engaging with the NHERI user community.  If you have any questions or suggestions, the UF would like to hear from you.  Please send your message to: userforum-feedback@designsafe-ci.org.