2017 NSF NHERI Wall of Wind
Experimental Facility Workshop

June 15-16, 2017

Thank you for your interest. Registration for this workshop has closed. If you would like to watch one of the Workshop Keynotes online, please sign up below.

The NHERI Wall of Wind (WOW) Experimental Facility (EF) will be hosting a one and a half day user workshop at Florida International University. The focus of the workshop is to:

  1. Provide researchers with information on the capabilities of the NHERI WOW EF for advanced natural hazard engineering research
  2. Detail the three main types of tests (aerodynamic/aeroelastic, destructive and wind-driven rain) conducted at the NHERI WOW EF and the required preparation for performing multi-scale tests
  3. Discuss recent advancements in experimental and numerical research in natural hazard mitigation
  4. Provide a platform for research collaboration and idea exchange between workshop participants
  5. Explore opportunities to utilize the NHERI WOW EF

This onsite workshop will provide faculty members with valuable information about the resources available at the NHERI WOW EF, services provided by the EF staff to the users of the facility and how to increase their success rate in obtaining NSF funding for natural hazards mitigation research. Also, the workshop will include a tour of the facility, live test demonstration and two keynote talks by the experts of the field. The first talk, presented by Dr. Ahsan Kareem, will target the “Role of NHERI EFs and SimCenter in Developing and Validating Computational and Numerical Modeling Techniques” and the second talk, presented by Dr. Peter Irwin, will discuss the “Role of the NHERI WOW EF in Advancing Fundamental and Multidisciplinary Research on Natural Hazards Mitigation.”

Participation will be limited and priority will be given to faculty planning to submit or participate in the development of NSF proposals to use the NHERI WOW EF. Limited financial support for travel is available and will be awarded in order of registration. Participants requesting travel funds will be reimbursed for actual expenses up to a maximum of $600 per participant.

We look forward to welcoming you to our 2017 NSF NHERI Wall of Wind Experimental Facility User Workshop.

View the Tentative Agenda (553.8 KB)

Please contact Maryam Refan (mrefan@fiu.edu), the Site Operations Manager for the Wall of Wind EF, with any questions regarding this workshop.

Accommodation: A block of rooms have been reserved at the Courtyard Miami at Dolphin Mall for the workshop participants. Please note that there are a limited number of rooms available at the discounted rate and that the group rate discount applies to reservations made no later than May 24, 2017.

Book your group rate for FIU - NHERI Workshop


Keynote Broadcast Registration

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Computational Modeling and Simulation of Wind Effects on Built Environment at NSF’s NHERI SimCenter
June 15, 2017, 15:30-16:30EST

In digital age with burgeoning growth in computational resources and parallel advances in computational fluid dynamics, numerical simulations are evolving with a promise of becoming a most versatile, convenient and reliable means of assessing wind loads effects on structures. CFD based simulations provide information non-intrusively on quantities of interest at any location in the domain, whereas it is limited to only sensor locations in wind tunnels. In order to realize this potential, assurance of robustness and accuracy of numerical simulations is critical before the physical simulations in wind tunnels are relegated to simply validation of final designs. To usher new advances in the digital domain, the NSF’s NHERI SimCenter is designed to develop the next-generation of computational modeling and simulation software tools and web-enabled workflow management frameworks. These would be delivered to the community of users through Discovery Workspace at the NHERI’s CI Center DesignSafe.

In this context, the seminar will provide a rudimentary background of wind-structure interactions. This will be followed by a guided tour of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with a focus on wind engineering applications. The success in numerically capturing the complexity of massively separated flows around structures compounded by multi-scale fluctuations in the flow due to turbulence and their nonlinear interactions will be discussed in light of the main approaches central to CFD, i.e., RANS, LES and DNS. An overview of the relative success of CFD in aerospace engineering and the current state-of-the-art in wind engineering will be presented by delineating the differences in the approach flow conditions and the streamline nature of bodies versus bluff profiles. Also, CFD applications that integrate other emerging computational and machine learning tools will be presented in examples of shape optimization of structural form, uncertainty quantification and multi-fidelity modeling will be presented.

The raison d'être for NHERI’s wind tunnel EF sites in digital world remains essential as the success of future CFD based tools relies heavily on their validation through carefully designed experiments. The wind tunnels may also provide a large number of datasets involving a host of structural configurations and surrounding environments, identified statistically based on design of experiments, as a cloud of data that may be used for metamodeling and machine learning or aiding in enhancing the quality of computations. The juxtaposition of wind tunnels and CFD under NHERI would lead to more synergies and eventual maturation of the computational tools so that they become daily design office tools. Currently, in Japan, designers are permitted to use CFD in lieu of wind tunnels under the guidance of an expert. This may lead the way to the promising new world of digital design with literally unbounded opportunities.


About the Speaker:

Ahsan Kareem
Robert M Moran Professor of Engineering
Director NatHaz Modeling laboratory

Ahsan Kareem is the Robert M. Moran Professor of Engineering and the Director of the NatHaz Modeling Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. His work focuses on characterization and formulation of dynamic load effects due to wind, waves and earthquakes on tall buildings, long span bridges, offshore structures and other structures via fundamental experimental, laboratory and full-scale measurements utilizing cyber and cyber-physical infrastructures.

Dr. Kareem is elected President of the International Association for Wind Engineering (IAWE). He has been awarded numerous honors, including the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the White House Office of Science and Technology. A recipient of ASCE’s: Theodore von Karman Medal, Masanobu Shinozuka Medal, James Croes Medal, Robert H. Scanlan Medal and Jack E. Cermak Medal and State-of-the-Art Award, inducted to the Offshore Technology Conference Hall of Fame and Distinguished Member of ASCE; Alan G. Davenport Medal of IAWE; Distinguished Research Award of IASSAR (Int’l Assoc. for Structural. Safety and Reliability); the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Kareem has served as a High-End Foreign Expert at Tongji University and delivered 2013 Scruton Lecturer at the Institute of Civil Engineers, London, UK. He has been appointed Honorary Professor at several universities overseas, serves on the Editorial Board of several international journals and has recently co-authored two books. He is an elected Member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Role of the NHERI Wall of Wind EF in Advancing Fundamental and Multidisciplinary Research on Natural Hazards Mitigation
June 16, 2017, 12:00-13:00EST

The Wall of Wind at Florida International University provides the opportunity to undertake basic research in fluid mechanics, exploring aerodynamic phenomena such as flow separation, vortices, turbulence, and Reynolds number and their effects on wind forces on structures. As well it provides experimental data which can be used to validate Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods for predicting aerodynamic loads and other computational methods for predicting structural response. Its capabilities to accommodate large test specimens and scale models, to cover a wide speed range (0 – 70 m/s), and to undertake destructive tests, have also been used to gain better understanding of failure mechanisms, including aeroelastic instability, and to develop practical mitigation methods for alleviating the effects of wind storms. It has been used to provide data for structural specialists exploring the performance of building structures in the elastic range and beyond the point of first yield, thereby gaining an improved understanding of the serviceability and true strength reserves of buildings. This is useful information for future designs with smaller carbon footprints and for assessing buildings undergoing rehabilitation. The Wall of Wind also has the capability to generate rain with wind which is useful for research into water infiltration through building envelopes and development of improved designs and testing standards. The keynote talk will give examples of research projects and illustrate the Wall of Wind’s wide range of capabilities to advance basic knowledge as well as develop practical solutions for mitigating the effects of wind storms and related hazards.

About the Speaker:

Peter Irwin
Wall of Wind Professor of Practice
RWDI, Senior Executive Consultant and Founding Partner

Peter A. Irwin is a renowned wind engineering expert who joined the FIU Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty in early 2012 as Professor of Practice for the Wall of Wind. Dr. Irwin joined Florida International University with over twenty years of experience as a highly sought-after wind engineering consultant.

Dr. Irwin spent six years with the National Research Council of Canada before moving into private engineering consulting at Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc. (and its predecessor companies), where he has provided expert advice on major building projects for over twenty years. Dr. Irwin has done wind consulting for some of the most ambitious building projects on record, including three structures to have held the honor of “world’s tallest building”: The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan; and Burj Khalifai in Dubai, UAE – currently the world’s tallest building. Dr. Irwin served in a variety of roles at RWDI, including Principal Engineer, Director of Technical Services, President and CEO and Chairman of the Board, between 1980 and 2012. During the nine years he was RWDI’s President and CEO, the company tripled its business, becoming the largest private engineering firm in the world. Today, Dr. Irwin continues his work with the company as a Senior Executive Consultant.