User Guide


The DesignSafe Cyberinfrastructure provides natural hazards researchers a portal, the Research Workbench, to share natural hazards data and computational power. DesignSafe is a cloud-based environment making use of the computing resources at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and other cloud-based applications.

This guide provides information about how to use the features and tools of the Discovery Workspace and Data Depot within the Research Workbench. These tools provide a web-based interface to all of the data and computational capabilities embedded within the DesignSafe Cyberinfrastructure.

The best way to get started will be to log in and explore. While this guide is a reference for the functionality within DesignSafe, the web interface is meant to be intuitive and user friendly.


The DesignSafe Cyberinfrastructure is open to all users performing open (unclassified) research in engineering resilient infrastructure in the face of natural hazards. Preference on resources is given to researchers supported by the NSF Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) program and those using NHERI experimental facilities. However, as resources permit, all users in these scientific fields of study are welcome to use the infrastructure, both in the United States and Internationally.

Certain functionality makes use of export controlled software or high performance computing systems. DesignSafe complies with all export control regulations under US law, and therefore use of these components of DesignSafe may be blocked for users in countries specified by the United States Department of Commerce or other appropriate authorities.

Feel free to create an account and explore!

Quick Start/Account Creation 

Getting Started videos provide step-by-step details, or follow these 3 steps to quickly get access and begin exporing DesignSafe's capabilities.

  1. Login to DesignSafe
    • TACC users can log in using their TACC User Portal (TUP) credentials.
    • New users may create an account via the “Register for a TACC Account” link on the login page. You will receive an email with a link to immediately activate your account and access DesignSafe, unless you are from a Country of Concern listed by the US Department of Commerce and then we will contact you to determine your eligibility..
  2. Browse and contribute to the Data Depot, DesignSafe’s repository of public and private data
  3. Researchers can perform data analysis, run simulations, and do scientific visualization in the Discovery Workspace

Once you have provided your credentials, you will be asked to authorize the DesignSafe project to access the user profile associated with your credentials. You will only be asked to do this one time. This step allows DesignSafe to connect to the provider of your account to determine your name, email address, etc.

The final step (which you will also only be asked on your first login) is reading and accepting the DesignSafe Acceptable Use Policy, where you will be asked to use the system for legitimate research purposes.

Once you are logged on, you can proceed to access the full functionality of both the Data Depot and Discovery Workspace.



Near the upper right corner of the screen next to your name is a Notifications bubble that will have a number in it and turn blue if you have unread notifications.You can also navigate to this link designsafe-ci.org/notifications. Here you will receive Site Notifications for Discovery Workspace Applications Job Statuses and File Sharing. For Finished Jobs, there is a link to view your output, and for each job state he details can be seen by clicking the button next to Raw Message. For shared files, there is a link to that file’s directory in My Data.

Managing Your Account

You can manage your account by clicking on “My account” next to your name in the upper right corner of the screen, or navigate to this link designsafe-ci.org/account/profile.

Account Profile

You may edit your personal information on this page. Please keep this information updated if you change institution, contact info, or citizenship.

Logging out

It is best to logout of DesignSafe when you are finished with your work to ensure privacy of your information and to ensure no one else uses your account in violation of the user agreement. You may logout by clicking on the down arrow next to “My account” in the upper right corner of the screen. We also recommend ensuring security by closing your browser to end all authenticated sessions.

Changing your password

You may change your password by clicking on Authentication in the lefthand menu, or by navigating to the following link designsafe-ci.org/account/authentication.

Inactive accounts

TACC security policy defines an account that has not logged in for 120 days as inactive. Use the following link to reactivate your account portal.tacc.utexas.edu/password-reset.


You can manage your notifications settings for the portal and email by clicking on Notifications in the lefthand menu, or by navigating to the following link designsafe-ci.org/account/notifications/settings.


The simplest mechanism to get additional help is to submit a support ticket. Users may submit a support ticket through the DesignSafe portal here: designsafe-ci.org/help. A staff member will follow up on your request. Help is also accessed via the global navigation on the left end of the navigation bar.



DesignSafe users are subject to the TACC Acceptable Use Policy and the DesignSafe Terms of Use.


Last update: March 9, 2016