Berkeley, Calif. — The UC Berkeley-based NHERI SimCenter recently released a comprehensive report on simulation requirements and software tools for natural hazards engineering of the built environment. The report, “State-of-the-Art in Computational Simulation for Natural Hazards Engineering,” provides an in-depth discussion of simulations essential for addressing the three grand challenge areas and associated research questions outlined in the NHERI Science Plan:

  • quantifying natural hazards and their effects on civil infrastructure;
  • evaluating the vulnerability of civil infrastructure and social vulnerability of populations in at risk communities; and
  • creation of technologies and tools to design and implement measures to promote resilience to natural hazards.

Accordingly, required simulation technologies encompass a broad range of phenomena and considerations, from characterization and simulation of natural hazards and their damaging effects on buildings and civil infrastructure, to quantifying the resulting economic losses, disruption and other consequences on society.

With this report, the SimCenter establishes its role in these technologies with a goal to enable high-fidelity and high-resolution models in regional simulations that can support technological, economic, and policy solutions to mitigate the threat of natural hazards.

“The report is intended to attract the natural hazards engineering community to research opportunities that will help address the grand challenge areas. Community feedback on the report is important, and we hope it establishes collaborations to resolve the identified research needs,” said Matt Schoettler, the SimCenter’s associate director of operations.

In addition to summarizing the state-of-art in the various topic areas, each section of the report identifies major research gaps and needs, with the intent that researchers will prepare research proposals to NSF and other agencies to fill these gaps in order to advance the field. Further, the report summarizes how tools being developed by the NHERI SimCenter are advancing the state-of-art in simulating the effects of natural hazards on the built environment.

Greg Deierlein and Adam Zsarnóczay of the SimCenter edited the report. Contributors include more than 20 nationally recognized experts in natural hazards engineering.

“We are grateful to the nearly two dozen SimCenter scientists’ thoughtful contributions to this report, which promotes the advancement of natural hazards engineering,” said Sanjay Govindjee, SimCenter PI and co-director.

Download the report at

More information about the NHERI SimCenter can be found at