Resilient Structures

Lehigh has received $5 million to participate in a national initiative aimed at improving the ability of the civil infrastructure to withstand the effects of natural disasters.

The five-year award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support research using the unique experimental facilities in Lehigh’s ATLSS (Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems) Research Center.

The award was made through NSF’s new $40 million Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) program. A network of shared-use research facilities at seven U.S. universities will evaluate the performance of engineering designs and materials during earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and other disasters.

ATLSS researchers conduct real-time, large-scale and multidirectional experiments that mimic the demands on structures from natural disasters, said James Ricles, principal Lehigh investigator on the NHERI project.

These experiments include hybrid simulation tests, which combine large-scale physical test models with numerical simulation models, and geographically distributed hybrid simulation tests, in which test components are located at different sites.

ATLSS researchers also conduct real-time hybrid earthquake simulations (RTHS) and geographically distributed RTHS tests.