Newswise — University of Oklahoma College of Engineering professors will participate as part of a multi-disciplinary team from 10 universities on a $20 million cooperative agreement awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to Colorado State University to establish the Community Resilience Center of Excellence in Fort, Collins, Colo. OU researchers will play key roles in the development of the Center’s research program.

OU Professor Naiyu Wang, School of Civil and Environmental Sciences, will be responsible for developing resilience metrics for buildings, building inventories and highway systems, examining the impact of climate change on natural hazard modeling, analysis and propagation of uncertainties in the analysis underlying the risk-informed decision framework and optimization of investments for risk mitigation, and community recovery for building inventories and transportation infrastructure networks.

OU Professor Charles Nicholson, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, will conduct research related to network analysis, modeling interdependencies between infrastructure systems, and development of novel and efficient processes that support the decision framework by permitting efficient and intelligent searches for solutions in complex decision spaces involving hundreds or thousands of decision variables.

OU Professor Amy Cerato, School of Civil and Environmental Sciences, will focus on geo-system integrity of transportation and utility systems and will conduct research related to development of underground pipeline behavior, foundation modeling and foundation system fragility analysis.

Center researchers will collaborate closely with National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers to achieve long-term goals of developing science-based tools and guidelines that individual communities can use to assess their resilience. These goals include evaluating the effectiveness of alternative measures intended to improve performance, minimizing post-disaster disruption and recovery time, and targeting public and private investments in resilience enhancement.

Central to this effort will be NIST-CORE—the NIST Community Resilience Modeling Environment. NIST-CORE will provide the measurement technology for addition to its physics-based models of civil infrastructure systems; it will integrate models of social and economic systems vital to the functioning and recovery of communities—health care delivery, education, social services, financial institutions and others—and allow the synergies between essential systems to be examined rationally and quantitatively.