The Michigan Engineer News Center

Emeritus Professor Richard Woods named to the NSF’s Network Independent Advisory Committee

Prof. Woods has been appointed to the Network Independent Advisory Committee to oversee the NHERI Network for a five-year term beginning May 1, 2017.| Short Read
EnlargeProfessor Dick Woods
IMAGE:  Professor Dick Woods

The National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) system replaces the former George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) with a broader scope covering multiple natural hazards. Recognizing the national need for resilience against multiple natural hazards, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated a new chapter in hazards research with a $40-million investment in Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI).

Many U.S. communities are vulnerable to more than one kind of natural hazard. A single hazard event can bring several dangers: Hurricane winds can generate storm surges and flooding, and earthquakes can trigger landslides and tsunamis.

Water, energy and communication systems; tunnels and industrial facilities; and national military security infrastructure all depend on their ability to withstand natural forces. The stakes are enormous.

To help better understand and resist the impacts of earthquakes, wind and water hazards, NHERI will provide a network of shared, state-of-the-art research facilities and specialized tools located at universities around the country.

NSF’s investment in NHERI will allow researchers to explore and test ground-breaking concepts to protect homes, businesses and infrastructure lifelines, and will enable innovations to help prevent natural hazards from becoming societal disasters.

The NHERI program is also a critical investment in America’s human capital, providing educational opportunities to students who will engineer our communities and plan our disaster responses of the future.

Professor Dick Woods
The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read