Phase I I/UCRC Florida International University: Center for Wind Hazard and Infrastructure Performance (WHIP) Grant

Phase I I/UCRC Florida International University: Center for Wind Hazard and Infrastructure Performance (WHIP) .


  • The United States is annually impacted by windstorms, causing large numbers of fatalities and injuries and severe damage to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings as well as to power, communication, transportation, water and other lifeline systems. Insured property losses exceeded $300 billion over the last twenty years while total losses are estimated to be twice that number. The goal of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Wind Hazard and Infrastructure Performance (WHIP) is to enhance the resiliency of buildings and infrastructure against hurricanes, tornadoes, and other windstorms. Findings generated from WHIP Center research and implemented by its industry partners will contribute to community resiliency against wind hazards while enhancing the economic competitiveness of the U.S. and the well-being of its citizens. Students will interact with industry partners, understand their needs, and obtain both academic and professional training. The WHIP Center will be promoted to grow in size and make greater impacts by attracting additional industry members and collaborating institutions. Envisioned as a national center it will address multiple thrusts in the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP). The concept of disaster resiliency will be advanced among industries, government agencies, and the public at large through publications, and social media. The WHIP Center will adopt a broad-based approach aimed at serving its members, who are concentrated in the insurance, risk modeling, and construction industries. Its major research themes are: a) wind hazards assessments; b) estimation of exposure and vulnerability of buildings and infrastructures; and c) improvement of community resilience. Within these themes the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) will select the projects based on their priorities and the Centers faculty specialties and expertise. The NSF NHERI Wall of Wind (WOW) research and experimental facility will be at the core of the Florida International University (FIU) WHIP Site. The WOW is an open-jet hurricane simulation facility capable of testing full- and large-scale models of buildings and infrastructure. The WOW will provide the following distinct multi-scale test capabilities to the WHIP: (1) high-speed holistic full-scale testing in up to simulated Category 5 hurricane winds; (2) wind-driven rain simulations to study water intrusion through building envelopes; (3) destructive testing to study progressive damage, enhance designs, and develop new mitigation techniques; (4) large-scale aerodynamic/aeroelastic testing in Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) and high Reynolds number flows; and (5) classic boundary layer wind tunnel testing in flows with a full turbulence spectrum.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

date/time interval

  • February 1, 2019 - January 31, 2024

sponsor award ID

  • 1841503