SimCenter Working Groups

Working Groups are a pivotal organizational component of the SimCenter that are composed of senior faculty, development staff, and interested external participants. The Working Groups’ tasks are to guide continuing software development, plan and conduct test cases, engage users through courses, outreach to other researchers, and to educate the community through webinars and mentoring of REU students. The primary activities of the Working Groups are to advise on software development priorities, use software in their teaching and research, and communicate with the research community about opportunities and capabilities of the SimCenter framework. Working Groups hold regular meetings and report to SimCenter Leadership in monthly meetings.


Lead: Rachel Davidson, (University of Delaware)
Affiliated SimCenter Personnel: Jack Baker (Stanford Univ.), Ann-Margaret Esnard (Georgia State Univ.)
Developer Liaison: Stevan Gavrilovic (UC Berkeley)

Charge: The SEIR working group is currently focused on two main goals: (1) Encouraging and supporting use of R2D as it currently exists; and (2) Identifying, prioritizing, and beginning to implement the next models and data to be linked or added to R2D. Towards these aims, we are actively soliciting input from a wide range of social scientists and engineers who may use R2D and/or contribute models or data in the future about how R2D can best serve their research and education needs.

How to get involved: Inquiries should be sent to Stevan Gavrilovic <>.

Lead: Greg Deierlien (Stanford)
Affiliated SimCenter Personnel: Laura Lowes (UW), Jon Bray (UC Berkeley), Henry Burton (UCLA), Pedro Arduino (UW)
Developer Liaison: Jinyan Zhao (UC Berkeley)

Charge: This task group is focused on guiding the development and research applications of software to simulate the effects of earthquakes on buildings, transportation and utility systems, and communities. The scope includes (1) developing data models and API’s to integrate earthquake hazard software and data (e.g., OpenSHA, OpenQuake, physics-based simulations) in SimCenter workflows, (2) coordinate with other SimCenter working groups on common issues concerning inventories, socio-economic effects, and UQ developments, (3) develop a data integration framework for multi-fidelity models (geotechnical, structural, socio-economic, civil infrastructure systems) into high-resolution regional simulations, and (4) develop and promote activities to engage the research and education communities in earthquake engineering, risk and recovery. The working group supports development of the following SimCenter tools: PBE/pelicun, R2D/rwhale, EE-UQ, and quoFEM.

How to get involved: Inquiries should be sent to Jinyan Zhao <>.

Lead: Tracy Kijewski-Correa (Notre Dame)
Affiliated SimCenter Personnel: Andrew Kennedy (Notre Dame), Michael Motley (Univ of Washington), Patrick Lynett (USC)
Developer Liaison: Abiy Melaku (UC Berkeley)
Other Working Group Members: Mohammad Alam (Notre Dame)


  • Guide development and application efforts for regional hurricane and tsunami simulations
  • Develop data models and tools to integrate SimCenter tools with wind, storm surge, and tsunami hazard tools (ADCIRC, GeoClaw)
  • Coordinate with other working groups on common inventory, socio-economic, and UQ developments
  • Expand hurricane and tsunamic damage and consequence simulation tools for building, transportation and utility infrastructure components and systems
  • Develop/integrate data framework for multi-resolution damage models (empirical vs component-based)
  • User engagement, education and outreach

Current Priorities: The initial scaffolding of the regional simulation workflow for hurricanes culminated in two testbeds (Lake Charles, LA and Atlantic County, NJ) with particular emphasis on the treatment of wind hazards. Thus the working group is currently focused on:

  • Developing greater capabilities to simulate coastal hazards and their impact on the built environment, encompassing both hurricane storm surge/wave action and tsunamis
  • Conducting an ongoing community needs assessment to inform development priorities
  • Based on initial needs assessment, developing a slate of utility applications that will provide immediate benefits as standalone applications addressing common pain points in computational simulation for coastal hazards, while contributing a core building block for a fully orchestrated regional simulation workflow for coastal hazards.

How to get involved: Inquiries should be sent to Abiy Melaku <>

Lead: Ertugrul Taciroglu (UCLA)
Affiliated SimCenter Personnel: Kenichi Soga (UC Berkeley), Satish Rao (UC Berkeley) Stella Yu (Univ. of Michigan)
Developer Liaison: Adam Zsarnóczay (Stanford Univ.) and Barbaros Cetiner (UC Berkeley)


  • Develop specification of metadata format for storing building/infrastructure data that is relevant to assessment of damage, consequences, and repair/recovery from natural hazards
  • Develop federated database of building exposure data
  • Develop AI-enabled tools and best practices for inventory generation and validation methods for prioritized building/infrastructure attributes
  • Coordinate development of data formats and tools with DesignSafe, RAPID, and STEER
  • Support regional hazard and socio-economic/recovery working groups and other researchers to develop inventory databases for model generation and validation
  • User engagement, education and outreach

How to get involved: Inquiries should be sent to Adam Zsarnóczay <>.

Lead: Ahsan Kareem (Notre Dame)
Affiliated SimCenter Personnel: Catherine Gorle (Stanford), Seymour Spence (Univ. of Michigan)
Developer Liaison: Abiy Melaku (UC Berkeley)


  • Guide development and application efforts for CFD modelling of wind and water flows and effects on structures
  • Develop simulation tools and best practices for computational wave tank (OSU) and wind tunnel (UF) to engage experimental researchers in simulations
  • Develop framework for extending CFD simulations to local city-scale flows with linkages to regional hazard models for wind, storm surge, and tsunamis (e.g., turbulent inflows, ADCIRC, GeoClaw).
  • Engage natural hazards researchers to extend modelling tools to simulate response and damage to buildings and other structures
  • User engagement, education and outreach

How to get involved: Inquiries should be sent to Abiy Melaku <>.

Lead: Alexandros Taflanidis (Notre Dame)
Affiliated SimCenter Personnel: Sanjay Govindjee (UC Berkeley), Michael Shields (Johns Hopkins Univ.), Dimitrios Giovanis (Johns Hopkins Univ.), Joel Conte (UCSD)
Developer Liaison: Sang-ri Yi (UC Berkeley) and Aakash Bangalore Satish (UC Berkeley)

Charge: The Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) working group facilitates the integration of computational statistics tools to address uncertainty characterization and propagation in natural hazards engineering problems. Developments coming out of the working group permeate across all SimCenter products for which uncertainty plays an important role. Topics of emphasis include the efficient uncertainty propagation for performance based engineering and regional loss assessment applications, and the Bayesian formulation of model calibration problems. 

How to get involved: Inquiries should be sent to Sang-ri Yi <>.

Lead: Stella Yu (University of Michigan)
Affiliated SimCenter Personnel: Seymour Spence (University of Michigan), Satish Rao (UC Berkeley), Frank McKenna (UC Berkeley), Henry Burton, (UCLA), Ertugrul Taciroglu (UCLA)
Developer Liaison: Ge Zhang (University of Michigan)


  • Develop models for image-based building information extraction
  • Develop models for image-based natural hazard damage assessment
  • Explore physics-based deep learning and its application in natural hazards engineering
  • Maintain a good house-keeping of developed machine learning models
  • Organize machine learning training sessions to structural and civil engineers

How to get involved: Inquiries should be sent to Ge Zhang (University of Michigan) <>.