SimCenter Collaboration on $4.9M PEER Research Project

May 17, 2019

The SimCenter is a collaborator on a $4.9 million, 2.5-year research project led by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER). The California Energy Commission, under one of its fundamental goals to Develop and implement Research, awarded the grant for the PEER project “Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering Assessment Tool for Gas Storage and Transmission Systems,” to improve the seismic risk assessment of natural gas storage and pipeline infrastructure.

The project will develop a new open-source software to better assess risks to natural gas storage and pipeline systems from seismic activity. The tool will improve the safety and integrity of natural gas storage, piping, and infrastructure systems by helping regulators and owners direct seismic mitigation efforts to the most vulnerable components.

"In the event of an earthquake, natural gas pipeline and storage facilities could experience significant damage,” said Professor Jonathan Bray, Principal Investigator of the project. “It is not hard to imagine the impact that damage of our natural gas system could have on everything from response to recovery efforts."

The project team includes researchers and experts from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Slate Geotechnical Consultants, UC San Diego, and University of Nevada Reno, with collaborative support provided by the NHERI Computational Modeling and Simulation Center (SimCenter). Cooperating utilities are Southern California Gas Company and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

This collaborative project combines researchers from three PEER core institutions, a National Lab, industry member and the NHERI SimCenter,” said Professor Khalid Mosalam, Director of PEER. “Through PEER’s use of the new open-source software, we expect this innovative project to have a long lasting impact on the state of practice. PEER is excited to be providing support to this project at many levels including experiments, software maintenance and outreach activities.”

"The SimCenter is excited to be collaborating on this project and providing support for the development of the new software tool. It will be a great asset to incorporate in our framework. This collaboration is a perfect example of how SimCenter can foster new research and promote advances in the field of natural hazards engineering," noted Sanjay Govindjee, SimCenter Principal Investigator and co-Director.

Research Team:

Principal Investigator (PI): Jonathan D. Bray, UC Berkeley
Project Manager: Jennie Watson-Lamprey, Slate Geotechnical Consultants

Team: Norm Abrahamson, UC Berkeley; Jens Birkholzer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; John Diehl, GEOVision; John Eidinger, G&E Engineering Systems; Tara Hutchinson, UC San Diego; Grace Kang, PEER; Amarnath Kasalanati, PEER;  Scott Lindvall, Lettis Consultants International; David McCallen, University of Nevada Reno; Thomas O'Rourke; Jonny Rutqvist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Kenichi Soga, UC Berkeley; Stephen Thompson, Lettis Consultants International; and Jeff Unruh, Lettis Consultants International.