About Us

About MAE Center

Natural hazards — traditionally defined as potential damaging or destructive natural events that might occur in the future — can have a devastating impact on society. Throughout the world each year, natural disasters kill approximately 80,000 people, render millions homeless, and result in economic losses of $50 billion-$60 billion. All countries face decisions on the level of acceptable risk its citizens should face in the built or modified natural environment. Robust building codes, land-use development restrictions, and environmental preservation policies can all lead to reduced risk exposure to natural hazards, but they exact a cost in terms of economic development and immediate amenities.

The MAE Center started as one of three national earthquake engineering research centers established by the National Science Foundation and its partner institutions. Its current mission is to develop through research, and to disseminate through education and outreach, new integrated approaches necessary to minimize the consequences of future natural and human-made hazards. Integrated interdisciplinary research synthesizing damage across regions, estimating vulnerability across regional and national networks, and identifying different hazards forms the core research activities needed to develop a Multi-hazard Approach to Engineering and to support stakeholder and societal interests in risk assessment and mitigation.

Core research is separated into the following five thrust areas:

The outcomes of the MAE Center research is of value to many stakeholders allowing for better informed decision- and policy-making. Stakeholders include state transportation departments, state emergency management agencies, utilities operators, insurance and reinsurance companies, managing agents, investment banks, lenders, industry organizations, and governments.

In addition, many projects integrate research and education for both undergraduate and graduate students, advance curricula and outreach to pre-college students, and enhance public awareness.