The NSF’s five-year, $500,000 grant will support Burton’s research in increasing the resilience of the next generation of buildings in response to natural hazards while simultaneously incorporating sustainable practices in their construction, maintenance and operation.
Specifically, he will explore the creation of a unified design and assessment methodology that accounts for the ways that costs, structural resilience, consumption of resources and environmental and social impacts are interconnected throughout a building’s life. This model will suggest possible benefits, interdependencies and tradeoffs associated with specific resilience and sustainability strategies.
The grant will also help fund efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented minorities and women in structural and earthquake engineering. This includes working with undergraduate students in UCLA’s Center for Excellence in Engineering and Diversity. Burton will also develop an interactive exhibit to showcase the research at community-based institutions in and around Los Angeles.
Burton joined UCLA Engineering in fall of 2014. The CAREER Award is the third NSF grant he has received in the past year.