Seven universities in Texas, Florida and Louisiana — including Rice University — will contribute a combined $1.87 million to finance collaborative projects, with additional funding expected from external grants.
The institute puts Houston at the center of hurricane research, which had been scattered across the state and region after storms killed dozens of people, disrupted local economies and caused billions of dollars in property damage.
“Academics are nonpartisan — we think about data and information, we guide the conversation, we don’t have a vested interest in one solution versus another,” said Hanadi Rifai, a UH civil and environmental engineering professor and the center’s director. “(We will be) a very important resource to entities that don’t have that capacity.”
Other universities joining the institute are Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at Tyler, Louisiana State University, the University of Miami and the University of Florida. The center will be based in UH’s engineering college.