By joining StEER, members will receive regular communications from StEER, have access to StEER resources/training programs, and the opportunity to participate in StEER Virtual Assessment Structural Teams (VASTs) or Field Assessment Structural Teams (FASTs), as eligibility permits. Note that since StEER has only limited FAST slots, VASTs serve as the primary platform for participation in StEER, assisting in collecting data immediately after the event and analyzing the data collected by the FASTs.

To join StEER, you should:

  1. Have formal training or experience as a

    • Structural engineer, either as an academic (researcher, faculty, staff, student) or practicing engineer (public or private sector)

    • Member of allied field of natural hazard engineering that can support structural engineering assessments of damage due to natural hazards, e.g., coastal engineer

    • Data or computer scientist (or related fields) supportive of processing and visualizing rich geospatial datasets acquired using multiple platforms.

  2. Have an active DesignSafe account with an active Slack account. (Slack is used for all FAST and VAST coordination) 

    • If you do not yet have a DesignSafe account, please visit and create one before completing our membership application.

    • If you already have a DesignSafe account, but have never activated or used your Slack account on DesignSafe, please contact the DesignSafe support team to verify that your Slack account is active before completing our membership application.

  3. Complete this StEER membership application.

Based on your experience level, you will be assigned a membership level within StEER. Membership level assignments are reviewed annually and updated based on each member's evolving experience conducting field reconnaissance. Currently, StEER membership levels are designated as:

  • Level 1: No prior field experience and/or repeated participation on Virtual Assessment Structural Teams (not eligible for FAST)

  • Level 2: Repeated substantive participation on Virtual Assessment Structural Teams (eligible as FAST trainee)*

  • Level 3: Some prior field experience (eligible for FAST)*

  • Level 4: Significant prior field experience (eligible for FAST Lead)*

Eligibility for event responses is dependent upon membership level and/or expertise relevant to that hazard or region. Members at Level 3 or 4 are automatically eligible for Field Assessment Structural Teams, with Level 4 eligible to serve as the StEER FAST Lead.  StEER will reserve at least one slot on each FAST for a Level 2 member's participation as an FAST trainee, mentoring under more seasoned reconnaissance professionals.

Individuals without prior field experience or repeated substantive participation on StEER Virtual Assessment Structural Teams (Level 1) can advance their membership to Level 2 by one or more of the following:

  1. Participate regularly and actively in StEER VASTs.

  2. Complete StEER training modules and participate in one of StEER's scenario workshops (coming in 2020).

  3. Participate in other non-StEER-funded field reconnaissance, e.g., NSF-funded RAPID.

  4. Complete training/certification in any of the specialized equipment rented by the NHERI RAPID Facility. 

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information on StEER membership and participation in VASTs and FASTs.

*Per NSF policy, only faculty, staff and students affiliated with US Academic Institutions can receive funding from StEER. Non-US Academic, Private Sector/Industry, Public Sector/Government Official can participate in VAST and FAST if self- or organizationally-funded. 



  • Unlimited participation in Virtual Assessment Structural Teams

  • Funded participation in Field Assessment Structural Teams

  • Possible regional node

Non-US Academics

  • Unlimited participation in Virtual Assessment Structural Teams

  • Unfunded collaboration with Field Assessment Structural Teams

  • Possible global node

Private Sector Partners

  • Unlimited participation in Virtual Assessment Structural Teams

  • Exchange information, coordinate field teams

  • Leverage common data collection platforms and standards

Public Sector Partners

  • Exchange information, coordinate field teams

  • Leverage common data collection platforms and standards

Response Activation: Activation of the network in response to an event is triggered by the StEER leadership team (currently comprised of its Director and four Associate Directors), generally within 24-48 hours of the event. This decision is based primarily on whether or not the event represents a potential learning opportunity relating to structural performance of the built environment.


Virtual Assessment: The Virtual Assessment Structural Team (VAST) is formed and invited to a private dedicated slack channel to organize their work and review all publicly available data to author the Preliminary Virtual Reconnaissance Report (PVRR). This report is generally released within a few days of the event. The report is curated on DesignSafe with full DOI with all VAST members as authors. The report is posted to the website, emailed to all StEER members, and promoted on the various Slack channels discussed in 2.


Updates: During the course of the FAST missions, StEER will post daily updates of survey targets, generally with maps, for each day of reconnaissance on the Slack channels in #2. Based on connectivity in the field, FAST will post photos or other updates/key observations to Slack. Door to door structural assessments are also available through the StEER Fulcrum Community page, based on connectivity.


Quality Assurance & Curation: The FAST data is then processed through the StEER Quality Assurance protocol through the ongoing efforts of the VAST. Once this concludes, the dataset will be curated on DesignSafe and posted to the website.


Team Formation: Level 2-4 StEER members are emailed soliciting availability and interest for event response (using a Google Form) as part of  the VAST and/or FAST, with cc to Joy Pauschke (NSF), Lori Peek (NHERI Converge) and the StEER leadership team. StEER's event response is also circulated on the Slack #general channel and the #StEER channel, as well as channels themed for relevant hazard communities, e.g., #coastal-eng, and any dedicated channel for the event, e.g., #hurricane-michael.


Field Assessment: If the PVRR suggests a field assessment is warranted, StEER will form one or more FASTs. FASTs will make their preparations on a dedicated Slack channel, receiving targeted geographies for assessment. Each FAST has a designated lead responsible for coordinating his/her team in the field. FASTs take advantage of a range of technologies for their assessments, including unmanned aerial vehicles, LiDAR scanners, mobile application for door-to-door assessments and applied StreetView cameras.


Initial Findings: As FAST door-to-door damage assessments are acquired in Fulcrum and as daily summaries are uploaded to the VAST, the Early Access Reconnaissance Report (EARR) is authored. This report is generally released within 48 hours of the first FAST completing its mission. The report is curated on Design Safe, posted to website, emailed to all StEER members and promoted on the various Slack channels discussed in #2.


Dissemination: StEER leadership and members of the event VAST and FAST will continue their analysis of the data and dissemination of findings through conferences, meetings, journal articles, and various communications to the affected community and public-at-large.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI 1841667. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of StEER and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

© 2018 by StEER Network.
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