Associate Professor of Civil and Coastal Engineering
College of Engineering
Forrest Masters’ research focuses on the impact of hurricanes on the built environment, with emphasis on advancing damage mitigation strategies and building product innovation. Masters conducts experiments in (1) extreme wind events to investigate wind, wind-driven rain and structural loading and (2) the lab, where building systems are subjected to realistic simulations of wind load and rain conditions to study their performance. Masters’ findings appear in engineering, building science, meteorological, arboricultural and psychosocial literature, which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of his research. This work is necessary to reduce the loss of property and life during extreme wind events, which have caused more than $100 billion in insured losses in the last two decades. Since 1999, he has conducted field experiments in more than 25 named Atlantic hurricanes. In 2004, Masters began developing technologies to simulate dynamic wind and wind-driven effects, at sufficient scale and realism to test full-size structures in a controlled laboratory environment. Masters’ contributions to full-scale research have included: initiating the first and second phases of the Florida International University Wall of Wind, development of the UF portable Hurricane Simulator, assisting the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety in developing turbulence and rain simulation protocols for its $40 million windstorm facility, and developing the Multi-Axis Wind Load Simulator, which is a $4 million machine that can replicate Saffir-Simpson Category 5 and EF5 tornadic wind loads on building systems. Currently, Masters is building the second largest boundary layer wind tunnel (BLWT) in the U.S.