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History

The NEES network infrastructure encompasses management headquarters; 14 earthquake engineering and tsunami research facility sites located at universities across the United States.

Get to know the history and other related facts about NEES from here. Additionally learn briefly about NEEScomm and its operations.

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The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) is the product of more than a decade of planning by the earthquake engineering community. The NEES network infrastructure encompasses management headquarters; 14 earthquake engineering and tsunami research facility sites located at universities across the U.S. -- available for testing on-site, in the field, or through telepresence; and cyberinfrastructure operations that connect the work of the experimental facilities, researchers, educators and students. 

The NEES assets jointly provide the means for collaboration and discovery to improve the seismic design and performance of civil and mechanical infrastructure systems. As of September 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) has supported 160 NEES research awards through annual research program solicitations.

The NEES project is named in memory of the late George E. Brown, Jr., former chairman of the House Science committee and a champion of engineering and science in Congress for more than 30 years. Congressman Brown left behind a deep and expansive legacy that has shaped science and science policy in America. In 1977, he authored the legislation creating the interagency National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which in turn, led to the creation of NEES. NEES is authorized by the U.S. Congress under NEHRP and funded by NSF.

As of October 1, 2009, NEES management and cyberinfrastructure operations are headquartered in Purdue University’s Discovery Park, the result of NSF cooperative agreement #CMMI-0927178 awarded in 2009.

Headquarters provides day-to-day leadership and management for NEES network operations and serves as the focal point for all NEES activities including education, outreach and training and management of the equipment site operations (research facilities). The NEEShub research cyberinfrastructure, which is powered by HUBzero software developed at Purdue University specifically to help the scientific community share resources and collaborate, unites the experimental facilities. The NEES website provides data curation, a curated central data repository; telepresence; simulation, computational, data visualization and collaborative tools; hybrid simulation and multi-site hybrid simulation capabilities; user support services; middleware; and a cybersecurity framework.

Participating universities include: Cornell University; Lehigh University; Oregon State University; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; University at Buffalo, SUNY; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of Minnesota; University of Nevada, Reno; and the University of Texas, Austin.

NEES history goes back to November 1998, when the National Science Board (NSB) approved NEES for construction. The NSF funded construction of NEES through the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) appropriation during 2000-2004. Construction of 15 experimental facilities at universities across the U.S. supporting several types of research work was completed in September 30, 2004. (NOTE: In 2009, one of the facilities -- Colorado State University -- left the network, bringing the number of research facilities under the NEES umbrella to 14.)

Leading-edge cyberinfrastructure provided at that time was developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with assistance from IT researchers at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute, the University of Michigan’s School of Information, and Argonne National Laboratory.

NEES opened for operations on October 1, 2004, managed by the NEES Consortium, Inc., which was set up by the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE). The NEES Consortium, Inc. served through September 30, 2009.

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