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NEES Community Update - August 2014
Research News
In The Network
Outreach News

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

September 12 
1st Workshop on Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Liquefaction Evaluation, Mapping, Simulation and Mitigation, UC San Diego

See Event Details

Sept. 25 - 26
OpenSees Days 2014, Berkeley, California

See Event Details

Sept. 28 - Oct. 1
3rd Annual Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction, Boulder, Colorado

See Event Details



Director's Letter


This summer has been a productive one for international collaboration. Read below to learn how the NEEShub is rapidly becoming a data repository for researchers throughout the world. 

Another successful international collaboration, the 5th annual US-China Workshop, took place immediately after the Quake Summit meeting in Anchorage.

The group discussed progress on joint projects as well as a roadmap for future work. 30 researchers from China and almost as many NEES researchers were in attendance, as was NEES Program Manager Joy Pauschke and NSFC officer Dr. Jiping Ru. The full report on the meeting will be made available soon on the NEEShub.

5th annual US-China workshop participants, August 2014
Click for full-size image.

Also in this month's update, we are pleased to announce that earthquake engineering data papers are at last becoming a reality. We are grateful for the partnership with EERI and the Earthquake Spectra editorial board. 

Our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery go to the community members in Northern California following the recent earthquake in Napa. Please be aware that EERI, as always, is reporting on damage reconnaissance efforts. EERI's South Napa, USA Clearinghouse is available here.

As we approach September 30, 2014,  two important items for your information:

1. If you have questions about scheduling or safety, contact NEEScomm Site Operations Director Dann Parker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). If you have questions about the NEEShub or data curation, contact IT Director Brian Rohler (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Data Curator Standa Pejša (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

2. With the support from NSF, the NEEShub including the Project Warehouse and access to OpenSees and supercomputing resources, etc., will continue to be available at least until May 31, 2015. Testing at the sites will conclude under the support of NEES Ops on September 30, 2014 as previously stated.

Best regards!

Julio Ramirez
NEES Chief Officer and NEEScomm Center Director

NEES 10NCEE/Quake Summit papers now available on the NEEShub

NEES-related papers that were presented throughout the 10NCEE meeting in Anchorage are now available on the NEEShub thanks to our partnership with EERI.

NEES-related conference papers




Outstanding Contributor Awards

NEEShub data goes global 

The NEEShub has plenty to offer researchers around the world. This year, over 40% of NEEShub sessions were run by users outside the U.S.

Not only that, the NEEShub also is gaining attention as a data repository for international engineering researchers.

This summer, earthquake researchers from around the world (China, South Korea, Australia and the United Kingdom) have been populating the Project Warehouse with their projects and archiving those important experimental data. Additional international projects from New Zealand and Colombia are in progress. Here are some of the most recently added projects published on the NEEShub by international researchers:

Prof. Hui Li from Harbin Institute of Technology, China, provided test data on a two-story, one-bay, three dimensional reinforced concrete structure resting in a laminar soil container to demonstrate the feasibility and capability of MR dampers in suppressing seismic induced vibrations (Project 1123). Prof. Han Seon Lee of Korea University, South Korea, performed earthquake-simulation tests on the scaled models of high-rise bearing-wall and tower-type building structures (project 1256). Prof. Bijan Samali from the University of Sydney, Australia,  a 76-story 306 m tall benchmark building as the prototype structure for wind force analysis. A 1:400 scaled model is studied in the wind tunnel and 27s of wind tunnel data is recorded, extrapolating to an hour of prototype data (project 1241).

Several of these international projects revolve around the development and examination of hybrid simulation techniques. Prof. Bin Wu from Harbin Institute of Technology, China, developed a method for nonlinear model parametric identification based on the unscented Kalman filter, and used this in hybrid simulations, demonstrating better accuracy compared to conventional hybrid simulation with fixed numerical model (project 1234). In a separate project, he also proposed a new estimator based on a Taylor series to update actuator time delay  for use in RTHS (project 1235).  Prof. Maria Rosaria Marsico at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, studied the stability boundary of a cable-deck system by performing real-time substructuring dynamic tests, a.k.a real-time hybrid simulation (project 1219). Prof Guo Tong from Southeast University in China reused data from other researchers (project 711) to implement state-of-the-art actuator delay compensation techniques, and provided data verifying his procedure and results (project 1240). 

EERI Spectra

First earthquake engineering data papers published

To facilitate and promote research data reuse, the NEES community is working with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute to advance the concept of an earthquake engineering data paper. It is a formal academic entity, curated data with an assigned DOI, that can be published and cited. 

As a result, research data are now a legitimate research product, and curated data with an assigned DOI can be published and cited as part of the scholarly record.

Datasets no longer need be mere supplements to research publications; now they are standalone academic accomplishments. Providing access to data underlying a publication is no longer simply good practice; in many disciplines it is increasingly common to cite the data that support the research argument. Published data also are a great vehicle for fast transfer of knowledge from researcher to the practitioners.

The concept makes its debut in the May issue of Earthquake Spectra, where the first earthquake engineering data papers appear. Each paper provides key details about publicly available data and guidance for reusing it:

1. The Global Earthquake History [abstract]

Albini, Paola; Musson, Roger M.W.; Gomez Capera, Antonio A.; Locati, Mario; Rovida, Andrea; Stucchi, Massimiliano; Viganò, Daniele; (2013): GEM Global Historical Earthquake Archive; GEM Foundation, Pavia, Italy. DOI: 10.13117/GEM.DATASET.GHEA-V1.0

2. A Seismic Retrofit Cost Database for Buildings with a Framed Structure [abstract]

Reza Jafarzadeh; Jason M. Ingham; Suzanne Wilkinson (2013), "A Database for Seismic Retrofit Construction Cost of Concrete and Steel Framed Schools in Iran," Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (distributor), Dataset, DOI: 10.4231/D3959C774

3. Dynamic Response of a Model Levee on Sherman Island Peat: A Curated Data Set [abstract]

Edward Reinert, Jonathan Stewart, R.E.S. Moss, Sean Ahdi, Scott Brandenberg (2013). Evaluation of Seismic Levee Deformation Potential by Destructive Cyclic Field Testing. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)(distributor), Datasets, DOIs: 10.4231/D3SF2MB89, 10.4231/D3J09W43H, 10.4231/D3D795994, 10.4231/D34Q7QQ2B, 10.4231/D38G8FH6G, 10.4231/D30Z70W8Z, 10.4231/D3NP1WJ45

The NEEShub Project Warehouse provides a standardized format for data citations and for crediting research teams. 

Many thanks to the research teams who provided such high-quality data!

And for developing and formalizing this milestone data-paper effort, the community appreciates the dedication of NEEScomm co-PI and Earthquake Spectra Editorial Board member Ellen Rathje from the University of Texas, Austin and NEEShub Data Curator Standa Pejša from Purdue University.


Outstanding Contributor Awards

NEES at Buffalo shakes computing components

Shake table experiments are underway this month at SUNY Buffalo, sponsored in part by Yahoo Labs, in which earthquake engineers shake essential computing components, like server racks – in order to find ways to safeguard such equipment.

Project PI is Howard University Professor Claudia Marin-Artieda, supported by an NSF Career Grant.

During earthquakes, the rigid structure of multi-story, fixed-base buildings amplifies seismic action, putting sensitive computer equipment at risk. The goal of this research is to protect essential computing equipment from earthquake damage with locally installed isolators and dampers. The UB experiments will shake operational equipment and validate several new passive protection designs. Computing industry manufacturers and services, like Yahoo, are closely watching these tests.

The team shook the Yahoo frame atop a wire rope platform with dissipation foams. 

-- Video of wire-rope platform in action.
-- Video of the Yahoo frame being shaken atop the wire-rope platform.

In another test, a platform is supported by four isolators, each of which consists of an elastomeric bearing atop a universal hinge. 

-- Video of the elastomeric bearing + universal hinge shaking a heavy load.

2014 NEES REU cohort

NEES REU students present research at University of Nevada, Reno

The 2014 NEES REU students came together at University of Nevada, Reno August 14-15 for the Young Researchers Symposium. (Click for a large view of the 2014 REU cohort.)

The focus of the symposium was a poster session in which all 30 REU students presented the results of their summer internship. The busy two-day symposium also included presentations by UNR faculty and graduate students, a visit to the NEES@UNR shake table facility, a field trip to Dynamic Isolation Systems (DIS), a field trip to the Nevada Stateline to Stateline Bikeway construction project, and an awards banquet.  At DIS students tour through all the stages of the manufacturing of a base isolator and witnessed the testing of a completed product.

The 30 REU students each spent 10 weeks at one of eight NEES sites participating in experiments, analyzing data, and creating new tools for NEES researchers. The following students were recognized for their presentations

Marissa Shea – Best of Poster Session A

Rachel Cohen – Best of Poster Session B

Shirley Tang – Best of Poster Session C

Joseph Vantassel – Best of Poster Session D

Jamie Hudson – Best Layout

Erik Avila – Best Use of Graphics

Ryan McNerney – Best Overall Presentation of Symposium

Student posters and final project reports are available on the NEEShub:


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  The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded organization of which the goals are part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program's (NEHRP) coordinated effort to address earthquake risk in the United States. The NEES mission to accelerate improvements in seismic design and performance by serving as an indispensable collaboratory for discovery and innovation. Cooperative Agreement CMMI-0927178

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