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NEES Community Update - July 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. 28 - Oct. 1
3rd Annual Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction

See Event Details


Director's Letter


The annual meeting in Anchorage was a fantastic success. Our appreciation goes to the dedicated individuals from EERI. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Institute in this important occasion, which featured Quake Summit 2014, and celebrated a decade of earthquake engineering research in NEES, during the 10NCEE.

I also wish to thank the NEEScomm staff who worked with the EERI staff during the organizational phase as well as during the event. Everybody involved did a fantastic job in Alaska, where more than 1300 earthquake engineers and scientists gathered to share knowledge focused on the mitigation of earthquake and tsunami risk to our society. Stay tuned as soon all presentations during the NEES day will be available on the NEEShub.

Following the conclusion of the 10NCEE, the 5th China-USA workshop was held with the participation of 30 researchers from China led by Prof. OU Jinping. Over 30 participants from the USA joined the workshop. Also in attendance were Dr. Joy Pauschke from NSF and Dr. Ru Jiping from NSFC. At the workshop the future of this collaboration was addressed. Stay tuned for a full report in the next weeks. The report will be posted on the NEEShub.

Congratulations to the entire NEES community and its partners on a job well done!

As work towards completing tests supported under the NEES Operations award reaches its completion date of September 30, 2014, rest assured that the professional staff at the sites and at NEEScomm are here to help if you have questions about safety, project scheduling, or curation. At NEEScomm, feel free to contact NEEScomm Site Operations Director Dann Parker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), NEEScomm IT Director Brian Rohler (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or NEEScomm Data Curator Standa Pejša (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Julio Ramirez
NEES Chief Officer and NEEScomm Center Director

10NCEE/Quake Summit papers now available at the NEEShub

The papers presented in Anchorage are archived on the NEEShub, where conference attendees are free to search, browse, and download research of interest.

10NCEE conference papers

Access to the 10NCEE paper archive is only available to 10NCEE/Quake Summit conference attendees. The archive will be open to the general public later this year.​

Outstanding Contributor Awards

Announcing the Winners: Outstanding Contributor Awards  

This year’s OC Awards were presented at the Quake Summit meeting in Anchorage, a highlight of the NEES Day luncheon. The winners were nominated for accomplishments that took place from 2009 through 2014, the period during which NEEScomm has managed the NEES Network.

Outstanding EOT: Alicia Lyman-Holt, Kelly Doyle, Lelli Van Den Einde

Outstanding Site Ops & Research Support: Sherif Elfass

Outstanding Students: Taylor Valencia, Cheng Song, Fahad Arshad

Outstanding IT Tool: NEES PEN, UI-SimCor

Outstanding Project Curation: Keri Ryan, for TIPS – Tools to Facilitate Widespread Use of Isolation and Protective Systems, a NEES/E-Defense Collaboration

Influential NEES Projects

Structures: Development of a Seismic Design Methodology for Precast Floor Diaphragms, PI Robert Fleischman

Lifelines: NEESR Evaluation of Ground Rupture Effects on Critical Lifelines and NEESR-CR Earthquake Response & Rehabilitation of Critical Lifelines, PI Tom O’Rourke.

Tsunami: Development of Performance-Based Tsunami Engineering., PI Ronald Riggs

Geotechnical: Field Investigation of Shallow Ground Improvement Methods for Inhibiting Liquefaction Triggering; Christchurch, New Zealand, PI Ken Stokoe

Read details about the 2014 OC honorees and see a photo of the Winners' Circle on the NEEShub.

Julio Ramirez

Ramirez testifies before Congress in support of NEHRP

On July 29, 2014, NEES Center Director Julio Ramirez testified before the Committee on Science Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, of the U.S. House of Representatives in a hearing to review the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).

The purpose of the hearing was to examine strengths, weaknesses, challenges and accomplishments of NEHRP as the Committee prepares legislation to reauthorize the program.

During his testimony, Ramirez urged Congress to renew support for NEHRP and funding for earthquake engineering research. He discussed the importance of research that identifies aging infrastructure and the need to increase the number of engineering graduates.

The video of the entire 2-hour testimony and agenda can be accessed at the website for the Congressional Committee on Space, Science, and Technology:


Successful bridge bent experiment at UNR

NEES research on easily constructed, seismically resistant bridge bents made headlines earlier this month. The ¼ scale bridge sat atop 3 of the shake tables at the University of Nevada Reno facility. The YouTube clip from UNR has had more than 14,000 views.

Click to view video.

As the dramatic footage shows, the bridge withstood significant shaking, about 12% deflection, over and above the 2.2 times the design standard. The bridge swayed and cracked, but remained standing.

“Sure we broke it, but we exposed it to extreme, off-the-scale conditions,” said John Stanton, U of Washington professor and project PI. “The important thing is it’s still standing, with the columns coming to rest right where they started, meaning it could save lives and property. I’m quite happy.”

The experiment was covered by national and regional media, practitioner publications such as Engineering News Record and the ASCE Civil Engineering magazine, as well many internet science outlets.

Congratulations to the project team: John Stanton, University of Washington, Seattle; Marc Eberhard, University of Washington, Seattle; and David Sanders, of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Testing a model at the 2011 competition.

Romanian university wins Undergrad Seismic Design Competition

Romanian engineering students from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (about 300 miles north-west of Bucharest) won the 2014 Seismic Design Competition held during July's 10NCEE/Quake Summit meeting.

The team's model was a 29-floor braced-frame skyscraper. The team made good use if its shake table at home, which they used to pre-test the structure they reproduced on site for the competition. 

"The top teams used braced frames as their main lateral force resisting system which performed the best in the competition due to their high strength to weight ratio," said Jeff Dowgala, a Purdue CE graduate student and chair for the Student Leadership Council, which organized the event.

Second-place winners were UC Berkeley, and third-place winners were Cal State University, Los Angeles.

The Univ. of Cluj Napoca team also won the competition's tee-shirt design contest, with more than 2,000 votes. View that design here.

The annual event, organized the EERI Student Leadership Council, gives competitive undergraduates from prestigious engineering programs an opportunity to design and construct the most cost-effective and earthquake-resistant structure possible.  The balsa-wood structures should be designed to maximize floor space while minimizing seismic damage when exposed to three pre-determined ground motions.


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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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