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NEES Community Update - July 2013

Research News

In The Network

Outreach News

Upcoming Events & Deadlines


August 6-8
Quake Summit annual meeting

See Event Details



August 8
U.S.-China earthquake engineering workshop

See Event Details



December 11
Planning meeting for NEES/E-Defense Collaborative Earthquake Engineering Research Program

See Event Details


Director's Letter

Priorities for NEES in Year 10

As we head into the final year of the Cooperative Agreement with NSF, we’re particularly focused on three high-priority missions: safety at the sites, the completion of all NEES research project testing at the sites by September 30, 2014, and the uploading of experimental data and the curation of experiments and projects in the Project Warehouse.

Project testing. The news is good for project testing. Between now and next summer, about 85 projects are scheduled for testing at NEES equipment sites, and currently all are on track. Although no site schedules show testing after September 30, 2014, some projects are scheduled to test right up to that date. Throughout the coming year, NEEScomm operations will be watching site schedules closely and posting their status on the NEEShub. If you have testing scheduled in your project during the final year at any of the NEES sites, please stay in communication with the site to ensure that your project(s) remain on track. NSF has firmly stated that all testing at the sites must be completed by September 30, 2014.

Project curation. Progress also is being made on the uploading of data from the sites and the curation of uploaded data. Currently about 60% of NEES projects are completely curated, and 20% are on track for completion. Unfortunately, 20% of our projects are still non-compliant with the NEEScomm schedule for data archiving and publication. The NEEScomm Strategic Council is tracking project curation monthly, and will be contacting research PI’s as necessary.

If you have questions or concerns about safety, project scheduling or curation, contact NEEScomm Site Operations Director Dann Parker ( 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

E-Defense planning meeting slated for December

The E-Defense shaketable facility in Japan has recently reopened following nearly a year of inactivity while major upgrades were installed. These upgrades permit the facility to simulate large 3D earthquake motions having durations up to 40 minutes or more. This new capability provides unique opportunities to improve understanding of seismic response due to long-duration ground motions, such as those associated with subduction zone faulting or cascading fault ruptures.

To learn first-hand about the new facility and plans for its use, consider attending the annual planning meeting for the NEES/E-Defense Collaborative Earthquake Engineering Research Program, scheduled for December 11-13, 2013 in Kyoto, Japan. During the visit, participants will learn about the various upgrades and witness an interesting test during which a 1/3-scale model of a modern, 18-story, steel moment-resisting frame building structure will be tested to collapse.

Information about the meeting agenda and registration is available on the NEEShub.

Quake Summit media panel: "The Mysteries Behind Publicity"

What are the best approaches to conveying your research impact to the news media and their lay audience?

At this year’s Quake Summit, a panel of national media experts will speak at the opening plenary session called “The Mysteries Behind Publicity.” Revealing secrets to attracting national media attention will be New York Times science writer Henry Fountain, TechMediaNetwork writer Becky Oskin, and PBS Nova science editor Evan Hadingham.

The three will speak on Wednesday, August 7, at 12:30. Find details about our distinguished panelists at the Quake Summit website.

Outstanding Service Awards: call for nominations

At the annual Quake Summit meeting in Reno, NEES will recognize exceptional members of the community, people who have made outstanding contributions to earthquake engineering research, testing, and education. Nominations for Outstanding Service Awards are being accepted in Education, Outreach and Training, Information Technology, and Site Operation. For examples of outstanding work, see the NEEShub announcement.

Please send nominations, along with a description of outstanding activities performed, to NEEScomm Deputy Center Director Barbara Fossum: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.The deadline for nominations has been extended to Wednesday, July 26.

NEES-Soft testing gears up

Dr. John van de Lindt of Colorado State University is leading a team of researchers from five universities (RPI,Western Michigan University, Clemson University, Cal Poly-Pomona and CSU) to study the behavior of soft-story woodframe buildings. These buildings, typically built before the 1970s, are susceptible to collapse at the first story during an earthquake. In fact, a nine-year study conducted by the city of San Francisco found that 43 to 80 percent of multi-story woodframe buildings would be deemed unsafe after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, and 25 percent of these buildings would be expected to collapse.

The NEES-Soft Project Team has begun testing of a full-scale 4-story soft-story woodframe building at the NEES@UCSD site that will continue over the next four weeks. The structure has been built to San Francisco mandatory retrofit ordinance passed only a few months ago, and the current series tests are meant to validate multiple new retrofit guidelines and provide vital data on the structure's behavior.

Dr. van de Lindt and his team will use the data obtained from their experiments to provide experimental verification of the ATC 71.1 retrofit procedure and draft recommendations for future building code updates. The data will also be publicly available on the NEEShub to provide a better understanding of the collapse mechanisms and processes for soft-story woodframe buildings.

Learn more about the July-August tests on the NEEShub.

US-China earthquake engineering workshop

Plans are complete for the 4th annual US-China earthquake engineering workshop, slated for August 8 and 9 in Reno, Nevada.

The 4th Workshop on China-USA Collaboration for Disaster Evolution/Resilience of Civil Infrastructure and Urban Environment will include presentations from researchers from China and the U.S. describing the seven ongoing joint projects and working sessions that cover the topics of simulation and structural monitoring.

Reports on our three previous workshops can be found on the NEEShub, under international partnerships.

KAIA and KOCED CMI leadership visit NEEScomm

On July 19, leaders from the Korean Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) and the Korean Construction Engineering Development Collaboratory Management Institute (KOCED CMI) paid a visit to the NEES headquarters.

In attendance from the KAIA were Dr. Kwang-yong Jung (Vice-President), Mr. Young-seong Koo (Director, Policy Planning Division), and Mr. Sam-dong Jung (Manager, Policy Planning Division). From KOCED were Mr. Kwang-ki Ahn (President) and Ms. Sun-ah Choi (Researcher, R&D Management Division). KAIA is the funding agency of KOCED CMI, which operates a network of six testing centers and cyberinfrastructure dedicated to providing domestic testing facilities for Korean companies. Although focused on providing access to Korean companies, KOCED CMI urges researchers in academia to actively draw on its resources for education and research.

From its inception, KOCED has followed the progress of NEES, which has served as a model of successful centralized management of shared-use testing facilities and cyberinfrastructure for Korean planners.

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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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