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NEES Community Update - June 2013

Research News

In The Network

Outreach News

Upcoming Events & Deadlines


June 25 & 27
"Essentials of Project Management" 

See Event Details



July 10
"Use of High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete in Design of Earthquake Resistant Shear Wall Coupling Beams" Webinar

See Event Details



August 6-8
Quake Summit 2013

See Event Details


Director's Letter

NEES researchers forging international collaborations

SERIES Workshop. Last month, a group of earthquake engineers and NEEScomm professional staff participated in the Seismic Engineering Research Infrastructures for European Synergies (SERIES) concluding workshop entitled "Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructures" in Ispra, Italy. At the three-day event held at the European Union Joint Research Centre (JRC), researchers from Europe and the US presented main outcomes of SERIES Project and parallel developments within NEES; and, discussed possible collaborations between EU and NEES in the areas of hybrid simulation and data exchanges. Specific items discussed revolve around the topic of interoperability of both simulation tools and databases. The presentations are available online at the SERIES website. A final outcomes report will be available in the next few months.

US-China Workshops. The relationship NEES has formed with Chinese earthquake engineers has proven long-lasting and fruitful. Last year, at the 3rd Annual US-China Workshop in Berkeley, California, the theme that emerged from our series of discussions was the importance of integrated monitoring of urban infrastructure. The final report for the 3rd workshop is now available on the NEEShub.

This year, for the 4th year in a row, Chinese and American earthquake engineers will convene to discuss the key issues of simulation and monitoring. The workshop is entitled "4th Workshop on China-USA Collaboration for Disaster Evolution/Resilience of Civil Infrastructure and Urban Environment." It takes place on August 8-9, following the NEES Quake Summit. The details of the workshop are being worked out with the leadership of the Chinese delegation. More information will be available on the NEEShub in the next few weeks.

Julio Ramirez
NEES Chief Officer and NEEScomm Center Director

Introducing NEEShub 5.0

A major milestone this week: NEEScomm IT released NEEShub 5. The major enhancements in this update include improvements to tools, simulation, data upload and usability. Here are the highlights:

1. Integration of the visualization tool with Project Warehouse. Until now, the Project Warehouse only supported inDEED as a tool that can be launched  with data files within a project. In release 5 the infrastructure to invoke a tool has been reworked and the 3D Data Viewer (3DDV) tool is now available for Project Warehouse data files of the correct format. The 3DDV tool was developed by CEES at RPI in collaboration with Oregon State University. We would like to thank them for their help in making this possible.

Some older files may not work correctly with the newest version of 3DDV. As the IT team determines whether the older files launch or not, they will add the Project Warehouse links.

2. Prototype for moving simulation results into Project Warehouse. Previously, the batchsubmit tool  returned simulation results to a large-capacity storage server and a tedious process was required to move those results into the Project Warehouse. With the Release 5 enhancement, the PEN tool and other architectural components have been modified to support easier and more direct movement of data from the storage  server into the Project Warehouse.

3. Usability improvements. TecEd, a Michigan-based usability company, performed a usability study of various NEEShub features about a year ago. The results of that study have been phased in over the last few releases. The final findings from this study have been implemented with Release 5.

The complete release notes for NEEShub Release 5 are available online.

ASCE journal preparing two earthquake special issues

The response to last fall's ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering's call for papers was fantastic. In fact, ASCE special issue editor John van de Lindt reports that so many high-quality papers were submitted that there were too many to include in a single issue. As a result, the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering is preparing two special issues with 14 papers each coming out in July and August. That's 28 publications on NEESR structural papers!

For a sneak peek, view the introduction to the July issue online.

At NEES@Buffalo, cold-formed steel tests beat expectations

Phase one of the cold-formed steel tests on the University at Buffalo shaketable exceeded the research team's predictions based on models and previous shear wall tests. The specimen structure suffered about 1.2% peak story drift, far less than the 2-4% predicted. The preliminary data seem to indicate that, under earthquake loads, a building behaves as a system, not as a set of shear walls. View the test online.

The project, "NEES-CR: Enabling Performance-Based Seismic Design of Multi-Story Cold-Formed Steel Structures," seeks to advance cold-formed steel light-frame design in buildings to the next level and equip engineers to implement these performance-based seismic designs in their projects. Project PI is Ben Schafer of Johns Hopkins University. Schafer is a longtime member of two standards-developing committees of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The next phase of testing takes place in July. Keep up with project progress at grad-student Kara Peterman's CFS-NEES blog:

Read more about the project in the NEEScomm newsroom.

Photo: Kara Peterman

NEES-sponsored traveling museum opens at the Minnesota Discovery Center

"When the Earth Shakes," is the Sciencenter's traveling museum co-sponsored by NEES and focused on earthquake sciences. It opened May 17 at the Minnesota Discovery Center. The exhibits show how scientists and engineers work together to make the world a safer place.

Interactive exhibits include the Earthquake Shake Table where budding earthquake engineers can design and build structures and test them on a mini shake table. Visitors can also learn about the NEES network and its earthquake simulation equipment located at 14 sites across the country.

In the fall, the exhibit moves to The Gateway Science Museum in Chico, California. And next spring, the museum will include a Tsunami exhibit.

For details about the exhibits, visit the When the Earth Shakes website.


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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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