NEES@UNR Wins National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Award!
Congratulations to Professor Ian Buckle and the NEES@UNR site at The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) for receiving a $12.2 million award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand and customize its facilities housing the NEES shake tables. The new 22,650 sq. ft. lab, to be completed by Fall 2013, will accommodate up to five large-capacity shake tables and allow for experiment configurations that are not possible now in the existing facility.
"This award from NIST will also enable the construction of an office block, an IT-equipped auditorium, and a 9,000 sq. ft. fabrication yard adjacent to the current laboratory," said Dr. Ian Buckle, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNR. "The building will house UNR's four NEES shake tables and provide a state-of-the-art environment for conducting cutting-edge research. The new strong floor is almost 30% larger than the existing one, and will allow an increase in the size and number of large-scale experiments that may conducted. The new floor is custom-designed for the four shake tables and large enough for the tables to be located in configurations not currently feasible, allowing studies on structural types not currently possible. This includes buildings with square and rectangular footprints, and foundations on large-scale laminar soil boxes."Further, the new facility will relieve pressure on critical floor space in the current laboratory and enable large-scale hybrid experiments (for example) to be undertaken on components that are too large, or too heavy, or both, for shake table testing. In many cases, these experiments will be complementary to those conducted on the tables and serve a similar purpose - understanding the failure mechanisms in structures in order to improve their performance during large earthquakes." According to Dr. Buckle, the scope of the project includes installation of hydraulic hardlines, manifolds, and accumulators, moving four shake tables from the current laboratory into the new facility, commissioning the tables, and furnishing the building for occupation. When complete, the total area of both the old and new laboratories will be in excess of 31,000 sq. ft., including strong floors, office space and the telepresence auditorium.
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