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NEES Community Update - September-October 2012

               To view online, click here.

Research News
In the Network
Outreach News

2012-13 Upcoming Events

October 18
The Great Shakeout

"Planned Earthquake Drill" Anyone in Arizona, Alaska, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington and Southeast states are encouraged to participate, from a single individual at their home to a major company at the office.  

Do other states have a planned drill?  YES!  Check the website for details and plan your earthquake drill today.

In collaboration with NEES@OSU and the Great ShakeOut, a teacher resource page has been added to the NEEShub.  Includes teacher lessons, videos, and interactive maps.  See link for more.

For more about The Great ShakeOut and how to register for events in your state, visit:

October 24, 25, 29, 30
EERI - Learning from Recent Major Earthquakes:  Lessons for Practice, with support from FEMA/Dept. of Homeland Security
Read more …

January 1, 2013
Application Deadline for 2013 NSF Career Proposal Writing Workshop

Read more …

Director's Letter

NEES2:  The Dear Colleague Letter NSF 12-107

The letter announced that the National Science Foundation Directorate (NSF) for Engineering (ENG) will continue to support earthquake engineering research infrastructure. ENG intends during FY 2013 and FY 2014 to recompete all phases of earthquake engineering research infrastructure operations for support during FY 2015 - FY 2019, to create the "NEES2" research infrastructure. Recompeted tasks will include the management headquarters, cyberinfrastructure, experimental facilities, and education, outreach and training activities. All recompeted tasks will be supported under one cooperative agreement for the management of NEES2 operations for FY 2015 - FY2019.

 In NSF 12-107, NSF also announced its intention to support Research Planning Grants to Utilize NEES2 Experimental Facilities: During FY 2013 and FY 2014, to provide continuity in support to the earthquake engineering research community. ENG intends to support planning grants, using a revised NEES Research solicitation, to support research investigations that could eventually require use of NEES2 facilities. The planning grants could involve material and component testing and develop preliminary plans for systems level testing. More information on the details of the planning grants can be found in 12-107. ENG plans to issue a revised NEESR solicitation in November 2012, with at least a 90-day window for full proposal submission. Stay tuned!

Two important aspects associated with the completion of ten years of National Science Foundation (NSF) support for operations and research at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2014, are completion of testing at the equipment sites and curation of data from NEES work.

Site Scheduling

With the impending deadline of September 30, 2014 for completion of all testing at NEES facilities, we cannot stress enough the importance of staying on schedule at all of the NEES equipment sites. Please work with the site managers to mitigate the risk of schedule slip. NEEScomm Site Operations Director Dann Parker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is ready to support researchers and site managers in this important task.


Researchers generating valuable data understand well the character and structure of those data. Preservation and long-term access to valuable data are extremely important if those data need to be shared over geographic distance and over period of time. Data must be well documented, so that other researchers are able to use the information to generate new knowledge and thus multiply the value of data by means of re-use The purpose of curation is to help researchers make data available and accessible, while curation is a service that helps research teams to understand data management and preservation; the Project Warehouse ( provides structure for storing and organizing the earthquake engineering research. The Project Warehouse also facilitates consistency for delivery of data sets. Researchers welcome this consistency as they access data from an area with which may be less familiar.

Once research teams complete archiving activities and meet all curation requirements, their datasets will be available and accessible to the communities of researchers and practitioners for years to come. Datasets archived in the Project Warehouse (NEES Central Data Repository) are accessible worldwide, and published as a citable resource with a persistent identifier - DOI.

If you have any questions or comments regarding curation or archiving of research data the NEEScomm curator, Stanislav Pejša, is available at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Curation documentation is available at:

NEEScomm Requirements for Curation and Archiving of Research Data

NEEScomm Guidelines for Data Upload

To read the Dear Colleague Letter NSF 12-107, click here.


Julio Ramirez
NEES Chief Officer and NEEScomm Center Director



Levee Testing in The Netherlands

Civil engineers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were part of an international research team that collapsed a full-scale levee last month in The Netherlands. The test levee was embedded with advanced sensors and traditional measurement instruments, and results of the study are expected to help validate powerful new technologies for monitoring the health of aging flood-control infrastructure. RPI researchers are working in collaboration with Professor Tarek Abdoun* and Assistant Professor Victoria Gene Bennett, both faculty members of the Rensselaer Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (CEES), which is part of the NEES network.

Read Full Article

Photo Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Related Recent NEES Research:

NEESR-II: Evaluation of Seismic Levee Deformation Potential by Destructive Cyclic Field Testing. Testing took place in August 2012, NEES@UCLA. Scott Brandenberg, Principal Investigator   Read More


Earthquake Lab Expansion Progression

The NEES@UNR facility is best known for its four shake-table array; three biaxial shake tables and one six-degree-of-freedom table. Fast-forward to Fall 2013 and NEES researchers will reap the benefit of more than double the floor space and will see an increase in the number of projects utilizing NEES@UNR at one time. The four NEES shake tables will be moved to the new laboratory up completion, which was custom-designed for this purpose. Hydraulic and controller upgrades will be installed to improve the performance and flexibility. There will also be a new auditorium enabling students and researchers to participate in off-site research projects in real-time.

For more about the expansion project funded by the National Institute for Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Energy, and UNR, see the 2011-12 Activity Highlights.

Photo Gallery and Time Lapse Video

Photo Credit: University of Nevada-Reno


NEEShub Release 4.5

The NEEShub Release 4.5 is set for November 14, 2012.  Here are a few highlights for the upcoming release:

  • Ability to request a new JEE or ACI Database article
  • Two new Usage Metrics tabs (Tools and Project Warehouse data)
  • Citations improvements
  • Acknowledgement file with Project Warehouse data downloads
  • Project Warehouse and Project Editor Usability Improvements (per findings from the TecEd Usability Study)
  • Copy functionality for Specimen, Component and Material

Watch for more details on the NEEShub and a special announcement in your e-mail!


New Publication in NEES ACI Publications Database

There is a new publication located in Databases on Neeshub from the September/October 2012 issue of ACI.  The new publication "Unbonded Tendon Stresses in Post-Tensioned Concrete Walls at Nominal Flexural Strength," was written by Richard S. Henry, Sri Sritharan, and Jason M. Ingram.

 Browse, view and download the new resources at:


  New Site Manager at NEES@UIUC

The NEES equipment site at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is pleased to announce that Mike Johnson, P.E. is the new site operations manager.  "As a graduate of Illinois, and having had the opportunity to work with the Civil Engineering Department in my previous jobs, both as a contributor and customer, I was very excited for the opportunity to come and work the highly talented faculty, staff, and students and I have not been disappointed. Mike obtained his B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the department of General Engineering with additional graduate level coursework in geotechnical engineering and foundations,” said Johnson. Mike has worked for the past thirteen years in the prestressed concrete industry. He has already proven to be a great asset to our management team and we look forward to seeing many great projects from NEES@UIUC as a result of his new role. Johnson added, “I am learning from them everyday and I look forward to the exciting testing that we have scheduled in the MUST-SIM facility.”



  NEES Exemplified as a "Big Data" Service

The Library of Congress was recently quoted using the NEES as a distinguished example of service to researchers including data preservation, reuse, analysis and visualization. The blog entitled “Big Data and the Dawn of the Super Researcher” discussed presentations at the Digital Preservation 2012 meeting, including that of Leslie Johnston from the Library of Congress. Here is a quick excerpt of that discussion:

 “Working with “big data” will increasingly require high-performance computational resources. Johnston said it could be a cluster or a series of parallel computers. The more important thing is that the researcher needs massive computation power to work with a large volume of data. It doesn’t have to reside on her laptop; she can access it online through telepresence. “Or maybe regional, discipline-based high-performance computing centers that permit access,” said Johnston. “NEES (the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation) is a good example of that. They have a service where researchers uploaded data into their data repositories for preservation but also for reuse. And they have telepresence computing where you can use the data where it sits on their machine and do some of the analysis and visualization right there, using their computing resources without ever bringing the data locally.”

Read Blog

Photo Credit: Library of Congress



NEES was well represented at the 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Lisbon, Portugal in last month.  Of particular interest were the two special sessions led by NEES and our European partners with standing room only on the final day. Many researchers visited the NEES booth featuring NEEShub demonstrations.  We would like to thank all of those who presented posters, oral presentations and helped at the NEES booth.

Did you present at the 15WCEE and want to share with the NEES community? Contact Teresa Morris This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your oral presentations and posters.

Photo Credit: 15th World Conference for Engineering Education, Monica A. F.


2012 Southern California Earthquake Center Annual Meeting

The NEES@University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) presented the workshop “Using Earthquake Field Data in Research and Education” at the 2012 SCEC Annual Meeting held in Palm Springs, California last month.   Participants were bussed to the Garner Valley site where three types of experiments were stationed for hands-on activities. Several NEES personnel were present to lead the experiments, including Jamie Steidl, Sandy Seale, both from NEES@UCSB and Bob Nigbor from NEES@UCLA.

Were you there?   Be sure the check out the many great photos posted on NEES@UCSB’s Facebook page.

More about NEES@USCB  |  The NEES@UCSB facility consists of permanently-instrumented geotechnical test sites designed to improve our understanding of the effects of surface geology on strong ground motion. The instrumentation at these sites includes surface and borehole arrays of accelerometers and pore pressure transducers designed to record strong ground motions, excess pore pressure generation and liquefaction that occurs during large earthquakes. An instrumented structure is also monitored to improve our understanding of soil-foundation-structure interaction (SFSI) effects.

Photo Credit: Sandy Seale, NEES@UCSB

Find Us on the Web

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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