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NEES Community Update - November 2013

Research News

In The Network

Outreach News

Upcoming Events & Deadlines


December 6
Governance Board Meeting
San Francisco


December 11
NEES/E-Defense Planning Meeting
Kyoto, Japan

See Event Details


Jan 16 & 17
Northridge 20 Symposium
Los Angeles

See Event Details

Director's Letter

Greetings to all!

Next month the E-Defense facility is hosting the NEES/E-Defense Collaborative Earthquake Research Program 10th Planning Meeting at Kyoto University, where more than 50 US participants will meet with potential collaborators from Japan and get an overview and tour of the substantial E-Defense facility upgrades, discuss results of current project collaborations, and plan ways to continue the U.S./Japan earthquake engineering collaborations. Currently, the US does not have a large 3D shaking table. Thus, the NEES/E-Defense collaborative research program provides a unique opportunity to US researchers to access this great facility in Japan with its unique capabilities.

For the current and next phase of research, it is desirable for US researchers to collaborate with our Japanese colleagues to find important and challenging technological engineering problems that can be effectively addressed using the E-Defense earthquake simulator and its new upgrades. I look forward to sharing with you the list priorities for future US-Japan collaborative research. More information about the meeting can be found on the NEES/E-Defense page.


Julio Ramirez
NEES Chief Officer and NEEScomm Center Director

EERI letter to NSF on the future of earthquake engineering research

Many of us in the earthquake engineering community are apprehensive about the National Science Foundation’s decision not to fund an operations award for NEES2. In the latest issue of the EERI's Pulse of Earthquake Engineering newsletter, Ian Buckle, current president of EERI, shared with the community his letter of concern to the NSF, on behalf of the EERI Board of Directors, expressing uneasiness about the decision not to fund NEES2 and about the lack of information from the NSF regarding the future of earthquake engineering research. Read the full content of Dr. Buckle’s letter at the EERI website.

Although the NSF has not yet disclosed its plans for the next phase of the plans for earthquake engineering research, I wish to reassure you that, given the research and data curation still underway, the NEEShub will remain the nation’s primary source for earthquake engineering data. In this month’s community update you will discover details about curated and public projects, which are now conveniently listed on the NEES home page. Also, in this issue you will learn about DataStore, a fantastic new resource that allows members to easily upload whole databases to the NEEShub.

NEES home page updates

In November, in a continuing effort to better serve the user community, NEEScomm made four important changes to On the home page, visitors now can browse public and recently curated projects, see a list of current events, and check out the latest NEES research news.

  • Recently curated projects. Under this heading, see a list, by date, of the most recently completed projects. Click project titles for Project Warehouse details and files.
  • Full list of curated and public projects. Click this home page link to browse a running list of NEES projects that contain experiment data. Mouse over titles for summary statements.
  • List of events. NEES-related events now are listed on the home page. Click titles for more info. (Equipment site event submissions are encouraged!)
  • NEES newsroom. On the right-hand side of the home page, click the NEES Newsroom button for a list of current news and feature stories about NEES research.

Northridge 20 Symposium
Jan 16 & 17

On January 17, 1994, at 4:31 am local time, an earthquake struck the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles. The temblor lasted between 10 and 20 seconds, and the ground acceleration of this 6.7 magnitude earthquake was one of the highest ever-recorded in urban North America. The disaster caused 57 deaths, thousands of injuries, and over $20B in direct property damage.

In the earthquake engineering community, the effects of the Northridge earthquake are still being felt today.

To assess the outcomes of this watershed event, the Northridge 20 Symposium takes place January 16 & 17 in Los Angeles. This multidisciplinary colloquium brings together policy makers, engineers, earth scientists, insurance and financial-services professionals, building owners and others to discuss and synthesize the subsequent changes to building codes, the re-examination of effects for seismic sources, and the drastic modifications to the risk assessment and insurance sectors.

The registration fee is $50 for both days. Register before Dec. 1 for a 20% discount. Student registration is $25. For more information, visit the Northridge 20 website.

NEES@UC San Diego wins Popular Science award

The editors at Popular Science magazine recently recognized UCSD’s Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table (LH POST) with its annual “Best of What’s New” award. Popular Science is the country’s 4th largest men’s magazine, and its PopSci website receives more than 8 million page views per month. Exposure in high-profile publications is a terrific way to introduce the general public to earthquake engineering.

The honor for NEES@UC San Diego appears in December’s print issue of Popular Science. The award also appears on the PopSci website. For more information and photos, visit the NEES newsroom.

In case you missed it, the UCSD shake table also was featured on the Nova series "Making Stuff Work," on November 6. Watch the segment here; set the slider to the 25 minute mark.

The NEEShub DataStore: facilitating data re-use

A collaboration between engineers and computer scientists has resulted in “DataStore,” a new, simple-to-use NEEShub component that enables users to generate databases from spreadsheets. DataStore databases can be searched, analyzed, and shared by all NEEShub users, making it even easier to share and re-use earthquake engineering data.

To illustrate the ease-of-use of this new resource, the development team used DataStore to recreate the ACI 445 Punching Shear Collected Databank, which the American Concrete Institute committee 445C can now collaboratively update on the NEEShub. In coming weeks, NEEScomm and the DataStore development team will present a webinar introducing the application. In the meantime, NEEShub users are welcome to test and explore DataStore on their own. Ample documentation, including a video tutorial, is available on the NEEShub.

For more information and access to DataStore, visit the NEEShub. Users with questions should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Now shipping: NEES shake tables

A set of low-cost, educational shake tables are the culmination of two years of development in Purdue’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) lab, under the direction of EOT team leader Sean Brophy of Purdue. Three of the 12 educational shake tables are on their way to EOT coordinators at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and Howard University. Each site will be using the tables for K-12 outreach activities.

The aluminum-framed, servo-run tables have Plexiglas sides, which enable students to see the table mechanism in action. The total cost of each educational shake table is $540, a very low price for this long-lasting educational tool.

Nine more educational shake tables will be shipped to NEES sites by January. We look forward to learning about the resulting activities!

Next month under the EOT column, learn about the intriguing new outreach programs underway at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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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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