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NEES Overview

Please click to view Challenge, Mission, Vision of NEES and to view the NEES Strategic Plan.

NEES focuses on accelerating innovations in infrastructure design and construction practices to minimize damage during earthquakes or tsunamis.


This overview section provides an overview of the NEES Operations and also the Challenges, Vision and Mission of NEES. The Strategic Plan can also be accessed from this page.

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People and communities world-wide are significantly impacted when they experience an earthquake or tsunami, not only at risk of losing life or property but in dealing with the chaos caused by the disruption of services that meet basic needs of water, food and shelter.

The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to aggressively move forward the development of improvements and innovations in infrastructure design and construction practices to prevent or minimize damage during such an event.

Earthquake engineering researchers and students have the opportunity through the NEES collaboratory of 14 experimental equipment sites and a robust cyberinfrastructure featuring online simulation tools to conduct more advanced research of designs, materials, construction techniques and monitoring tools. Research results will enable engineers to develop better and more cost-effective ways of mitigating earthquake damage.

NEES also plays a major role in developing next generation earthquake and tsunami engineers, offering education, outreach and training for K-16 students, graduate students, educators, and researchers. The highly successful Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program offers upper division undergraduate students a chance to work with NEES researchers on individual projects that contribute to the goals of an existing NEES research project or the opportunity to develop cyberinfrastructure tools and/or educational modules. The NEESacademy is an excellent resource for teachers of all student ages to find engaging activities for classroom demonstrations or individual inquiry activities. Professionals may access illuminating reports on research projects and their impact or participate in quality seminars and webinars sponsored by NEES affiliated projects and professional partnerships.

Application Screenshot NEES network features 14 geographically-distributed, shared-use laboratories that support several types of experimental work: geotechnical centrifuge research, shake table tests, large-scale structural testing, tsunami wave basin experiments, and field site research. Participating universities include: Cornell University, Lehigh University, Oregon State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo, SUNY,University of California, Berkeley,University of California, Davis,University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Diego,University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota, University of Nevada, Reno and University of Texas, Austin.

The equipment sites (labs) and a central data repository are connected to the global earthquake engineering community via the NEEShub, a website that is more than a website. The NEES website,, is powered by HUBzero software developed at Purdue University specifically to help the scientific community share resources and collaborate. The cyberinfrastructure, connected via Internet2, provides interactive simulation tools, a simulation tool development area, a curated central data repository, animated presentations, user support, telepresence, mechanism for uploading and sharing resources and statistics about users, and usage patterns. 

These resources jointly provide the means for collaboration and discovery to improve the seismic design and performance of civil and mechanical infrastructure systems.

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Challenge, Mission, Vision

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Our Challenge

Reduce the impact of earthquakes and tsunamis on society through research, engineering, science, and education.

Our Mission

NEES’s mission is to accelerate improvements in seismic design and performance by serving as an indispensible collaboratory for discovery and innovation.

Our Vision

In order to meet the challenge to “reduce the impact of earthquakes and tsunamis on society through research, engineering, science, and education,” NEES will develop an active collaboratory, a laboratory without walls for a large user-base composed of researchers, practitioners, students, and the public at large. At the center of this collaboratory will be the NEEShub, the central access point to the following:

  • robust, high-quality software tools and databases for performing research,
  • collaborative capabilities for researchers and for practitioners to perform research and transform that research into practice, and
  • the NEESacademy, which provides education for all NEES members. With enhanced capabilities at the NEES experimental facilities, researchers will be performing the research required to drive innovative engineering solutions. Through active communications and collaborative partnerships, NEES will influence research, engineering, and policy. Through broad and effective education and outreach, NEES will help create the research and engineering leaders of tomorrow.

Our vision will be realized through the following critical achievements:

  • Through NEES and its partnerships, researchers will have access to the world's best integrated state-of-the art physical simulation facilities.
  • NEES will be a cyber-enabled community that shares ideas, data, computational tools and models.
  • NEES will play a significant role in the education and training for the next generation of earthquake-engineering researchers and practitioners.
  • NEES will have partnerships with organizations to support the dissemination of research results and the reduction of risks of seismic disasters by transferring these results into practice.
  • NEES will be a global community achieving excellence in research and education efforts to mitigate earthquake and tsunami risk to life and will serve as a model to other engineering and science communities facing similar challenges.

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Strategic Plan


Please click to view or download the Strategic Plan which identifies core values and strategic aims to achieve the NEES vision and mission.


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