NEEShub services are beginning to be phased out. Please begin using DesignSafe ( Please submit a support ticket ( if you need any assistance.


Support Options

Submit a Support Ticket

You are here: Home
NEES Community Update - Dec 2013

Research News

In The Network

Outreach News

Upcoming Events & Deadlines


Jan 3
Registration deadline for Northridge 20 Symposium, Los Angeles

Registration Details

Jan 16-17
Northridge 20 Symposium, Los Angeles

See Event Details

Feb 17
Deadline for NEESreu applications

Registration Details

Feb 22
Mini-Wave Tank at Discover Engineering Family Day, Washington DC

See Event Details

July 21-25
10CEE meeting, Anchorage, Alaska

See Event Details

Director's Letter

Greetings everyone:

On December 6, the NEES Governance Board met to discuss priorities for the final year of the NEES Ops Cooperative Agreement between NSF and Purdue University. The new officers of the Governance Board were installed, Lelio Mejia, chair, and Glenn Rix, vice chair. In addition to Glenn Rix, board members Nancy Healy, Chris Rojahn, and Ken Elwood agreed to continue serving for the final year, to provide continuity of guidance for the closing of the NEES award. They join Lelio Mejia, John Cobb, Mark Benthien, Padma Raghavan, Olga Cabello, Ron Klemencic and Greg Deierlein on the FY2014 NEES Board of Governance. The board will take a more active role in monitoring operations including closing of the current agreement and at the request of NSF assist NEEScomm in developing a plan for the sustainability of NEES beyond 2014. More on this topic in the near future; we are very thankful for their support!

Also in December, Japan’s E-Defense facility hosted the 10th annual meeting for planning U.S.-Japan research collaborations. Despite the uncertainties of NSF funding, the E-Defense group remains committed to a long-standing earthquake engineering partnership with NEES. The 10th planning meeting of this collaboration was convened by Prof. Mahin from UC Berkeley and Prof. Nakashima from DPRI. Among the attendees was NSF NEES program director, Dr. Joy Pauschke.

Read my report on the meeting, including a list of collaborative projects underway at E-Defense, below.

NEEScomm Director of Operations Dann Parker reports that, currently, testing schedules are on track. Data curator Standa Pejša reports that 145 research projects have been uploaded and curated -- however there is a slight increase in the number of projects still missing data. Please be prompt in uploading your test data! Thanks to all for ensuring that testing at the NEES sites is completed by September 30, 2014.


Julio Ramirez
NEES Chief Officer and NEEScomm Center Director

NEES/E-Defense Collaborative Earthquake Research Program 10th Planning Meeting

The Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) and the E-Defense facility of Japan hosted the Dec. 11th-13th meeting in Kyoto, Japan.

2014 marks the 10th year of National Science Foundation support for NEES. Since its inception, the network has endeavored to form strong partnerships with other large-scale testing facilities around the globe, foster strong research collaborations and form strong partnerships with the professional community, government agencies and international organizations. The development of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2005 with The National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) on earthquake engineering research using E-Defense and NEES Facilities was the first agreement with an international research facility. This formal agreement with its three key components: (i) access to facilities; (ii) sharing of data; and (iii) coordinated research planning has been a notable accomplishment with significant realizations in the collaborative research arena. Japan's E-Defense shake table, operated by NIED, is the world's largest multi-degree shake table.

More than 50 U.S. participants met with more than 30 researchers from Japan at DPRI to elucidate the future of this collaboration, building on lessons learned from this agreement and taking advantage of the enhanced capabilities of E-Defense and the 10 years of NSF support for the NEES facilities and cyberinfrastructure, to develop strategies to make the successful collaboration even better. The full agenda for the meeting can be found here.

Discussions were held in the areas of structures, geotechnical, protective systems and monitoring. The exchanges were focused on common topics of research in earthquake engineering and utilization of E-Defense, NEES facilities and cyberinfrastructure and strategies to improve a collaboration which already has resulted in groundbreaking tests, training of graduate and undergraduate students, numerous citations and invaluable data sharing with 5 public projects in the NEES Project Warehouse and 2 more in the process to become public:

Public Projects

1. Project 75 Shake Table Test Controlled Rocking of Steel-Framed Buildings PI: G. Deierlein (PUBLIC)

2. Project 254 E-Defense (Seismic Performance of Interlocking Spiral Columns and Rectangular Columns Based on Shake Table Tests) PI: S. Mahin (PUBLIC)

3. Project 361 Collaboration between E-Defense and NEES: Studying Pile Stress in Laterally Spread Ground PI: R. Boulanger (PUBLIC)

4. Project 571 - TIPS - Tools to Facilitate Widespread Use of Isolation and Protective Systems, a NEES/E-Defense Collaboration PI: K. Ryan

Experiment-3: Keri Ryan, Eiji Sato, Tomohiro Sasaki, Taichiro Okazaki, Jean Guzman, Nhan Dao, Siavash Soroushian, Camila Coria (2013). Full Scale 5-story Building with Triple Pendulum Bearings at E-Defense. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)(distributor). Dataset. DOI: 10.4231/D3X34MR7R (PUBLIC)

Experiment-4: Keri Ryan, Eiji Sato, Tomohiro Sasaki, Taichiro Okazaki, Jean Guzman, Nhan Dao, Siavash Soroushian, Camila Coria (2013). Full Scale 5-story Building with LRB/CLB Isolation System at E-Defense. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)(distributor). Dataset. DOI: 10.4231/D3SB3WZ43 (PUBLIC)

Experiment-5: Keri Ryan, Eiji Sato, Tomohiro Sasaki, Taichiro Okazaki, Jean Guzman, Nhan Dao, Siavash Soroushian, Camila Coria (2013). Full Scale 5-story Building in Fixed-Base Condition at E-Defense. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)(distributor). Dataset. DOI: 10.4231/D3NP1WJ3P (PUBLIC)

5. Project 895 Development of a Performance-Based Seismic Design Philosophy for Mid-Rise Woodframe Construction (Capstone test) PI: J. van de Lindt (PUBLIC)

Private projects

1. Project 1005 Full Scale Four-Story Reinforced Concrete and Post-Tensioned Concrete Buildings at E-Defense PI: J. Wallace (under 2 year embargo - expires this month)

2. Project 1168 NEES & E-Defense Collaboration: US Instrumentation and Data Processing of a Large Scale Experiment on Soil-Structure Interaction of Underground Structures at E-Defense, Japan PI: A. Lemnitzer. Still PRIVATE.

A highlight of the meeting included a field trip to the E-Defense laboratory. During the visit, participants learned about various upgrades, and witnessed an impressive test where a 1/3-scale model of a modern steel moment frame building structure was tested to collapse. (See photo abpve.)

Meeting participants, under the leadership of Professors Mahin and Nakashima, are preparing a full report on workshop activities and resolutions; the document will available to the community in early 2014. Stay tuned!


Project Warehouse update

In the first quarter of the FY 2014, the NEES data repository reached another important milestone: the NEEShub now holds more than 20 TB of research data.

The number of curated projects is steadily growing. (Click for a full-size graph.) 145 research projects comply with the NEES data publication schedule; of those, 104 of NEES and other NSF-funded projects were fully curated by mid-December 2013. There is a slight growth in number of non-compliant projects, i.e., projects missing data or lacking the metadata and documentation required by the NEES curation schedule. Non-compliant research teams have been notified of their curation status. With luck (and some practical New Year's resolutions!), non-compliant teams will attend to their data and metadata shortly, and our numbers will improve.

Please direct questions about data uploading and curation to NEEScomm Data Curator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Celestina Data: global data interoperability for earthquake engineers

As well as providing software tools and data for research engineers in the United States, the NEEShub will soon implement a new collaborative system to enable world-wide data integration, one which will support and benefit our engineering colleagues in Europe, Asia, and South America.

The system, dubbed Celestina Data (named for a clever matchmaker in Spanish literature) will enable shared data and tools from any access point around the globe to be used interchangeably. Research data having an impact on design decisions such as construction materials, building codes, and geotechnical issues would continue to be housed at regional database nodes, for instance from a specific nation or individual laboratory, which in turn will be able to communicate with each other in a seamless way. For instance, NEEShub users will be able to view, download and use remote data from other connected databases directly through the NEEShub.

Supporting the Celestina project at NEEScomm headquarters are NEES Mechanical and Civil Engineering Professor Shirley Dyke, NEEScomm IT director Brian Rohler, senior software engineer Gemez Marshall, and data curator Standa Pejša. To develop Celestina, the team is collaborating with researchers from Oxford University in England as well as from the Joint Research Centre, located in Ispra, Italy. Oxford civil engineering researcher Ignacio Lamata Martinez has begun the development process, based on his experience with distributed data for the European group, Seismic Engineering Research Infrastructure for European Synergies (SERIES).

The NEES team at Purdue foresees a rollout of a Celestina prototype to engineers and students in Europe by September 2014. After that, the group will focus on expanding Celestina to other nations that have relevant databases such as South Korea, Japan, China, South America, or anywhere in the world that deals with earthquakes.

NEES REU program applications now open

Next summer, 7 NEES equipment sites will host REU students: Oregon State, UCLA, UC San Diego, University of Illinois, Lehigh, University of Minnesota, and University of Nevada, Reno. This prestigious internship program is a dynamic, 10-week summer research opportunity for upper-division undergraduate students interested in civil, electrical, and computer engineering, or in computer science -- or in other fields related to seismic risk mitigation.

NEES REU students collaborate with graduate students and faculty on NEES-R projects, and they will present their work at the NEES annual meeting, which in 2014 coincides with the 10NCEE meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

Please encourage your students to apply at

The submission deadline is February 17th, 2014.

Floor anchorage shake testing at UC San Diego

This December and January, a shake table testing program is taking place at the NEES@UCSD Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Research Center. The NEESR project is "Inertial Force-Limiting Floor Anchorage Systems for Seismic Resistant Building," led at the University of Arizona by principal investigator Dr. Robert B. Fleischman, with co-investigators Dr. Jose I. Restrepo at University of California-San Diego (UCSD) and Dr. Richard Sause at Lehigh University.

The project involves the development of an innovative floor anchorage system that reduces inertial forces during earthquakes. The system uses a combination of energy dissipating connections (friction dampers or BRBs) with rubber bearings and bumpers between the floors and the walls to accomplish seismic force reduction.

The system has been tested successfully up to a Berkeley CA Design Earthquake in a 4-story half-scale concrete wall test-structure that produces bi-directional and twisting drifts due to its layout. The system will be tested in a Berkeley CA Maximum Earthquake to culminate the Phase 1 testing in 2013.

A phase 2 test will be performed in early January on a traditional (precast rocking wall) structure to provide a direct comparison to Phase 1. Comparative results will be provided at this time.

In phase 3 testing, the structure will be converted to a Precast Emulative Shear Wall with High Strength Reinforcement, and testing will take place Jan 13-15.

Find details about the project on the project home page, which includes the testing schedule. On testing days, live video is available here.

Discover-E Day at the U of Texas, El Paso

Thanks to NEES NSF funding for underrepresented student outreach, engineering faculty at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP) are developing innovative ways to teach structural engineering fundamentals to high school students.

The novel curriculum is part of the UTEP College of Engineering’s “Discover E” open house program, when high school students and teachers tour the College and take part in hands-on activities.

Engineers and outreach specialists Grace Yan from UTEP, Thalia Anagnos from San Jose State University and Anne Kiremidjian from Stanford University, all faculty studying large-scale space structures, designed several exciting engineering lessons.

In one, students take turns testing the dynamic properties of large, reticulated shell structure – with a hammer. In another activity, students construct their own Möbius strips, thereby learning its mathematical properties and practical uses. Also during Discover-E day, they use an activity designed by Alicia Lyman-Holt from NEES@Oregon State: Students generate mini tsunamis in plastic containers, and figure out how to reinforce foundations to prevent toy houses from being washed away.

After the event, 100% of the participants said they would recommend the Discover-E tour and activities to others and that they learned something new and interesting about earthquakes and engineering. Clearly, UTEP is motivating high-schooler’s interest in studying STEM!

For details about teaching these activities, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

For inclusion in future newsletters, email your news, announcements and calendar events to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Copyright © 2013 - NEEShub - All rights reserved.