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Julio Ramirez, Director of NEES Operations, provides the NEES community with an informal update of NEES activities.

NEES Update

December 2011




In this month’s Update the following items can be found in further detail: 

  • 2nd Workshop on China-US Collaboration for Disaster Evolution/Resilience of Civil Infrastructure and Urban Environment, Shanghai China, December 9-10, 2011.
  • The Fourth Kwang-Hua Forum and Opening Symposium of Tongji Shaking Table Array
  • Important Study in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Reminders of Upcoming NEEShub usability study, Webinars and Competition

On behalf of NEEScomm, I wish you all a successful 2012!

2nd Workshop on China-US Collaboration for Disaster Evolution/Resilience of Civil Infrastructure and Urban Environment

The workshop was sponsored by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The venue for the workshop was the Days Hotel Tongji Shanghai, China on December 9-10, 2010.

The Workshop Steering Committee consisted of Profs. Jinping OU and Gang LI (Dalian Technical University, China), Profs. Julio RAMIREZ and Shirley DYKE (Purdue University), and Prof. Bill Spencer Jr. (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).

The workshop agenda included a combination of keynote lectures from China and USA representatives and working sessions structured around the topics of Simulation and Monitoring. The 2nd Workshop was built upon the objectives of the 1st Workshop held at Purdue University, August 23-24, 2010.


The purpose of the two workshops is to

(i) generate opportunities for research collaboration using facilities and data exchange,

(ii) discuss testbeds where researchers can engage in the validation of models and simulation tools, and

(iii) provide a forum where researchers and funding agencies from China and the USA can discuss and promote synergistic collaboration, as well as the linkages necessary to facilitate this collaboration.


The ultimate objective of this workshop is to establish partnerships to improve the disaster evolution/resilience of civil infrastructure and urban environment in both countries and around the world. Representing NEES researchers and NEEScomm at the workshop were:

  • Prof. Julio RAMIREZ, Purdue University (US Delegation Leader) (Simulation)
  • Prof. JoAnn BROWNING, University of Kansas (NEEScomm Representative) (Monitoring)
  • Prof. Bill SPENCER Jr., University of Illinois (US Working Group Leader, Monitoring)
  • Prof. Satish NAGARAJAIAH, Rice University
  • Prof. Kerop D. JANOYAN (Clarkson University, USA)
  • Prof. Hoon SOHN, KAIST (currently, visiting professor at Purdue University)
  • Prof. Ming WANG, Northeastern University
  • Prof. Shirley DYKE (US Working Group Leader, Simulation)
  • Prof. Jian ZHANG (UCLA)
  • Prof. Mettupalayam SIVASELVAN "Siva" (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Prof. Gilberto MOSQUEDA (State University of New York, Buffalo)
  • Prof. Narutoshi NAKATA (Johns Hopkins University)

Look for the workshop final report in February on the NEEShub at

The Fourth Kwang-Hua Forum and Opening Symposium of Tongji Shaking Table Array



During the past few years, the world has experienced several strong earthquakes, which include the 2008 China Wenchuan Earthquake, in 2010 the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, and in 2011, the Christchurch New Zealand and the Great East Japan Earthquakes. Large number of casualties and economic loss caused by those earthquakes refocused the relationship of earthquake resilience and sustainable communities and the need for a sustained research effort to improve the earthquake resilience of our societies. Large-scale experimental research please key role in improving our knowledge of seismic behavior and in the development of improved construction techniques and design methods. On December 10-13 in conjunction with the 4th Kwang-Hua Forum, Tongji University celebrated the Opening Symposium of the “Multi-functional Shake Tables Lab”. This world-class facility supported by the 985-project program (Phase II) of Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, is scheduled to be fully operational on May, 2012.  Link to document

NEEScomm Center Director, Prof. Julio Ramirez is currently working with Prof. Xilin Lu, Vice Director and Cheung Kong Scholars Professor, and Prof. Jianzhong Li, Director of the Multi-functional Shake Tables Lab”, on the draft of a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the implementation of joint research on earthquake engineering, utilizing NEES facilities and the “Multi-functional Shake Tables Lab”.

RAPID Project Collects Valuable Data


Christchurch, New Zealand has offered a unique opportunity for NEES@UCLA to setup an equipment site in an earthquake zone with frequent activity still occurring from the September 4, 2010 quake.   Since July 2011, the study is part of a NSF RAPID project being led by principal investigator Henri Gavin of Duke University.   A modern based-isolated structure, Christchurch Women’s Hospital, serves as the study site and has been outfitted with instrumentation. The equipment measures the isolator displacement and accelerations of the aftershocks and quakes. Most recently on December 22, 2011, there was a significant series of earthquakes, including M5.8, M5.3, M6.0, and M5.1 that occurred within a few hours of each other.

The objective of this Rapid Research Response (RAPID) award is to collect perishable data on the seismic response of the base-isolated Christchurch Women's Hospital during the sequence of strong earthquakes and aftershocks in Canterbury, New Zealand from September 2010 through 2011. The relatively high probability of additional strong aftershocks in 2011 presents a unique opportunity to capture high-fidelity data on the performance of a modern seismically-isolated structure. Understanding soil-foundation-structure interactions and coupled-structure interactions in base-isolated buildings is needed for advancing knowledge and future implementation of this method of seismic hazard mitigation. 

NEES looks forward to hearing more about the findings as NEES@UCLA completes their study.

Help Improve NEEShub

Key to the NEES efforts is the NEEShub website, which enables the scientific community to share resources and collaborate. NEEScomm will be looking for people to take part in a Usability Study of NEEShub, to help us identify improvements to the website. The study will take place with you at your own computer speaking on the phone with a usability researcher. You will be asked to do some tasks on the website and to answer some questions. Sessions will be 1-hour long. NEEScomm will be assisted by TecEd (, an independent research firm, to ensure unbiased facilitation and objective data collection. To apply for participation, please click on this link, or copy this link into your browser:

If you meet the study criteria, TecEd will contact you to schedule a research session.

We greatly appreciate your input to this effort! Stay-tuned for more in the next few days!

Tremendous Response to Recent Webinar

A webinar that took place on December 14, 2011 titled “Shear-wave Velocity Profiling and Its Importance to Seismic Design” was our most popular yet. We actually exceeded the registration capacity of WebEx of 500 participants. With over 400 connections and some of them in large groups, the actual attendance was a welcoming surprise. “Shear Wave Velocity Profiling” is the third in a series of Research to Practice webinars co-produced by the NEES and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institution (EERI).

In this presentation, Professor Ken Stokoe, University of Texas, Austin and Ivan Wong, Principal Seismologist, URS Corporation discussed the importance of shear-wave velocity profiling in seismic design, its uses, misuses and uncertainties. Case histories were used to illustrate shear-wave profiling with the SASW method and to show uses of Vs data in range of seismic design applications.

The next webinar in the series is scheduled for February 15, 2012. Watch NEEShub for more details.

NEEShub Contribution Competition

We are still accepting new contributions to NEEShub for the competition.  The competition began at the beginning of the month and will conclude on January 31, 2012. If you have not contributed yet or need ideas, click here for the details!

Save the Date

NEES in conjunction with CMMI will hold our annual meeting in Boston this year, July 10th-12th. Be sure to mark these dates on your calendar and plan to attend!   Watch NEEShub and e-mail announcements for more details on how to register.


Thank you,


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director, NEES Operations
Purdue University