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NEES Update: March 2011

Posted in Announcements

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

NEES Update

March 2011

At approximately 1:00 AM (Eastern), USGS reported an estimated magnitude 8.8 M earthquake at a depth of 24 km, approximately 130 km east of the city of Sendai, Japan. Historically, this earthquake may be the largest ever recorded near a major modern urban area.

First, our heartfelt sympathy goes to the people of Japan in the face of this event. Perhaps no other country in the world invests more on disaster mitigation and no one is better prepared than our friends from Japan. Regretfully, loss of life has been reported in the order of 400 deaths with many still missing. This is the immediate concern. The damage to infrastructure and particularly nuclear facilities appears to be a grave concern at this time as well. The impact of tsunami waves to the Japan east coast so far reported appears to be significant, with Hawaii and the US west coast in close watch for possible arrival of waves resulting from this earthquake.

In the days to come many important lessons for the US from this event, no doubt will be distilled. NEES, as an indispensable national resource for researchers and educators focused on the mitigation of earthquake and tsunami risk in the US and abroad, is ready to serve the research and education needs arising from this unfortunate event. Indeed, the first item on this update on network activities goes right to the heart of the matter.

Joint JCI-ACI International Workshop on Seismic Rehabilitation and E-Defense Shake Table Testing in Japan

Participants at Joint JCI-ACI International Workshop on Seismic Rehabilitation

NEES Operations provided support for five participants to attend the Joint JCI-ACI International Workshop of Seismic Rehabilitation and E-Defense Shake Table Testing in Japan. Funded participants included: Jim Jirsa, Wassim Ghannoum, Ken Elwood, Kevin Mackie, and David Sanders. The Workshop was very successful in terms of exchange of information between US and Japanese researchers and practitioners working the in the field of seismic rehabilitation of concrete buildings. Presentations took place at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo on Dec. 13-14, 2010. The first day consisted of a plenary address by Professor Jim Jirsa, JCI seismic rehabilitation committee reports, and then the ACI committee reports (ACI 369 and 341). Dr. Jirsa’s full paper is available on at the following link: Research on Seismic Rehabilitation of RC Structures

The second day consisted of several key speakers including Professor Kawashima, Bill Holmes (of R&C), and Professors Jack Moehle and David Sanders, followed by paper presentations from Japanese speakers. Professor S.-J. Hwang also provided a presentation on the seismic rehabilitation of concrete school buildings in Taiwan.

After the workshop most of the international participants traveled to E-Defense on December 15 to witness full-scale shake table tests on two four-story concrete buildings: one cast-in-place and another post-tensioned, both with walls in one direction and frames in the other direction. This was a historical event as it is likely the first time a code-designed special moment frame has been subjected to a MCE level ground motion. Under the full-scale Kobe ground motion, both buildings performed well. Concrete crushing developed at the base of the cast-in-place RC shear wall and at bottom story columns for both buildings. However, it appeared from preliminary data from the test that the PT building was more flexible and underwent larger drifts. The testing was a joint effort between Japanese and NEES researchers, including several ACI 369 committee members. These tests will provide invaluable data for the assessment of seismic design provisions in both US and Japan.

Information Technology Updates

Release 2 Status

NEEShub Release 2 was moved to Production on February 16. Functionality enhancements in the release included delete capability for the Project Editor and PEN, an Advanced Search feature for the Project Display, an improved Quarterly reporting process for Equipment Sites, the Databases functionality, Performance improvements for the Home page, and the ability to run certain Windows tools within NEEShub. Initial work has begun towards reviewing the wish list wishes that will be considered for Release 3.

NEEShub Bootcamp

The first NEEShub Bootcamp webinar was held on February 4 with over 100 people attending. The purpose was to provide an interactive training session focused on data management and research collaboration tools. The Bootcamp participants provided many fantastic ideas. Additional Bootcamp sessions are planned for the Annual Meeting in June.

Workshop on Data Curation and Sharing Cyberinfrastructure for Earthquake Science

Data Workshop, Chicago

The Workshop on Data Curation and Sharing Cyberinfrastructure for Earthquake Science took place on February 7 in Chicago, IL. Representatives from several high volume-data cyberinfrastructure projects such as California Digital Library, iPlant, Earth System Grid, Ocean Observatories Initiative, Advanced National Seismic System, IRIS and NSF participated. Key topics included data quality, provenance, data curation, metadata, data management plans, data acquisition, and transmitting/storing/displaying large amounts of data. A report on the workshop outcomes will be made available to the community via the NEEShub this month.

NEES EOT activities

Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc (HASTI) Booth

NEEScomm EOT staff personnel, Sean Brophy, Tenille Medley, Jason Lloyd and Pamela McClure presented on Feb 11 at the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc (HASTI) conference held in Indianapolis. The conference was attended by over 3000 teachers. In the morning break-out session, teachers were given several ideas for making their own classroom version of shake tables& activities to do with them, along with demonstrations of liquefaction. The afternoon session had teachers making their own shake tables, and buildings towers out of materials supplied to use Make Your Own Earthquake sensors and technology.

Several hundred students were able to build Lego buildings in attempt to withstand the mini-wave that was part of the exhibit NEES@OSU Outreach Coordinator Alicia Lyman-Holt, Howard professor Claudia Marin-Artieda, Tenille Medley from NEEScomm EOT, students from Howard University and Oregon State University, and volunteers from NSF educated thousands of children and their families about tsunamis during the Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Science Museum in Washington DC on February 20.

Howard Students Day 2011

Using the NEES mini-wave flume, developed at the NEES@OSU site, children built “tsunami-resistant structures” and tested their performance against oncoming waves. NEES Ambassadors from Howard University and Oregon State University also shared their excitement about the engineering profession and the path K-12 students can follow to enter engineering careers.

New Hires at NEEScomm

Keith Adams

Pamela Mcclure

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Keith Adams will be joining NEEScomm on March 14, 2011, as the new Director for Education, Outreach, and Training. Dr. Adams retired from the U. S. Navy in 1997 as a Commander. Dr. Adams brings to NEES a unique blend of innovative talent, real world problems solving skills and academic achievement. As the new Director of EOT, we look forward to his infusion of unbridled enthusiasm for education and learning into this program.

Pamela McClure joined NEEScomm March 8, 2011 as the Instructional Designer. She previously was the Outreach Coordinator for Purdue’s College of Science Outreach Department, where she worked with U.S. Department of Education grants in Indiana Public schools that taught inquiry-based lessons to teachers.

NSF Site Visit Team, Dr. Joy Pauschke, NEES Program Director,
NEEScomm Team and NEES@UIUC Team at the UIUC equipment site

NSF Business System Review of NEES

On February 28, a NSF team conducted a review of the business system of NEES at the NEEScomm Center. As part of the review, NSF reviewers and NEEScomm staff visited the equipment site NEES@UIUC. The purpose of the review is to shore-up the business side of the network as part of the ongoing evaluation by NSF of the future of NEES.

Remember to SAVE THE DATE: 2011 MCEER/NEES Joint Annual Meeting June 9-11 in Buffalo, NY.

Thank you,


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