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

NEES Update

October 2011




This issue focuses on contributions to the NEEShub from the earthquake engineering community, the power of publishing these contributions, examples of important contributions and how you can contribute.  Also find out about the opportunity for you to compete for awards in the category of contributions!

Why are your contributions important to the NEES community?

Through its research, the NEES community is advancing our understanding of earthquake and tsunami impacts and developing innovative approaches to mitigating these impacts. Using the NEEShub will broaden the dissemination of your research findings by contributing data and reports.  Sharing data, simulation tools, computational models, learning objects, and promoting collaboration, NEES can accelerate the pace of earthquake engineering research and the deployment of solutions to complex problems in earthquake hazard reduction.

Examples of Contributions from the Community on the NEEShub

Anna Birely

Wish List

NEEScomm welcomes an actively growing wish list! Your wish list contributions are a sign that NEEShub is being used by the community and that NEEShub users have ideas for innovative new features to improve and evolve the system.   If you have functionality that you would like to see added to NEEShub, go to to learn more and make your contribution.

This month we are highlighting a star contributor to the Wish List Anna Birely, Civil Engineering Graduate Student with University of Washington. Principal investigators Laura Lowes and Dawn Lehman oversee Anna’s current project “Behavior, Analysis, and Design of Complex Wall Systems”. Anna has contributed 8 wishes since April 2011. Her wishes suggest improvements across a variety of areas including Project Editor, inDEED, and Wikis. Many of Anna’s ideas address ways to improve the usability of NEEShub, which is definitely a high priority for the NEEScomm Team and we would like to thank Anna for her outstanding contributions!

Learning Resources Enriches K-12 Curriculum

NEESacademy located on NEEShub is becoming the primary resource for learning about earthquake engineering and the discoveries produced by the NEES community.  Classroom teachers and outreach coordinators can find great lessons developed by researchers, NEES REU students, and the Education, Outreach, and Training (EOT) team supporting engineering, technology and science standards. Creative lessons and inquiry activities about tsunami and earthquake engineering are engaging students like never before.

After a recent visit to an Indiana middle school where the NEEScomm EOT team used the 16-foot simulated wave tank for an inquiry activity, one sixth-grade student wrote, “I learned that engineers use simulators instead of the actual thing so that they can be prepared. I thought that the tsunami simulator was very interesting because I have never seen one before. I thought it was amazing to know that you can actually make something like that. When I get older, I think it would be an unbelievable job to have, inventing ways to make life easier.” Another student added, “If you guys did not come to our school, I never thought I would want to be an engineer.  I think I want to be an engineer someday.”

Do you have a lesson or student activity to contribute to NEESacademy? Here is an example of how one research team turned their project into a 5-day series of lessons.

Amy Cerato

Amy Cerato, Amirata Taghavi, Kanthasamy Muraleetharan and Gerald Miller from the University of Oklahoma have submitted their latest research to NEESacademy. Their report “Understanding and Improving the Seismic Behavior of Pile foundations in Soft Clays: An Educational Module” is available in its entirety at Cerato wrote the January 2011 report into a 5-day series of lessons called “Understanding how Earthquakes Affect Built Environment” and is now available on NEESacademy at  This lesson series was initially written for 8th graders, but could also be used at various educational levels, from elementary to undergraduate level with appropriate modifications. Well done, Amy! To learn more about Amy’s contributions, see her profile page on the NEEShub.

It’s Your Turn

Contributing your ideas is elementary! Using your free NEEShub membership, login and click on Contribute found in the “Tools & Resources” menu tab.   Find the “Learning Objects” link and follow the screen guide. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Pamela McClure, EOT Instructional Designer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (765) 496-3134.

Databases:  Get Published

Have you ever read a journal paper and thought, “I really would like to use those data sets?” NEES and the Journal of Earthquake Engineering have recently partnered to enable access to high quality data from JEE journal articles. The powerful capabilities of the NEEShub are making it possible for authors to publish experimental data from journal articles that would be of interest to other researchers. There is no longer a need to perform time consuming extraction of data from digital images, possibly resulting in errors and mis-interpretation. We anticipate that the wide availability of these important data sets will accelerate progress in achieving earthquake-resilient communities around the world.

Try Out the Databases!

Visit the main Database page for the list of manuscripts included so far. Help on using the Journal Article Database and contributing to a Journal Article can be found here. From the main Database page, you will find the specific manuscripts with authors and abstracts. Select a manuscript and you will see a list of figures, where you can plot the data in an interactive mode, or download the data files provided by the authors.

Authors from several manuscripts have published their data in the NEEShub Databases. For instance, two excellent examples are:

  • In a research paper in 2007, Bousias, Stathis and Fardis (1) tested six columns cyclically up to ultimate deformation after RC concrete jacketing to demonstrate that the force and deformation capacity and energy dissipation were sufficient for earthquake resistance, regardless of the presence or length of lap splicing.
  • In 2009, Prota, Cicco and Cosenza (2) presented the results of an experimental study to examine the cyclic behavior of smooth steel bars. The stress-strain relationship was analyzed for different values of L/D ratios.

(1) Bousias,S., Stathis, A. and Fardis, M. [2007] “Seismic Retrofitting of Columns with Lap Spliced Smooth Bars Through FRP or Concrete Jackets”, Journal of Earthquake Engineering 11, 653-674.

(2) Prota, A., Cicco, F. and Cosenza, E. [2009] “Cyclic Behavior of Smooth Steel Reinforcing Bars: Experimental Analysis and Modeling Issues”,  Journal of Earthquake Engineering 13, 500-519.

Data Published to Date

More data from recent articles are being published. We want YOU to be a part of this important partnership!

All users of the NEEShub are able to download the data from these articles, or use the integrated plotting tools in the NEEShub to view the data immediately in the NEEShub.

If you have already been published or in the process of being accepted in the Journal of Earthquake Engineering (JEE), we encourage you to contact us so that we may include your experimental data through the NEEShub. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

INDEEED example

What and how can you contribute?

Become a contributor and share your work with the community! Contributing content is easy. Our step-by-step forms found on NEEShub will guide you through the process. Read through the categories below. The links provided take you to the web page and walks you step-by-step!  For assistance or questions, please contact Dawn Weisman, NEEScomm Director of IT, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (765) 496-2276.

  • Active Documents - Active documents, pictures or videos that are current but not related to a Research type Project.
  • Computational Models - Computational models define a particular system (such as bridges, buildings or soils) and are used to study the system's behavior using computer simulations.
  • Historical Documents - Archived documents, pictures or videos not related to a research type project.
  • Learning Objects - These are lecture notes, assignments, presentations, modules, or other teaching materials.
  • Multimedia - These include images, videos, animations or references to YouTube videos on the NEES channel.
  • Publications - A publication is a paper relevant to the community that has been published in some manner.
  • Series - These are series of learning objects that form a seminar, workshop, or course.
  • Tools - A simulation tool is software that allows users to run a specific type of calculation.


NEEScomm is sponsoring a competition open to all NEES community members.

Who and How: All members who submit new category items and have submitted for review or have been approved on NEEShub during the competition timeline are considered participants and entered into the competition. There are no forms or applications to complete to qualify. See categories below that qualify active participants.

When: December 1, 2011 – January 31, 2012

Details: On February 1, 2012, NEEScomm will begin to gather all accepted items from the active users and perform an internal review for qualification. Qualifying activities include new activities, completed and in the review process on NEEShub. An internal vote of NEEScomm team members will create a ballot of top participants in each category. Voting will open on March 1, 2012 on Facebook and will end on March 10, 2012. Category winners will be recognized on NEEShub, at the annual meeting in Boston, July 9-12, 2012 and will have their registration fee waived!



Categories: (see links above for descriptions)

  • Active Documents (Top 3)
  • Historical Documents (Top 3)
  • Computational models (Top 5)
  • Multimedia (Top 3)
  • Publications (Top 5)
  • Tools (Top 5)
  • Learning Resources on NEESacademy (Top 3)
  • News and Highlight items – submit to Teresa Morris via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Top 3)
  • NEEShub Membership – On February 1, three random members will be picked and highlighted on the NEEShub. Memberships must be complete to qualify, including a photo and a bio description.

Questions? Contact Teresa Morris for more details (765) 496-3014 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What’s Next ?

IT UPDATE - Release 3.5 and 4.0 - Release 3.5 is in the final stages of testing with delivery on track for November 16.  In parallel to that effort, NEEScomm IT has reviewed, categorized, and organized the latest set of wishes as a starting point to the prioritization process for Release 4 expected in June 2012.  A total of 75 new wishes have been added to NEEShub since the last prioritization process.   NEEScomm welcomes an actively growing wish list since it is a sign that NEEShub is being used by the community and that NEEShub users are coming up with innovative new features to improve and evolve the system.  Join in the competition!

Upcoming Webinar: Introduction to NEEShub and Data Curation - On November 18, Noon-1 PM EST, there will be a NEEShub Boot Camp webinar to introduce the basic NEEShub features that facilitate research and provide an introduction to data curation. Click here for more information and to register.

Competition Updates - Watch for competition updates on NEEShub and Facebook.  Round up your friends and peers and become a fan of NEEShub on Facebook, it just may be you they will be voting to win!

The Profiles Series - Film locations and dates are set!  Crews will be visiting NEES@UCSD and NEES@Buffalo later this month and early December.  Behind the scene photos and clips will be available on our Facebook page.  Stay tuned for final show details and air dates!

Thank you,




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