Director: Ricardo Dobry
Associate Director: Tarek Abdoun
Assistant Director for Training and Outreach: Thomas Zimmie
The Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation is part of NEES (Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation), an NSF initiative aimed at revolutionizing earthquake engineering research in the United States. NEES has merged experimental laboratory and field research with analytical simulations at a number of university facilities, electronically linking them into a national Collaboratory. Between 2000–2004, the National Science Foundation (NSF) invested more than $80 million to construct the Collaboratory. Today it includes 15 experimental sites or “nodes” plus the UC San Diego Supercomputer Center and the NEES Consortium located in Davis, California. Rensselaer is a node in NEES network and a partner in the node at Cornell University. As a result of Rensselaer’s designation as a node, the campus-based 150 g-ton geotechnical centrifuge facility was upgraded and expanded. The facility is now home to tele-participation tools including state-of-the-art telecontrol and teleconference rooms enabling researchers to conduct real-time experiments between Rensselaer and other NEES experimental and computational facilities via high-speed Internet connections. The Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation is also home to a 1 g seismic shaking table, 1.6 m x 2.6 m in plan, that is primarily utilized for structural engineering research.
As part of a 10-year initiative started in October of 2004, NEES facilities will be used in innovative earthquake research, including use of the CEES by Rensselaer faculty and outside researchers working on campus, or via tele-participation tools. To date, Rensselaer, in partnership with Cornell, has already received one of the coveted 10 initial NEES research grants. This grant is supporting a four-year project on buried pipelines subject to permanent ground deformation, such as at fault crossing locations. In addition, a number of other currently supported research projects focus on:
- the development of wireless sensors and sensor networks to measure ground accelerations and deformations in both lab and field,
- the seismic response of pile foundations to liquefaction,
- the effect of blasting on earth embankments,
- the numerical modeling of soil compaction using micro mechanics,
- the development of additional tools for existing in-flight centrifuge robot, and
- the numerical modeling and analysis of metal buildings subjected to seismic loads.
T. Abdoun, A. Abouzeid, G. Cusatis, S. Derby, R. Dobry, M. O’Rourke, M. Symans, M. Zeghal, T. Zimmie