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Annex 3 To The Protocol For Scientific And Technical Cooperation In Earthquake Studies Cooperative Research In Earthquake Engineering And Hazards Mitigation Participating Agencies.

US-Side: National Science Foundation 

China-Side: Ministry Of Construction China Seismological Bureau National Natural Science Foundation Of China

I. General

This annex presents selected areas for cooperative research on earthquake engineering and hazards mitigation under this Protocol and lays out the general framework for cooperation. Detailed bilateral implementation plans, including research tasks, timetable, financial requirements, etc., for each specific activity will be presented in subsequent joint proposals. Such proposals will be prepared by the performing institution and/or scientists and the corresponding counterparts. The selected topics presented below do not exclude other cooperative activities or projects that might be deemed desirable by the respective parties for inclusion under this Protocol.

This annex builds on 20 years of bilateral collaboration facilitated by the Protocol. The US National Science Foundation (NSF), the Chinese Ministry of Construction (MOC), the China Seismological Bureau (CSB), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) will implement the Annex. The program will be jointly coordinated by the Engineering Directorate of the US National Science Foundation and the Chinese interagency coordinating committee convened by the Earthquake Resistance Office of the MOC consisting of members from the Earthquake Resistance Office of the MOC, the Department of International Cooperation of the CSB, and the Department of Engineering and Material Science of the NSFC. Financial support for individual projects by NSF, as well as by the corresponding Chinese agency or agencies, will depend on joint concurrence by both sides based on merit evaluation of research proposals following the normal review process established by each side and the availability of funds.


II. Objective and Scope

Earthquakes occur daily throughout the world. The 1976 Tangshan earthquake in China, the 1994 Northridge earthquake in the US, and the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan have all illustrated the damaging effects of seismic events on densely populated urban regions. This is of particular concern because many such cities, whether located in areas of low, moderate or high seismicity, are not only some of the most congested in the world, but are also major financial and industrial centers, and any interruptions to critical facilities and business operations would certainly result in serious long-term social and economic consequences. Indeed, the vulnerability of densely populated urban regions is an international concern, not just in terms of human safety but also considering the impact on regional, national, and international economies.

The objective of this annex to the Protocol is to research, develop and implement, on a cooperative basis, innovative engineering methods and new enabling technologies that are needed to design, construct, maintain, manage and renew the built environment for reduced seismic hazard. The research is envisioned to have three distinct components. The first component is fundamental research that encompasses basic scientific and engineering research that pioneers new knowledge for future earthquake engineering applications. The second component is new technology that enables added capability for increasing seismic safety and improved infrastructure performance in an effective and economical manner. Note that new technology is often developed in a multi-disciplinary environment of science and engineering research. The third component is earthquake engineering application of fundamental research and new technology. Demonstration projects and full-scale implementation of research discoveries are essential for testing new concepts and transferring knowledge to industry, the private sector, governments, and other stakeholders in seismic safety.

Based on the recommendations of the panel of international experts attending the China-US Millennium Symposium on Earthquake Engineering held November 8-11, 2000 in Beijing, China, the following areas have been identified as highly promising for bilateral collaboration:

(1) Autoadaptive and Sensing Systems for Disaster Resistant Construction
The vision of research in auto-adaptive and sensing systems is to create a new generation of sensors, actuators, functional materials, and integrated systems that will enhance the seismic performance and minimize the seismic response of the built environment. There have been recent advances in China, the United States, and other countries on smart materials, in which properties can be altered with minimal energy. Examples include magnetorheological fluids and shape memory alloys, and preliminary studies have shown important earthquake engineering applications for such materials.

Critical issues facing structural health monitoring systems for civil structures are that the structures are large and complex, the damage is localized and hidden internally most of the time, and detecting and assessing localized damage requires a combination of local and global measurements. To develop a comprehensive diagnostic system, it is necessary to focus on wireless sensor technology development, integration of excitation and sensing technologies, innovative analysis and interpretation of measured data based on engineering principles, and finally the use of processed information for implementing an effective damage diagnostic and control capability. These systems should be able to sense damage (i.e. cracking, corrosion, and fatigue) and provide other measurements, such as displacements, strains, and accelerations, in either a distributed or a multiplexed manner while being economical, reliable and easy to use. This component of the research will facilitate development of materials and devices with embedded signal processing software that can address these concerns and provide on-line monitoring of the health of buildings and critical civil infrastructure systems.

The significance for this area of cooperative research is that new materials and the associated monitoring and control systems will improve the performance and safety of the built environment in a cost effective and environmentally friendly manner. Furthermore, visionary research is likely to promote the growth of new industries (e.g., materials) with large-scale production and create new global markets, for civil infrastructure applications in China, the United States, and other countries.

The cooperative research encourages the following aspects in particular:
(i) Research on new material design for seismic resistance, including modification of traditional materials and development of new materials with sensing and self-actuating properties. More future oriented is research into materials that exhibit self-healing or repair when damaged either by degradation or by energy dissipation during seismic loading.

(ii) Development of innovative structural components and control systems that are effective with auto-adaptive and sensing materials. New ways to connect and configure structural systems, such as bracing and connection strategies that create post-tension, optimal elastic behavior or embody automated energy dissipation capability based on the optimal use of the properties of new materials are emphasized. Consideration is given to both new construction and upgrading seismic performance of existing structures. Finally, verification, prototyping, and test-bed studies should be conducted in China, the United States, and other countries.

(iii) Design, test-bed experiment, prototyping, and application of integrated wireless systems and artificial intelligence for on-line health monitoring and diagnostic systems.

(2) Infrastructure Performance-Based Design and Control for Ground Motions in Urban Areas
The damaging earthquakes attacking Los Angeles, Kobe, Taichung, and Izmit have dramatically shown the need to gain a deeper fundamental understanding of near-fault earthquakes. This need is accentuated by the rapid urbanization and growth of mega- and mid-sized cities in highly seismic Pacific Rim countries. A larger population and greater variety of buildings and lifelines are exposed to uncertain but increasing seismic hazard.

Multi-lateral research is urgently needed in all affected countries to focus on the specific characteristics of earthquakes and how they damage the built environment. In reality, there are only limited records available, and engineers and scientists are just beginning to learn about the near-fault motions and understanding the caustic faulting, directivity, geological and geotechnical engineering impacts to large-scale destructive effects, and large permanent ground displacements. As more records become available, particularly since 1999, more questions are raised about the characteristics of strong ground motions. In addition, effects of large sedimentary basins and the weak surficial soils found in many urban coastal regions requires research because of the large effect they may have on ground motion. New challenges have emerged as to how best to re-establish seismic design ground motions, incorporating recently discovered characteristics and phenomena, which still remain poorly understood.

A cooperative research agenda on infrastructure design for ground motions in urban regions should include the following components:

(i) Seismological and geotechnical characterization of near-fault ground motions. The research includes ground motion simulation methods capable of representing long and short period components and permanent ground deformation, as well as identification of the engineering parameters or investigation of the basis of near-fault ground motions that cause damage in different types of infrastructure components and systems. Creation of an archival web-based database of recorded and simulated ground motions and geotechnical site data for (a) verifying ground motion simulations, and (b) cataloguing damaging characteristics.

(ii) Development of international performance-based design standards that account for risk and loss, and allow multiple performance objectives to be met for both new designs and rehabilitation. These new approaches will assist in mitigating the enormous economic losses in commercial activity and industrial productivity associated with damage to lifelines and infrastructure systems.

(iii) Development of new structural components and systems resistant to specific characteristics of ground motions, including adaptive and smart vibration control strategies that are optimized for damage protection against near-fault ground motions.

(3) Advanced Disaster Response Management
The increasing urbanization in mega- or mid-sized cities requires new technology for rapid and effective emergency response and control for human and economic needs after a natural disaster. Rapid urbanization with large-scale infrastructure development and economic exposure are overcoming the ability to effectively respond after a disaster. Yet, society expects rapid recovery and reconstruction.

The objectives of cooperative research are to develop the state-of-the-art technology, analytical tools, and policy instruments to characterize urban systems, assess vulnerability, estimate spectrum of losses, respond rapidly to save lives and enhance recovery. There are many opportunities for cooperative research because of the common aspects of vulnerability in many countries and the increasingly interdependent economic effects in the global markets. Also technologies such as GPS and remote sensing have applications worldwide.

Components of the research program should include the following:

(i) Definition of regional risk levels and performance standards, and a framework for establishing loss reduction goals in urban regions. Rigorous economic research can be applied to hazard and loss estimation analysis, such as adaptation of general equilibrium models and evaluating recovery strategies that have a solid theoretical base or large empirical ground.

(ii) Real-time global or regional information systems (e.g., satellite-based, GIS, remote sensing) have potential applications for emergency response and post-disaster recovery by providing real-time impact information to emergency officials in a deployable command and control network. There is an urgent need for research into new technologies for rapid location and rescue of casualties after a disaster.

(iii) Another important research area is the development of policy instruments to promote disaster resistant communities, such as incentives, insurance, and financial mechanisms.


III. Implementation Plan

The bilateral collaboration facilitated by Annex III of the US-China Protocol for Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Earthquake Studies entitled Cooperative Studies on Earthquake Engineering and Hazards Mitigation has been extremely effective, and continued strong joint development and support of forefront research as outlined are essential. To ensure adequate support and effective program coordination annual meetings will be held, attended by representatives from each of the participating agencies (US: National Science Foundation. China: Ministry of Construction of China, China Seismological Bureau, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China), as well as representatives from the research community of each country. The primary objectives of these meetings will be to: (i) evaluate the previous year's progress, (ii) chart the course of the subsequent year, and (iii) develop new long-term joint program initiatives. Additionally, every four years a meeting to coordinate activities with the other Annexes to the Protocol Agreement should be held.
Essential to the success of this cooperative Annex is development of multi-institutional and cross-disciplinary research within each country as well as across national boundaries. New and traditional modes of research cooperation should be pursued and implemented to expand the cooperation, including:


IV. 2001 Plans

(1) Development of a new summer student exchange program in natural hazard mitigation between the US and China. A solid foundation for bilateral cooperation will require increased two-way personnel exchanges at all levels, from students through faculty. However, the seeds of future cooperation must be planted now. The primary goals of such a summer program are to introduce US and Chinese graduate students to science and engineering as practiced in the counterpart country and to initiate personal relationships that will better enable them to collaborate in the future. The nominal length of this summer program will be 6-10 weeks.

(2) Continuation and expansion of the on-going Researchers Exchange Program with the Annex.

(3) Participate in the 3rd International Earthquakes and Megacity Workshop, to be held in Shanghai, November 2001.

(4) Conduct a workshop in the focus research area of Autoadaptive and Sensing Systems for Disaster Resistant Construction. The workshop shall be in the fall of 2001, in the U.S.

(5) The Program coordination meeting shall be held during the fall of 2001, in China.


V. 2002 Plans

(1) Continue projects started in 2001 and initiate some additional above-mentioned items of cooperative study.

(2) Increase the exchange of scientific information and personnel.

(3) Prepare a bilateral joint conference on Infrastructure Design for Ground Motions in Urban Areas during the summer of 2002, in China.


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