MCEER Core Institution NEES Facilities
University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo's Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL), housed within the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, adds twin reconfigurable six-degree-of-freedom shake tables, each with a 50-ton capacity. These enable researchers to test large-scale structures up to 120 feet in length. The facility also houses two 30-foot high reaction walls, 41 and 23 feet in length. UB-NEES node Handout (PDF)
University of Nevada, Reno
Two shake tables at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) were upgraded, and
a third shake table was added, as part of the institution's $4.4 million
NSF grant. The three shake tables, each measuring 14 square feet, offer biaxial,
or two directional testing of earthquake ground motions on structures. Each
table can be operated independently of the others, or in-phase with the other
two. The tables can also be moved together to form a single large table.
The new and upgraded tables will more accurately simulate real earthquakes.
Total cost of the expansion and upgrade is $7 million. The laboratory was
one of the first to be operational, as one of three early adopter sites of
NEESgrid. NEESgrid is a network infrastructure that links earthquake engineering
sites across the United States to create a national virtual earthquake engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The centriguge at RPI
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (RPI) 100-g ton Geotechnical centrifuge will undergo a $2.5 million upgrade. This will include the installation of new equipment and software, including a two-dimensional in-flight earthquake simulator and a four dimensional in-flight robot, that will enable geotechnical engineers to better study earthquake impacts on soils. This laboratory was also one of the three early adopter sites.
A $2 million NSF grant will enable geotechnical engineers at Cornell University to develop advanced experimental facilities for both full-scale and centrifuge-scale for testing, evaluation , and analysis of soil-structure- foundation interaction. This will dramatically enhance the ability to study the impact of this phenomenon on on buried pipelines and other utilities. The upgrade will also include a new reaction wall 50 feet long and 24 feet high.