NEES/E-Defense Collaborative Earthquake Research Program 10th Planning Meeting

E-Defense Laboratory

View of the E-Defense Lab Building at Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center at Miki, Japan.

The NEES/E-Defense Joint Technical Coordinating Committee presented the 10th NEES/E-Defense Collaborative Earthquake Research Program Planning Meeting at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) at Kyoto University in Ugi, Japan on December 11 – 13, 2013. Members of the Joint Technical Coordinating Committee (JTCC) included Julio Ramirez, Farzad Naiem, and Steve Mahin.

The 2013 NEES/E-Defense meeting resulted in specific resolutions to continue collaboration on key focus areas, schedule regular planning meetings, increase personnel exchange, expand the scope of data evaluations and dissemination of findings, and encourage support from funding agencies.

A full report on the meeting, with recommendations and resolutions reached by the participants, appendices containing the list of participants, the meeting program and schedule, the materials presented during the plenary sessions, the minutes of the Joint Technical Coordinating Committee, and summaries on specific recommendations developed by the individual working groups can be found on the NEEShub website.

Group photo of the 2013 NEES/E-Defense participants

Group photo of 2013 NEES/E-Defense participants


During the first Japan-U.S. Workshop on Science and Technology for a Secure and Safe Society (held in February 2004), the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) agreed to discuss opportunities for cooperative activities related to earthquake research, citing NEES/E- Defense collaboration as a specific example of such cooperation. To realize the cooperation, the First Planning Meeting for NEES/E-Defense Collaboration was held in 2004, and the basic scheme for a five-year joint research program was established. To formalize the collaboration, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed between NSF and MEXT in September 2005. The first five year phase of the program was formalized in a MOU between the NEES Consortium Inc. (NEES Inc.) and the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) of Japan in July 2005.

The second phase of the program is formalized by a MOU between NIED and NEEScomm. The second phase focuses on six project areas proposed from the earlier meetings, namely:

a. New materials and new technologies
b. Base-isolation and vibration control
c. Geotechnical engineering (underground structures)
d. Energy facilities
e. Computational simulation
f. Monitoring and health assessment

E-Defense Upgrade Abstract

E-Defense Upgrade Abstract (4.2 MB PDF)

To facilitate planning of the overall research program, disseminate findings, and encourage participation in collaborative research, a joint meeting is held annually.

A meeting was not held in 2012 because the E-Defense shaking table facility was closed to install major upgrades. After nearly a year of inactivity, E-Defense is back up and running. The upgrades permit the facility to simulate large 3D earthquake motions having durations up to 40 minutes or more. This new capability provides unique opportunities to improve understanding of seismic response due to long-duration ground motions, such as those associated with subduction zone faulting or cascading fault ruptures. Details regarding the changes to the table and its new performance characteristics can be found here.

Graphic of the test that will be viewed during the December 2013 Meeting.

Graphic of the test that will be viewed during the December 2013 Meeting.

The 2013 meeting included a field trip to the E-Defense laboratory (Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center) in Miki, Japan. During the visit, participants learned about various upgrades, and witnessed an interesting test where a 1/3-scale model of an 18-story modern steel moment frame building structure was tested to collapse. The majority of the meeting was devoted to learning about plans for use of the upgraded facility by E-Defense and other Japanese researchers, reviewing progress on various recent and on-going NEES/E-Defense research projects, and discussing and establishing the foundations for future NEES/E-Defense collaborative research projects.

The specific topical areas to be discussed at the meeting included:

(1) high-performance reinforced concrete structures utilizing new and advanced materials;
(2) seismic isolation and structural control;
(3) geotechnical engineering issues (focusing now on underground structures);
(4) steel buildings; and
(5) monitoring and condition assessment of structures and soil-structure systems.

Previous test of two specimens on E-Defense shaking table, December 2010.

Buildings specimens on the E-Defense shaking table tested in 2010 as a part of NEES/E-Defense collaboration on advanced materials and systems. The project was carried out by Japanese and US research teams lead by Prof. Kabeyasawa from the University of Tokyo and Prof. Wallace from UCLA.

Two overarching themes discussed at the meeting were:

(a) other needs, opportunities and priorities for future near and long-term US-Japan collaborative research, and
(b) numerical simulation of seismic performance

Various possible forms of collaboration are possible in this program, including participating in Japan-initiated test programs, developing concepts for joint US-Japan tests, developing payload tests, conducting analyses utilizing test and sensor data, carrying out supporting tests in the US using NEES facilities in conjunction with Japanese partners, etc. This meeting provided opportunities for the interaction among US and Japanese researchers needed to plan such collaborative projects.
NEES/E-Defense Sponsors