Research collaboration agreements for earthquake disaster prev ention are in progress between U.S. and Japanese organizations: the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) on the U.S. side, and the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention of Japan (NIED) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT). Collectively these organizations are known as the “NEES/E-Defense Earthquake Engineering Research Collaboration.” The purpose of the joint research is to improve scientific knowledge and engineering practice in earthquake-resistant de sign and retrofit of built infrastructure by conducting experimental research in earthquake engineering using NEES facilities in the U.S. and E-Defense, the world's largest shake table, located in Miki City outside Kobe, Japan. The agreements will enable earthquake engineering researchers to participate in joint research initiatives and to have mutual access to the testing facilities in both countries. The Joint Technical Coordinating Committee (JTCC) is coordinating the implementation of this agreement and the joint research program.
On the U.S. side, NEES is funding rese arch proposals under this joint research framework. On the Japan side, three research themes, (1) steel building structures, (2) bridge structures, and (3) information technology, have been selected and funded as the joint research project for five years beginning in 2005, includi ng the test plans at E-Defense from 2007. Matching funds from both countries are to be coordinated mainly for the three research topics.
Another five-year national project of Japan, “Special Proj ect for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Urban Areas,” or the “DaiDaiToku” project in Japanese, begun in 2002, covers (1) wooden structures, (2) reinforced concrete bu ilding structures, and (3) soil and foundation. The full-scale or large-scale tests at E-Defense have been planne d and conducted for the second phase of this project, from 2005 to 2006. U.S.-Japan research collaboration would be possible in these areas as well under the DaiDaiToku project or under post-DaiDaiToku projects if the common research themes could be coordinated with U.S. res earchers funded by NEES for the joint research program.
In the area of reinforced concrete building structures, past collaboration was successful under the “U.S.-Japan Cooperative Research in Urban Earthquake Disaster Mitigati on” project sponsored by MEXT and NSF. Activities were coordinated by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), University of California, Berkel ey, in the U.S., and by the Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, in Japan. The proceedings of the first through fifth workshops on Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering Me thodology for Reinforced Concrete Building Structures, from 1999 to 2003, have been referred to worldwide with related reports, papers, and guidelines. Evaluation methods for performance criteria, especially on reparability, have been developed by the joint research, while experimental and analytical simulation of seismic collapse, and economical retrofit technologies are still under way in both the U.S. and Japan. Economical retrofit technologies are also the main objectives of the DaiDaiToku project.
The First NEES/E-Defense Workshop on Colla pse Simulation of Reinforced Concrete Building Structures was organized as a kickoff or preliminary meeting towards possible collaboration in the field. The objectives of the workshop were:
- to identify past experimental and analytical research and the present state of knowledge and practice of collapse simulation;
- to exchange information on ongoing research and future plans in related NEES and E-Defense projects;
- to apply traditional and new analytical methodologies to the preliminary simulation of the full-scale test plan at E-Defense; and
- to discuss future research needs and possible collaborations focused on collapse simulation.
The first workshop was held 6 to 8, July 2005, in the Hotel Durant at Berkeley, California. It was attended by 15 participants from Japan, 11 from the U.S., 2 from Taiwan, and one from Canada, as well as several observers.
Full List of PEER Reports: click here.