NSF earthquake engineering simulation facility to open

09/23/04

$21.2 million earthquake facility will investigate how monumental buildings, bridges and other structures behave during quakes or terrorist attacks

A grand opening ceremony for the new National Science Foundation George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Facility at the University at Buffalo will be held 2 p.m. Friday, September 24 in Ketter Hall on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

The ceremony will feature demonstrations of the $21.2 million facility's new dual "shake tables" -- capable of real-time seismic testing of structures up to 120 feet in length and 30 feet in height.

During the shake table demonstrations, a life-sized living room and a 20-foot model of a five-story building -- a structural replica of a building constructed on seismically hazardous terrain in Northern China -- will be subjected to earthquakes registering between 5 and 8 on the Richter scale. The demonstrations will point out the differences in damage inflicted on structures equipped with seismic protective devices developed by UB earthquake engineers and those structures not equipped with such technologies.

The $21.2 million NEES facility at UB is the largest investment in a National Science Foundation $81.9 million project to improve understanding of earthquakes and their effects on buildings, bridges, roads, transportation systems and other infrastructure.

The grand opening ceremony will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be viewed at http://nees.buffalo.edu.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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