Breaking ground on earthquake study
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Sep 06, 2000
NSF' Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation program
During an earthquake, researchers have mere seconds to gather valuable information
that can lead to better building design, more reliable utilities and quicker
But when the ground is calm, computer simulations give researchers the opportunity
to study the impact of earthquakes and devise preventive measures.
A $300,000 award to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is intended
to open such pockets of research and enable earthquake engineers to remotely
access a system of testing and experimental facilities.
The National Science Foundation announced the award Tuesday as the first
phase of its Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation project, which
could lead to the creation of a NEES grid worth $10 million.
University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications
will lead a six-month study to develop the scope and design for a national
online network that will provide researchers with shared use of advanced
research equipment, databases and computer modeling and simulation tools,
according to an NSF statement.
Researchers will be able to control experimental tools — a seismograph,
camera or even a robot — from remote sites using a desktop workstation,
according to a University of Illinois statement. The NEES grid also will
link supercomputers and high-end computing clusters, storage facilities,
software repositories and databases.
The university's partners on the study include its own Mid-America Earthquake
Center and Department of Civil Engineering, the Energy Department's Argonne
National Laboratory, the University of Michigan's Collaboratory for Research
on Electronic Work and the University of Southern California's Information
Sciences Institute and Department of Civil Engineering.
NSF plans to bring multiple facilities under one "virtual roof" this year
by providing additional funds to upgrade existing earthquake research facilities
and build new ones, the NSF statement said.