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Media Advisory 04-34

Standing Up to Earthquakes

Network of laboratories will rock the next generation of earthquake-resistant structures

Photo of a steel-reinforced concrete support for a California interstate damaged by an earthquake.

A steel-reinforced concrete support for a California interstate damaged by an earthquake.

November 4, 2004

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

From the Pacific coast to our nation's interior, more than 75 million Americans in 39 states live in towns and cities at risk for earthquake devastation.

While scientists are digging into the origins of seismic waves, engineers are pushing the boundaries of design to create structures that remain safe when an earthquake ultimately surfaces.

On Nov. 15, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host the grand opening of a research network that addresses this important design need--the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).

Contructed with $81.8 million of NSF support, the system of 15 centers is distributed across 10 states and linked via Internet2 grid connections. Researchers can run experiments simultaneously at any of the sites with tools ranging from building-scale shake tables and ground-altering field equipment to large testing laboratories and a tsunami- generating wave basin.

The grand opening will include live, remote demonstrations from four of the network's research sites, including a test that inflicts the forces of historic earthquakes upon a 10- story wind turbine.

For additional details about the event and its webcast, see the NEES grand opening website at and click on the Grand Opening page. (The archive webcast is available at

Following remarks from NSF Deputy Director Joseph Bordogna and Assistant Director for Engineering John Brighton, the demonstrations will be hosted by Ian Buckle, president of NEES Consortium, Inc.

Following questions and answers via telecom with all 15 sites, guests are invited to attend a reception featuring a live, scaled-down demonstration of one of the NEES tools.

RSVP is required to gain access to NSF. To attend, register with Josh Chamot, NSF Media Officer for Engineering, at


Representatives from NEES sites and the NEES Consortium
NSF Deputy Director Joseph Bordogna
NSF Assistant Director for Engineering John Brighton


Grand Opening of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)


Nov. 15, 2004
beginning promptly at 1:30 PM.


National Science Foundation, Room 1235
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230
(Ballston metro stop)
(Medical Center Metro stop, Red Line)

Media visitors should check in at the security desk located at the 9th & Stuart Streets entrance


Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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