Public Release: 

Standing up to earthquakes

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

National Science Foundation

Arlington, Va.-- 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).

Created 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.

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


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

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

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

WHERE: National Science Foundation, Room 1235
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230
(Ballston metro stop)

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


For more information, contact: Josh Chamot, 703-292-7730,

NSF PA/M-04-34

NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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