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University Takes National Lead on Earthquake Study

16 January 2005

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Nevada a $2 million grant to take the lead on research studying the safety and performance of highway bridges under destructive earthquakes.

“This was an extremely competitive grant,” said M. Saiid Saiidi, the University’s principal investigator of the project, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Undergraduate Research Office. “There were 115 proposals submitted, with requests totaling $178 million. Only $9 million was available for the project, and the University received $2 million of those monies.”

The project will involve shake-table testing of a bridge abutment at U.C. San Diego and testing of three, four-span bridge models more than 100 feet long each at Nevada.

Both conventional bridges and models using innovative materials such as nickel and titanium alloys and carbon fibre composites will be investigated.

The project is among 10 grants awarded by the National Science Foundation in the $340,000 to $2 million range. It is also the first group of research projects to use the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).

NEES advances earthquake engineering research through the integration of experimentation, theory, data, and model-based simulation. The consortium includes 15 major earthquake engineering experimental research installations and integrates those facilities with central data and computational services through a unique IT infrastructure

Image shows the University's earthquake simulation ""shake"" tables that will be used in the study.





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