The George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) at Cornell University is one among fourteen research laboratories funded by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). The NEES equipment site at Cornell University, housed at the Harry E. Bovay Jr. Civil Infrastructure Laboratory Complex, focuses on large displacement lifelines research, such as soil-structure interaction for underground gas, petroleum, and water transmission, trunk, and distribution pipelines. The testing facilities have no counterpart elsewhere.
Cornell University, through its School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been performing state-the-art testing and experiments for the oil, gas, electric power, and water supply industries for over 25 years. The Lifelines Group at Cornell specializes in full-scale tests to quantify and understand soil-pipeline interaction. Members of the group are internationally recognized for their contributions to improved modeling, innovative testing and experimentation, advanced materials and construction procedures, and codes and practices adopted worldwide for pipelines, pipeline facilities, and critical infrastructure networks.
The NEES equipment site at Cornell's large displacement facility is a unique, world-class resource for research, education, and outreach focused on lifeline response to large ground deformation and the seismic performance of highly ductile above-ground structures using advanced materials and construction.
The NEES facility's equipment consists of:
- Reconfigurable reaction wall
- Large-stroke actuators
- Soil storage/conveyor system
- Multi-channel data acquisition system
- Video capture & streaming system
Additional Cornell Facilities and Resources include the Richard N. White Instructional Facility adjacent to the testing facility hosts a state-of-the art electronic classroom. This classroom serves the dual purposes of providing a teaching facility and linking the NEES telepresence system, including IP video teleconferencing, enabling remote observation and participation in experiments. The entire Harry E. Bovay Jr. Laboratory local area network (LAN) is wired for gigabit Ethernet, with a Gigabit fiber connection to the Cornell backbone. Cornell University is directly connected into Internet2. These connections provide for a high-speed path to the NEESgrid network allowing researchers to plan, perform and publish their experimental work. Up to a half terabyte of high speed, fault-tolerant storage is available for secure data storage needs.
Also supporting research projects is a 10 ton overhead crane in the lab's high bay area, a concrete materials lab and a low bay lab area used for testing many different materials (including concrete, steel and composites) and structural and geotechnical components made from these materials. The high bay and low bay areas provide space for implementing a wide variety of structural and geotechnical engineering research projects. Recently added to the facilities is a large walk-in environmental room and a concrete curing chamber, both temperature and humidity controlled.