Initial Publication Date: June 5, 2018

George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)

The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to aggressively promote the development of improvements and innovations in infrastructure design and construction practices to prevent or minimize damage during earthquakes and tsunamis.

Earthquake engineering researchers and students have the opportunity through the NEES collaboratory of 14 experimental equipment sites and a robust cyberinfrastructure featuring online simulation tools to conduct more advanced research of designs, materials, construction techniques and monitoring tools. Research results will enable engineers to develop better and more cost-effective ways of mitigating earthquake damage.

NEES also plays a major role in developing next-generation earthquake and tsunami engineers, offering education, outreach and training for K-16 students, graduate students, educators, and researchers. The highly successful Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program offers upper division undergraduate students a chance to work with NEES researchers on individual projects that contribute to the goals of an existing NEES research project or the opportunity to develop cyberinfrastructure tools and/or educational modules. The NEESacademy is an excellent resource for teachers of all student ages to find engaging activities for classroom demonstrations or individual inquiry activities. Professionals may access illuminating reports on research projects and their impact or participate in quality seminars and webinars sponsored by NEES affiliated projects and professional partnerships.

The NEES network features 14 geographically-distributed, shared-use laboratories that support several types of experimental work: geotechnical centrifuge research, shake table tests, large-scale structural testing, tsunami wave basin experiments, and field site research. Participating universities include: Cornell University; Lehigh University; Oregon State University; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; University at Buffalo, SUNY; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of Minnesota; University of Nevada, Reno; and the University of Texas, Austin.

The equipment sites (labs) and a central data repository are connected to the global earthquake engineering community via the NEEShub, a website that is more than a website. The NEES website,, is powered by HUBzero software developed at Purdue University specifically to help the scientific community share resources and collaborate. The cyberinfrastructure, connected via Internet2, provides interactive simulation tools, a simulation tool development area, a curated central data repository, animated presentations, user support, telepresence, mechanism for uploading and sharing resources and statistics about users, and usage patterns.

These resources jointly provide the means for collaboration and discovery to improve the seismic design and performance of civil and mechanical infrastructure systems.