[BELLS RINGING] TOM O'ROURKE: The Cornell site provides a testing facility to take a look at the behavior of important lifeline facilities such as water, electric, et cetera, and how they would interact with the kinds of ground defamations and shaking distortions that would occur during earthquakes. We have the capacity with our facility to be able to move the ground in a rupture scenario that would be as much as six feet of relative displacement. We also look at the behavior of very ductile above-ground structures and how they might shake back and forth during an earthquake. We can impose the kinds of large scale displacements that these structures might experience under their most extreme conditions of loading, do it safely, and be able to evaluate improvements in material and performance design in order to accommodate such large movements.
HARRY STEWART: We've brought a classroom right into our laboratory. And we have now unique opportunities for bringing in students, working in this lab, seeing how experiments were done , and really integrating more closely students in the lab at all levels-- graduate and undergraduate-- participating in, asking questions about experiments, learning about experimental design, and then getting out and building and testing and bringing those results back to a final design.
TOM O'ROURKE: The concept is not so much to create a laboratory that's in one location, but to create a group of laboratories that are distributed in many different locations in the United States and then eventually throughout the world, that are working in unison because they're connected by advanced information technologies to bring this community of users and community of researchers and community of modelers together to work in together in a way that's never really been imagined before.
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Professors Tom O’Rourke and Harry Stewart describe the new NEES (Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation) lab sponsored and funded by NSF in Thurston Hall on the Cornell campus.