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National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering
storm_Nationwide Earthquake Drillphoto is mine

International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), founded by Mohsen Ghafory-Ashtiany, is an international earthquake engineering and seismology institute based in Iran. It was established as a result of the 24th UNESCO General Conference Resolution DR/250 under Iranian government approval in 1989. It was founded as an independent institute within the Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.[1]

Mohsen Ghafory-Ashtiany distinguished professor of earthquake engineering and risk management at International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and seismology (IIEES) which was founded by him in 1989, is Chief Editor of JSEE and IDRiM Journals; author of more than 140 papers and 3 books in the field of earthquake engineering, seismic hazard and risk analysis, risk management and planning. Ashtiany is the Director and member of the Executive committee of International Association of Earthquake engineering (IAEE), Chairman of Earthquake Hazard, Risk and Strong Ground Motion Commission of IASPEI, member of UN-ISDR Scientific and Technical commission, Director and member of board of World Seismic Safety Initiative, member of Global Earthquake Risk Model Project; Member of Geo-Hazard Initiative, Member of GSHAP, Member of Global Risk Forum-Davos, and many other scientific communities. Ashtiany was born in Tehran, Iran in 1957 and graduated from Va. Tech (USA) in 1983 with honor, and is resident of US.

On its establishment, the IIEES drew up a seismic code in an attempt to improve the infrastructural response to earthquakes and seismic activity in the country. Its primary objective is to reduce the risk of seismic activity on buildings and roads and provide mitigation measures both in Iran and the region.[1]

The institute is responsible for much of the research and education in this field by conducting research and providing education and knowledge in seismotectonic studies, seismology and earthquake engineering.[1] In addition conducts research and educates in risk management and generating possibilities for an effective earthquake response strategy.

The IIEES is composed of the following research Centers: Seismology, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, Structural Earthquake Engineering, Risk Management; National center for Earthquake Prediction, and Graduate School, Public Education and Information Division.
NCREE was established in 1980 by the National Science Council (NSC), and they are working together with the National Taiwan University (NTU), as well as being part of the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL, a non-profit organisation established in June 2003), whose purpose to improve efficiency between research institutions, and they are trying to decrease the impact of earthquakes on various structures.

They have published books and printed reports with all their findings. This is to try raise public awareness. They also hold international seminars, make videos, and hold a design construction competition every year.
NCREE is aiming to improve seismic resistant designs for all constructions and to provide feedback to the engineering community through research and development. The Center was built for researchers to collaborate and check their theories by doing various experiments. Their goals are:

– Establish and provide research facilities.

– Develop and improve the seismic engineering database.

– Create and carry-out regulations relating to seismic design codes.

– Co-ordinate and Integrate academic institutes and related industries.

– Introduce, Develop and Educate on seismic-resisting technology.
NCREE’s seismic simulation laboratory has international standard facilities, such as eighteen sets of static hydraulic actuators and six sets of dynamic hydraulic actuators.
The Tri-Axial Seismic Simulator, or Shaking Table, can produce earthquake ground motions in six degrees of freedom, with motion in 3 axes.

The shaking table is 5m x 5m and has a mass of 27 tons. It can take models of large scale buildings weighing up to 50 tons, and the square shape of the table provides large bending and torsional stiffness.

Small-scale or full-scale models are placed on the shaking table. To prevent the instrument vibration on surrounding areas during experiments, the shaking table has a vibration isolation system, including 80 dampers, 96 airbags and air springs, and a reaction mass (16m x 16m x 7.6m, weighing about four thousand tons.)

Under the table are twelve actuators, which produce the shaking movement in six degrees of freedom. There are four actuators for each axis, and the hydraulic power is provided by two electrical pumps and three diesel pumps. The weight of the shaky table and the model is balanced by four static supports.

By doing these experiments, engineers can understand a structure’s response to an earthquake. The results will show how stable the building is during earthquakes, and it will also accelerate the development of seismic isolation and minimize the damage caused by an earthquake.

Reaction Wall and Strong Floor
The Reaction Wall and Strong floor make it possible to test multiple full-scale structural experiments. The wall can be used to perform seismic tests by using experimental methods, such as traditional quasi-static tests, cyclic loading tests and pseudo-dynamic tests.

The wall is L-shaped and has 4 sections: 15m x 15.5m, 12m x 15.5m, 9m x 12m and 6m x 12m. The strong floor is a reinforced block of concrete 60m x 29m x 1.2m. The compressive strength of the concrete for both the reaction wall and the strong floor is 350 kg/cm2

During experiments, full-scale and large-scale constructions are mounted onto the strong floor. Hydraulic actuators then exert forces on the test objects, making it possible to see the resistance of various structures and performances of seismic isolators and energy dissipaters. The experimental data has helped proved that seismic theories can be applied, and are a reference to earthquake resistant building designs.Building Engineering Studies

– Seismic evaluation and retrofit technologies of existing buildings.

– Development of advanced innovative construction.

– Revision of building seismic design codes.

Bridge Engineering Studies

– performance-based design of bearing systs in bridges.

– Seismic evaluation and retrofit technologies of existing bridges.

Structural Control and System Identification Studies

– Studies on structural health monitoring and structural control.

– Seismic evaluation and retrofit technologies for high-tech industrial structures.

Geotechnical and Strong Ground Motion Studies

– Studies on earthquake prediction models.

– Establishment of Engineering Geological Databases for TSMIP (EGDT). TSMIP stands for Taiwan Strong Motion Instrumentation Program.

– Seismic behaviour of the investigation of soils in the large bi-axial shaking table shear box.

Earthquake Scenario Studies

– Establishment and application of geotechnical earth science hazard database.

– Development of Taiwan seismic scenario database and its applications.

– Development of Taiwan Earthquake Loss Estimation System.

Experimental Technology Studies

– Collaborative experiment technology using the Internet.

– Application of optical fiber sensors in civil engineering structures.

Information Technology Studies

– Establishment of an earthquake engineering database.

– Integration of numerical and experimental stimulation.
To educate people about earthquakes, there are published books, printed reports, international seminars and videos. NCREE also holds IDEERS and ITP to raise public awareness.

IDEERS stands for “Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools” and is held every year by the British council in Taipei, NCREE and the Bristol University. It is a science-based project with a competition developed by the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre of the Bristol University. The students participating are undergraduate students majoring in civil engineering related subjects and high school students. Students entering the competition will make their models using cheap materials which then will be put on the tri-axial seismic simulator (shaking-table). Models will be shaken to destruction, and the best-designed models will win prizes.

ITP Edit
ITP stands for The International Training Program (for Seismic Design of Structures and Hazard Mitigation) and is held by The National Science Council (NSC) and the Democratic Pacific Union. It is a short-term workshop to train government officials and engineers from different countries (In 2006, thirty-three people attended from fourteen different countries). The Program will try to improve the disaster-preventing technology and the earthquake-resisting ability of those countries and try reduce the impacts and losses caused by major earthquakes.

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