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About Us

Welcome to the Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (CEES) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a member of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).

CEES is a multi-disciplinary research center. We are committed to providing internal and external researchers a state-of-the-art facility to conduct analytical, experimental, analytical-experimental, and multi-disciplinary research within, and outside, earthquake engineering.


Information Video:


 Centrifuge Staff:

Centrifuge staff: Back Row left to right: Panagiota Kokkali, Michael Bretti, Jason Thomas, Prof. Tarek Abdoun, Tanya Volvhek-Vilcu Front Row left to right: Prof. Inthuorn Sasanakul, Prof. Ricardo Dobry, John Lawler



Rensselaer’s centrifuge was commissioned in 1989 and started conduct

ing physical model simulations of soil and soil-structure systems subjected to in-flight earthquake shaking in 1991. In this decade of successful operation, the facility has published results of about 360 earthquake-related model simulations, served as the basis for 16 Ph.D. dissertations and 21 MS thesis at RPI in the last 10 years, contributed to the research of RPI faculty and students as well as of dozens of visiting scholars and outside users from the US, Asia, Europe and Latin America, and provided data and research results to many people and organizations around the world This centrifuge earthquake research has been conducted with two existing one-dimensional in-flight shakers, which can accommodate respectively 90 kg and 400 kg payloads.


The NEES project was named in memory of the late George E. Brown, Jr., former chairman of the House Science Committee and a champion of engineering and science in Congress for more than 30 years. Representative Brown authored the legislation creating the inter-agency National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program in 1977, which in turn led to the creation of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. NEES is a network of 14 large-scale, experimental sites that feature advanced tools such as shake tables, centrifuges that simulate earthquake effects, unique laboratories, a tsunami wave basin and field-testing equipment. With these tools, engineers and students from all parts of the country can collaborate on multi-site experiments using simulators that generate earthquake effects strong enough to bring down full-sized buildings.

NEES will operate from Oct. 1, 2004, through Sept. 30, 2014. The nonprofit NEEScomm will operate and coordinate the network’s activities. NEEScomm provides open access to the 14 sites by allocating research time at the facilities while leading training, education and outreach activities and establishing ties with U.S. and international partners.

Contact Information

Tarek Abdoun, PhD
Thomas Iovino Chaired Professor
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs
Technical Director
(518) 276-6544
abdout at rpi dot edu

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