Purdue to lead national earthquake center

Sept. 10, 2009 at 3:23 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Purdue University says it has received a $105 million National Science Foundation grant to lead a national earthquake engineering network.

Purdue will use the five-year grant -- the largest in the university's history -- to create a center that will be the headquarters of the George Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

The center will connect 14 network research equipment sites and the earthquake engineering community through groundbreaking cyber-infrastructure, education and outreach efforts, university officials said.

The new Purdue center will include partners from the Universities of Washington, Florida, Texas at Austin, Kansas and Michigan, as well as San Jose State University and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Purdue Professor Julio Ramirez, the project's principal investigator, said the facility, among other things, will allow researchers to conduct experiments and simulations of the ways buildings, bridges, utility systems and different materials perform during seismic events. Earthquake engineers will use that information to develop better and more cost-effective ways of reducing earthquake damage.

The center is to begin operations Oct. 1

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