Welcome to SEESL

The University at Buffalo's (UB) Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL) provides research services for the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), and R&D services for Industry. The SEESL maintains older equipment (developed by UB and MCEER), and new one developed under NEES initiative and funding.

The SEESL facility has following capabilities which are available to both NEES and non-NEES participants:

  • Three Earthquake Simulators, known also as Shake Tables:
    • Two relocatable 7.0m x7.0m platforms with six-degrees-of-freedom, 50 tons payload each
    • One 3.6m x 3.6m with five-degrees of freedom, 50 tons payload
  • A two stories bi-axial Shaking Table system used as Non-structural Component Simulator
  • A 175 m2 Strong Reaction Wall for reactions to horizontal loading devices (actuators) for large scale testing
  • A 340 m2 Strong Testing Floor for vertical reactions and tie downs of large scale models
  • A uni-axial Laminar Box for 1.0 g soil testing
  • Reconfigurable assemblies of Static and Dynamic Servo-controlled Actuators with advanced control systems (STS, Flextest, etc)
  • A High Performance Hydraulic Power Supply with flow exceeding 6000 liters per minute (1600 gallons per minute)
  • High speed wide band Local and Wide Area Gigabit Networks interfaced and supported by with NEESit services
  • Tele-presence & Tele-operations capabilities for local and wide area collaborations in real time
  • Advanced Dynamic, Pseudo-dynamic, and Static Testing Capabilities including a generic advanced procedure Real Time Dynamic Hybrid Testing (RTDHT)
  • MTS 810 Servo-hydraulic Universal Testing Machine

A detailed description of the facility, its components, and procedures of use can be found in the Lab Manual.

What's New


NEES PVD Test Live!

Monday, August 18, 2014 NEESPVD test in our Laminar Box Live! today
For more information, please, click here.



NEES Adapt-Struct - Phase III

Friday, June 1, 2012: In the third and final phase of the NEESAdaptStruct project, the influence of negative stiffness on the performance of a seismically-isolated bridge structure will be evaluated via numerical simulations and experimental shaking table tests.
For more information, please, click here.



NEES Adapt-Struct - Phase II

Thursday, November 18, 2011: In the second phase of this study, the concept of "weakening and damping" is verified in a prototype 1:3 scale moment-frame designed at University at Buffalo (UB) and tested by the researchers at UB, Rice Univeristy and Taylor Devices, Inc.
The current testing series is underway and is planned to end on or before December 23, 2011

For more information, please, click here.



Seismic performance of suspended ceiling systems

Monday August 29, 2011 Part of the overall research project on Simulation of the Seismic Performance of Nonstructural Systems lead by the University of Nevada Reno, the University at Buffalo team of this NSF Sponsored Grand Challenge project (NEESR-GC) on studies of non-structural components is conducting a testing series of suspended ceilings and associated components (lighting, etc) using full size 20x50 ft (6x16 m) and 20x20 ft (6x6 m) frames, to be completed in Fall 2011 using the tandem shake tables at SEESL (University at Buffalo).
For more information please go here.


Site Tour  

Quake Summit 2011 UB-NEES Site Tour and Test Demonstrations

Saturday June 11, 2011following the Quake Summit closing sessions, UB-NEES hosted over 100 Quake Summit participants for a multi-hour tour of the UB-NEES site. CSEE Professor Andre Filiatrault provided detailed descriptions and research applications of the major UB-NEES equipment systems including the Twin Re-configurable Shake Tables, The Nonstructural Component Simulator (NCS), the 1-G Geotechnical Laminar Box and the Reaction Wall/Strong Floor/Actuator testing systems. This was followed by Shake Table and NCS equipment system test demonstrations.
For more information please go here.


Mentoring Session  

Quake Summit 2011-Student Mentoring Workshop

Thursday, June 9, 2011 A major EOT activity held during Quake Summit 2011, was the Student Mentoring Session and Workshop on instrumentation, calibration and testing organized and hosted by the UB-NEES site. The workshop, attracted approximately 56 domestic and international students that were accompanied by many of the NEES site PI’s and NSF’s Dr. Joy Pauschke.
For more information please go here.



BEAM Grand Challenge 2011

May, 2011in conjunction with the UB-School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), UB-NEES led and participated in a major event at the annual BEAM competition targeting Western New York High School minority students. This year, approximately 90 local high school minority students participated, representing ~14 local high schools. This UB-BEAM event involves all of the engineering departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Civil, Aero-Mechanical, Electrical, Industrial, Bio, Computer Engineering, etc…) each establishing a discipline specific venue challenging students to complete an engineering task and answer engineering technical and trivia questions related to the specific engineering venue.
For more information please go here.



Congresswoman Kathy Hochul Visits the UB-NEES Laboratory

Tuesday, June 28, 2011: newly elected Congresswoman Kathy Hochul visited and toured the UB-NEES laboratory, escorted by UB President Satish Tripathy. Her visit with President Tripathy was hosted in relation to UB’s 2020 program. This visit has afforded UB-NEES with some initial visibility, at the federal congressional level with more anticipated during future visits, as Congresswoman Hochul indicated.

For more information, please, click here.




Wednesday, May 04, 2011: NSF and NEES funded large scale low aspect ratio (height/length) reinforced concrete shear wall testing is underway in the SEESL Laboratory at the University at Buffalo.

For more information, please, click here.




Wednesday, November 17, 2010: As part of the NEES TIPS project, earthquake simulator testing is underway at UB-NEES, to assess the performance limit states of seismically isolated buildings under strong ground motions. The experimental program includes component testing of elastomeric bearings to characterize their stability and system level shakes table experiments to examine limits states of isolated building systems under extreme ground shaking.

For more information, please, click here.



NEES Adapt-Struct - Phase I

Monday, August 30, 2010: at 9:00 am EST a Demonstaration test will be performed and webcast for our internet audience. Please, join us.

For more information, please, click here.


SEESL YouTube  

SEESL/NEES@Buffalo YouTube Channel

Thursday, May 20, 2010: A SEESL/NEES@Buffalo YouTube Channel has been created where you will be able to see videos and news coeverage of some the tests done here.

For more information, please, click here.


Accelerated Bridge design frame  

Large-Scale, Dual Shake Table Test of Precast Segmental Bridge

Monday, May 03, 2010: A 1/2.4 scale single-span precast segmental bridge will be tested on the adjacent re-locatable shake tables at the University at Buffalo. The objective of the test is to identify the response and evaluate the performance of precast segmental bridges when subjected to seismic loading. The large scale bridge model, designed according to the Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques, will be the first of its type ever performed in the United States.

For more information, please, go here.


NEESports frame  

NEESports: Large-Scale, Shake Table Test of a Container Crane

Monday, November 23, 2009:at 2:00 PM EST To get a better understanding of how container cranes respond during an earthquake, a 1/10th scale model of a container crane has been designed and will be tested on the shake table at the University at Buffalo. The objective of the test is to measure the response of the crane from small levels of shaking to those large enough to cause the test crane to collapse. The upcoming test will be the largest ever performed in the United States and the first shake table test in the world to test to collapse.

For more information, please, go here.


Hybrid moment frame  

Hybrid Simulation of Steel Moment Frame to Collapse

Wednesday, July 29, 2009:at 8:00 AM EST, 21:00 JST, we will be conducting a geographically distributed hybrid simulation of a four story steel moment frame building subjected to the 1995 JR Takatori record at 100% scale. The building model is based on the four story steel moment frame building tested to collapse at E-Defense, Japan in September 2007.

For more information, please, go here.


Structural Fuse  

Structural Fuse Concept for Bridges

Tuesday, May 5, 2009: The concept of designing sacrificial elements to dissipate seismic energy while preserving the integrity of the structure’s other main components is known as the structural fuse concept.
The first specimen will be tested on Monday, May 11, 2009 starting at 9:00 AM. Plase join us for LIVE webcast.

For more information please go here.



UB “Science Exploration Day” 2009 at SEESL

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Approximately 40 Western New York high school students, participating in UB’s-23rd “Science Exploration Day” toured UB’s Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL), in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE). They also observed a simulated earthquake, employing a “Mini-Shake Table”, subjecting a sub-scale 27-story building to a seismographic record from the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. For more information please go here.



UB-NEES Hosts NEES Board of Directors

August 14, 2008the UB-NEES site hosted a visit for the NEES Board of Directors who are holding their quarterly board meeting in Buffalo, N.Y. on August 15, 2008. The following eight Board Members attended the visit: Roberto Leon, John Bobbitt, Shirley Dyke, JoAnn Browning, Jim Myers, Julio Ramirez, Jim Ricles and Ken Stoke. Also in attendance were Dr. Joy Pauschke, NSF’s-NEES Program Director and Dr. Steve McCabe, CEO of NEESInc.
For more information click here


SEESL - Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory
212 Ketter Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
phone. +1(716)645-3019       fax. +1(716)645-3733