NHERI@UTexas contributes unique, literally one-of-a-kind, large, mobile dynamic shakers and associated instrumentation to the study and development of novel, in-situ testing methods that can be used to both evaluate the needs of existing infrastructure and optimize the design of future infrastructure, such that our communities become more resilient to earthquakes and other natural hazards. The proposed NHERI@UTexas equipment resources were primarily established with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program. These equipment resources have served the earthquake engineering community for over 10 years under the name of NEES@UTexas. NEES@UTexas was established as an experimental equipment site that specialized in dynamic in-situ testing using large-scale mobile shakers. All equipment of NEES@UTexas is now proposed for use by NHERI@UTexas. This equipment includes: (a) five large dynamic shakers that can be used as mobile, wide-band dynamic sources for excitation of geotechnical and structural systems, (b) a tractor-trailer rig used to transport the four largest shakers, (c) a field supply truck for refueling and field maintenance of the mobile shakers, (d) an instrumentation van that houses state-of-the-art data acquisition systems and electrical power generation capabilities, (e) a field instrumentation trailer that has air-conditioned work space and electrical power generation capabilities, and (f) an extensive collection of field instrumentation, DAC systems and a wide range of numerous sensors that are used to measure vibrational motions and pore water pressures.

The types of laboratory simulations and tests enabled by the NHERI@UTexas include:

  1. performing deeper, more accurate, higher resolution, 2D/3D subsurface geotechnical imaging,
  2. characterizing the nonlinear dynamic response and liquefaction resistance of complex geomaterials in situ, and
  3. developing rapid, in-situ methods for structural health monitoring and soil-foundation-structure interaction (SFSI) studies.