Less Logo



Current Projects


NEESR: Near Collapse Performance of Existing Reinforced Concrete Frame Buildings


Real-Time Hybrid Simulation with Online Model Updating



Completed Projects


NEESsoft: Seismic Risk Reduction for Soft-Story Woodframe Buildings


US-China Distributed Test


Cyclic Testing of two HGA10 connectors for CLT panels


Return to Projects Webpage


US-China Distributed Test

Project Duration: 01/2012~12/2014  

Description: This project utilizes the unique hybrid simulation capability provided by the NEES facilities to integrate the physical experiments on four sets of three columns of four buildings and the numerical simulation of the remaining reinforced concrete frame structure. The goals of the project are to determine the effects and 

Principal Investigator: EAPSI program of National Science Foundation
Research Assistant:
Adam Mueller
Drs. Shao and Wu

important characteristics of triaxial as opposed to unidirectional seismic ground motions on column failure and collapse mechanisms, to develop reliable analytical modeling tools and methods for collapse analysis and to develop system level acceptance criteria and procedures for collapse analysis of reinforced concrete structures.

For the distributed hybrid simulation, the prototype structure shown below was substructured into three modules. Module 1 is the left column, which was represented by a cantilever column specimen located at WMU. Module 2 is the beam, which was simulated numerically in OpenSees at HIT. Module 3 is the right column, which was represented by a spring specimen located at HIT. UI-SimCor was used as the computational driver.

The transfer of data between UI-SimCor and OpenSees was achieved through a program included in the UI-SimCor package called Network Interface for Console Applications (NICA). However, communication with the physical substructures is more challenging. This was realized through a series of connections. First, a LabVIEW Virtual Instrument (VI) called Network Interface for Controllers (NICON) was used to send and receive data to and from National Instruments (NI) hardware. NICON was developed by Dr. Oh-Sung Kwon and Viswanath Kammula at the University of Toronto.
At HIT, a NI USB-6259 data acquisition device was physically attached to the computer running UI-SimCor via a USB port. NICON was run on the same computer, allowing data transfer between UI-SimCor and the NI device. The data was then transferred to dSPACE through Bayonet Neill-Concelman (BNC) connectors. dSPACE was then able to directly control the hydraulic actuator and receive feedback.

At WMU, the communication is more intricate. NICON was deployed to a NI PXI-8108 processor, and the internet protocol (IP) address of the processor was specified within UI-SimCor. This established a connection between UI-SimCor at HIT and the NI processor at WMU. Also, since the WMU network firewall blocks incoming connections from outside the network, the WMU virtual private network (VPN) had to be utilized at HIT. The VPN client was installed on the same computer running UI-SimCor, and a session was initiated prior to the distributed hybrid simulation. This allowed the computer to send and receive data to and from the NI processor as if it were directly connected to the WMU network. Next, BNC connectors were used to connect between the NI processor and the SC6000 hydraulic controller at WMU. This SC6000 was able to control the hydraulic actuator and receive feedback.


Western Michigan University ---- Department of Civil and Construction Engineering

Laboratory of Earthquake and Structural Simulation ---- Last Updated: 12-3-2014