Year 2016

On 19th April, 2016, LESS members including Dr. Shao, celebrated the end of the Spring semester and had a farewell lunch @ Appelbee's Restaurant in honor of visiting scholar Zhongyuan Shen from Tongji University, Shangai, China. Zhongyuan came to visit LESS in October, 2015. During her six-month stay here, she worked with Dr. Shao on a journal paper about her disseratation work related to seismic anlaysis of immersed tunnels using multi-body discrete time transfer matrix method. The paper is to submitted soon. 

Dr Shao                  Dr Shao



Year 2015

Dr. Shao was invited to attend to the EU-US-Asia Workshop on Hybrid Testing held in Ispra, Italy on 5-6 October, 2015. Researchers around the world gathered at the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment at the European Commission Joint Research Center to discuss collaboration and future development of hybrid testing in civil engineering and other applicable areas. During this workshop, she gave a presentation of “Incremental Hybrid Simulation Development Method for Large-Scale Application”.

Dr Shao                 



Dr. Shao is on sabbatical during the 2015~2016 academic year. In the summer of 2015, Dr. Shao took of opportunity of sabbatical and visited four Chinese universities. She presented seminars at those universities on “Advanced Hybrid Simulation for Structural Seismic Performance Evaluation”. She also discussed potential collaborations on research projects and education programs with the faculties from those university. Pictures below are taken at Tongji University, Shanghai and Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang.

Dr Shao                  Dr Shao



Hezha Sadraddin successfully defend his thesis “Fragility Assessment of High-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings” on May 13, 2015. Then, he celebrated with his thesis defense committee in LESS lab by preparing Kurdish food.

NEESoft Specimen



Year 2014

  Dr. Shao was selected by AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) to attend the AISC Educator Workshop that was held on July 30-31, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Picture below shows the demonstration of steel column buckling concepts.    

NEESoft Specimen




On 7/28, Professor Xiang Yiqiang from Zhejiang University, China visited LESS. He gave a presentation on his various research projects in Bridges Structures and discussed with Drs. Shao, Hu, Attanayake and Aktan about potential collaborations in ABC (Accelerated Bridge Construction) and other interested topics.


NEESoft Specimen



Following the 10th National Conference of Earthquake Engineering, on 7/25, Dr. Shao attended the 5th Workshop on China-USA Collaboration for Disater Evolution/Resilience of Civil Infrastructure and Urban Environment. This is the third time Dr. Shao was invited in this event.    
          NEESoft Specimen                                              



During July 21st through the 25th, Dr. Shao attended the 10th National Conference of Earthquake Engineering during which she presented two papers and organized one session of “TH 16. Application of Hybrid Simulation in NEESR Projects”.




NEESoft Specimen NEESoft Specimen




Dr. Shao visited MUST_SIM @ UIUC on 07/10 through the 11th. The first hybrid simulation of three columns is almost ready to go.


NEESoft Specimen NEESoft Specimen




Mohamed Ahmed and Adam Mueller traveled to UIUC during June 2014 to prepare the instrumentation for the first hybrid testing of the NEESR Project "Near Collapse Performance of Existing Reinforced Concrete Frame Buildings".


NEESoft Specimen




Adam Mueller successfully defended his thesis “Real-Time Hybrid Simulation with Online Model Updating” on May 14.  Congratulations to Adam!!


NEESoft Specimen




During April 24-26, Dr. Shao attended the ENHANCE Workshop that was held at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. ENHANCE is an NSF-supported collaborative effort to “Enhance the Career of Female Faculty in Earthquake Engineering Research”. As an ENHANCE fellow, Dr. Shao met her mentor during the workshop and participated in the discussion of different perspectives of academic lives of female earthquake engineering researchers.



  On April 3-5, Dr. Shao traveled to Boston for the 2014 ASCE Structures Congress. She monitored the technical session of “Seismic experiments for structures with rate-dependent behavior” sponsored by the ASCE/SEI “Structural Control and Sensing” technical committee and made a presentation of “Real-Time Hybrid Simulation of Wood Shear Wall Frame with Viscous Damper”. Pictures below are Dr. Shao during the session she monitored and a bird’s-eye view of Boston downtwon.    

NEESoft Specimen NEESoft Specimen




Dr. Shao was invited to join a Hybrid Simulation Task Force to prepare the “Hybrid Simulation Primer Dictionary” that is online now at the NEEShub (click for download). This primer and dictionary is an outcome of the meeting held January 27-28, 2014 at NEESComm at Purdue University. The purpose of this document is to provide users who are new to hybrid simulation with a general introduction of its framework, components, capabilities, and the procedures by which a simulation is typically performed. Pictured below is Dr. Shao at the meeting discussing with other members.


NEESoft Specimen



  On February 25-26, Dr. Shao and Adam Mueller traveled to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to help prepare for testing in the 1/5th scale laboratory for the NEESR project Near Collapse Performance of Existing Reinforced Concrete Frame Buildings. In addition, on March 24-26, Adam visited again to provide further assistance.    

NEESoft Specimen



  On 2/13/2014 and 2/14/2014, Abby Chapin and Betsy Strehl from the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center utilized the shake table and accelerometers at LESS to conduct testing on a three-story benchmark structure that they constructed. They tested seven different bracing configurations under different amplitudes of earthquake motion and observed the effects on the structural response.    

Year 2013



  • As of the end of August, hybrid simulations of four different retrofits have been completed. As part of the NEESsoft project a series of hybrid simulations were conducted at the NEES facility at the University of Buffalo with a physical upper-two story structures and a numerical first soft story with different retrofits. WMU led the development of the hybrid simulation controller.



During August 14~30 Adam Mueller traveled to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the NEESR: Near Collapse Performance of Existing Reinforced Concrete Frame Buildings to preform instrumentation on the test specimens (RC columns)



On August 17, as part of the NEESsoft project, a collapse test of the 4-story soft first story wood frame building was conducted using the outdoor shake table at the NEES facility of the University of California, San Diego (see home page for video). WMU is one of the five-university collaborating in this project. News programs CBS, FOX and ABC reported on the tests.






Dr. Shao was invited to attend the HS workshop and the 4th Workshop on China-USA Collaboration for Disater Evolution/Resilience of Civil Infrastructure and Urban Environment held during the Quake Summit 2013 at Reno, Nevada.



Adam Mueller was chosen by the National Science Foundation to participate in the East Asia Pacific Summer Institute in Harbin, China. He spentJune~August conducting research at Harbin Institute of Technology under Dr. Bin Wu.


Adam Mueller HIT Adam Mueller HIT




As of June 5, LESS is now online!  Dr. Oh-Sung Kwon from the University of Toronto provided LESS with the NICON program, which has been configured to work with the LESS Lab.  NICON provides the LESS laboratory with the ability to be remotely operated. The implementation of NICON allowed for a distributed US-China test to be preformed. This distributed test was the first time UI-SimCor was used in China and was the first distributed HS at HIT.



On May 21, LESS members Adam and Tim rearranged and cleaned the laboratory. Seen below is a picture of Adam (right) and Tim (left) cleaning the lab and a picture of the new lab setup.


LESS_Lab_Cleaning New Lab Setup




Dr. Shao is invited to the 2013 Quake Summit for the Technical Program Committee member  meeting.


During May 13~17, Dr. Shao visited the University of Buffalo to work on implementing hybrid simulation for the NEESoft project.  Pictured below is Dr. Shao at the University of Buffalo and the NEESoft specimen.


Dr. Shao at University of Buffalo          NEESoft Specimen



  During May 2~4, Dr. Shao and Adam Mueller both attended and presented papers at the 2013 Structures Congress in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  Dr. Shao presented Hybrid simulation of a wood shear wall frame and Adam Mueller presented A benchmark testing system for real-time hybrid simulation development. Pictured below are Dr. Shao and Adam presenting.    

Structures_Congress_2013_Dr_Shao       Structures_Congress_2013_Adam



  On March 23, Dr. Shao traveled to University of Alabama to preform real-time hybrid simulation of a damped and undamped wood shear wall.  The picture below shows the NEESsoft research team in front of the specimen.  A video of one of their tests can be found on the home page.    




  On March 12, high school students Sam Peters and Tom Sandell from Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center performed shake table tests at LESS using base isolators that they designed and constructed. They are pictured below installing them.    




Year 2012

On November 8, Chelsea Griffith successfully defensed her thesis entitled "The Implementation of a Versatile Pseudodynamic Hybrid Simulation for Seismic Evaluation of Structural Systems."  Congratulations to Chelsea!

Dr. Shao is awarded the NSF ENHANCE Fellow. She will work with her assigned mentor to develop an interesting earthquake engineering project.



Dr. Shao gave a structural engineering seminar to graduate students at Purdue University on September 18.  She and Chelsea Griffith also toured the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research at Purdue.




Dr. Shao attended the 3rd Annual China-US Workshop in Berkeley, California during August 13~14.



Adam Mueller was awarded a graduate student fellowship for the NSF CMMI Engineering and Research Innovation Conference.  During July 7~13, he traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the conference as well as the Quake Summit 2012.  Adam is pictured below presenting his poster on geographically distributed hybrid testing.




On June 29, Dr. Shao and Adam Mueller traveled to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to visit the MUST-SIM facility, where the experimental portion of the NEESR: Near-Collapse Performance of Existing RC Frame Buildings project will take place.  Pictured below is Adam in front of the Loading and Boundary Condition Boxes (LBCBs) at MUST-SIM.




Chelsea Griffith was chosen by the National Science Foundation to participate in the East Asia Pacific Summer Institute in Taipei, Taiwan. She spent June~August conducting research at the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering under Dr. Keh-Chyuan Tsai.




During June 11~16, Dr. Shao and Chelsea Griffith traveled to the University of Alabama to conduct large scale hybrid tests of a wood shear wall assembly.  They are pictured below.




On May 21, Chee Kian Teng successfully defensed his thesis entitled "Health Monitoring System of a Bridge Structure Using Wireless Sensor Network."  Congratulations to CK!

CK Defense


During March 29~31, Dr. Shao and Chelsea Griffith attended American Society of Civil Engineer’s Structures Congress in Chicago, Illinois. Pictured is Chelsea Griffith with their poster titled “Hybrid Testing in NEESR Projects.”

CK Defense



On March 23, a student of the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Timothy Oh, presented his research entitled “The Effects of Damping on a Soft Story Construction in Case of Seismic Activity” at Southwest Michigan Science and Engineering Fair. His project included shake table tests at LESS to characterize a woodframe structure’s (pictured below) seismic behavior with and without damping.

Woodframe Structure


Year 2011

Dr. Shao gave a presentation named "Benchmark study and future development of Real time hybrid simulation" at the Advances in Real-Time Hybrid Simulation Workshop on October 10, 2011 at the Lehigh University NEES Facility. During the presentation she introduced the versatile hybrid testing system developed at LESS.

RTHS Workshop



Dr. Shao is awarded the 2011 Outstanding New Researcher by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences,Western Michigan University.

                                                         New Research Award         



 During July 10~15, Dr. Shao attended the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Teaching (ExCEEd) Workshopat University of Texas at Tyler. This workshop was organized by American Society of Civil Engineers. By completing this workshop, Dr. Shao became an ExCEEd 2011 Teaching Fellow.  The picture below shows Dr. Shao with her team members and mentors at the graduation ceremony.

   ExCEEd Team



During June 8~11, Dr. Shao and Griffin Enyart attended the Quake Summit 2011 (NEES and MCEER annual meeting) held in Buffalo, NY. The left picture shows Griffin in front of his poster "Developing a versatile hybrid testing system for seismic evaluation." The right picture shows Dr. Shao giving a presentation on "NEES-Soft  hybrid testing at NEES@Buffalo." 


                  Quake Summit                  Quake Summit



On May 11, Chee Kian Teng conducted a field test of a skewed steel girder bridge using wireless sensor networks. Dynamic vibration of the bridge subject to traffic load was recorded and will be analyzed using modern structural health monitoring schemes. The picture below shows Chee Kian installing wireless sensors on the steel bridge girder.

CK Test



On May 10, Griffin Enyart successfully defensed his thesis entitled "Development of a versatile hybrid testing system for seismic evaluation of structural systems."  Congratulations to Griffin!

            Griffin Defense                                Griffin Defense



Congratulations to Lusanni Acosta and John Sendor!  Lusanni and John are both Junior students in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. They recently won Undergraduate Research Excellence Awards from the Office of the Vice President for Research and will conduct research in the LESS with Dr. Shao during summer session (I), 2011.



Prism The NEESSoft project performed by LESS with other four universities are reported by the Western Michigan University Newsletter Prism for academic affairs in the issue of March, 2011 (page 15).                                                           

On March 25, 2011, two high school students Kelsey Wiers (left) and Annalin Davis (middle) from Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center presented their research project on "The Effect of Varying Mass and Stiffness on a Structure's Displacement, Velocity, and Acceleration During an Earthquake" at Southwest Michigan Science and Engineering Fair. They conducted a series of shake table tests at the LESS to verify the effect of mass and stiffness on structure’s response.




The NSF funded George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) project on Seismic Risk Reduction for Soft-Story Woodframe Buildings (NEESsoft) is reported in the WMU College for Engineering and Applied Science newsletter published on March 1, 2011.



Dr. Shao attended the Hybrid Simulation Workshop held by NEES@Berkeley equipment site on February 24~24, 2011.


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

Laboratory of Earthquake and Structural Simulation ---- Last Updated: 5-31-2015