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San Diego Supercomputer Center Selected as New Home for Earthquake Researchers' IT Data Services

Published 10/06/2004

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) announced today that it will now host the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Cyberinfrastructure Center (NEESit). The center's service-focused team will operate and support an extensive central information technology infrastructure.

"SDSC is uniquely positioned to help NEES researchers further their research on earthquakes and what causes them," said Vijay Samalam. "SDSC's mission is to bring all the components of cyberinfrastructure - data services, networking, high-performance computing, storage, application development - under one roof so that scientists have a one-stop shop for all of their technological needs," says the center's executive director, Vijay Samalam.

"Anke Kamrath, division director at SDSC, and her team are enabling the earthquake-engineering community to address unprecedented challenges with powerful new array of cyberinfrastructure tools ," said Cliff Roblee, executive director of NEES, Inc. "With this new networked collaboratory, engineering researchers will have greater experimental capabilities as well as more extensive and more accessible data archives at their fingertips, thus allowing them to reach their goals of advancing earthquake mitigation practices faster and much more efficiently than ever before.

Building upon the foundational NEESgrid products developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and its partners, SDSC's team will provide NEES with a variety of services:

  • A full suite of data services covering the architecture from end-to-end. Services include data and metadata model design, local and central repository storage, data acquisition tools, as well as ingestion, search and curation functions.
  • Data acquisition services that provide NEES users with the capability to stream sensor and instrumentation data from the data acquisition machines at the local equipment sites and ultimately populate the NEESgrid data repository services.
  • The Telepresence Mode (TPM) provides an interface and display mechanism to enable users to remotely view lab space and the physical experiment through telerobotic video cameras. TPM also enables synchronous and asynchronous monitoring of the preparation and construction of tests and test specimens.
  • User services that include a call center available 24/7 for troubleshooting, documentation improvement, usability engineering to drive future software development and enhancements as well as online and face-to-face training.
  • Infrastructure services including network, grid and central administration services
  • Quality assurance and maintenance services that follow a software engineering process to ensure it meets the highest in quality standards.
  • Simulation services that allow the community to access high-performance computing resources through the NEES simulation portal.
  • Web and collaboration services such as managing email lists, production Web site maintenance, and support and enhancement of the NEES collaboration platform, which facilitates geographically distributed experimentation.
  • IT management services such as project coordination and software engineering, which will establish software engineering standards, develop and maintain operational procedures, establish and track development priorities, and ensure that all components of the NEESit software work well together.

The NEESit team at SDSC is composed of a central core group with two main areas of focus: Development & Deployment and Production IT Support. The Development & Deployment group will be responsible for hardening the existing software and eventually developing new features and functionalities to meet user demands. The Production IT Support group will focus on providing general services such as user support (answering questions and troubleshooting problems from equipment sites and NEES researchers), documentation, training, and outreach. Subcontractors on this project include Oregon State University, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.

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NEES is a national, networked, simulation resource that includes geographically-distributed, shared-use, next-generation experimental research equipment sites built and operated to advance earthquake engineering research and education through collaborative and integrated experimentation, theory, data archiving, and model-based simulation. The goal of NEES is to accelerate progress in earthquake engineering research and to improve the seismic design and performance of civil and mechanical infrastructure systems through the integration of people, ideas, and tools in a collaboratory environment. Open access to and use of NEES research facilities and data by all elements of the earthquake engineering community, including researchers, educators, students, practitioners, and information technology experts, is a key element of this goal.


Founded in 1985, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has a long history of enabling science and engineering discoveries. Continuing this legacy into the next generation, SDSC's mission is to "extend the reach" of researchers and educators by serving as a core resource for cyberinfrastructure - providing them with high-end hardware technologies, integrative software technologies, and deep inter-disciplinary expertise. SDSC is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego and is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). With a staff of more than 400 scientists, software developers, and support personnel, SDSC is an international leader in data management, grid computing, biosciences, geosciences, and visualization. For more information, see

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