In the second week of August 2013 full-scale testing of the CFS-NEES (Cold-Formed Steel – Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation) project wrapped up. You can learn a ton about the testing at the CFS-NEES blog and the CFS-NEES website. This multi-year project funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and many more, was in many practical ways the genesis for the CFSRC effort.
Testing during the CFS-NEES project was conducted at Johns Hopkins University, and the University of North Texas and culminated at the National NEES facility operated by the good folks at the SEESL lab at the University of Buffalo. In addition, thanks to companion funding by AISI additional testing was conducted at Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, McGill was a formal International Collaborator in the effort and coordinated testing and analysis was completed during the life of the project. This project demonstrated that a large group of universities could work together towards a common goal and make significant progress in relatively tight timeframes.
For larger scale work such as CFS-NEES and the projects CFSRC aims to work on the role of industry is crucial. This comes in two critical forms: direct aid and advice. A number of manufacturers and companies aided in the CFS-NEES effort, see here for a full list. This direct aid was crucial to the project’s success, in particular, the partnership with ClarkDietrich, was critical to making this large project a reality. The advisory board provided critical advice on practical details and implementation of the work. In this involvement one can see the genesis of the CFSRC vision – cutting edge research that has a practical impact on the world. Industry is a huge part in making this happen.
At its most basic the CFSRC is a group of people who wish to work together to solve common problems. In so many ways the CFS-NEES project taught us how productive this could be.