Suited to the launch of the second call for proposals for transnational access projects, Igor Lanese, inolved in the TA coordination, talks about how he and his colleagues of the TA evalution panel selected the most promising projects during the first round. And he also summarizes the expected contribution of the projects to the seismology and earthquake enginnering community.
Which were the three main criteria for the selection?
Scientific value and innovation of the proposals were the most important selection criteria, together with the importance for European competitiveness. Besides, technical and economical compatibility with the selected research infrastructure's available resources were critical aspects for the decision.
Where are the selected research teams from?
Overall, the involved researchers come from 18 different nations. The most represented are Italy, Switzerland and Portugal (see details graphics).
When will the experiments start?
The first access to NORSAR data centre has already been provided. For all other research infrastructures, the preliminary phase which includes the specimen and test setup design, material supply, specimen construction, instrumentation layout design, etc. is currently implemented. This phase generally requires few months, therefore, the first tests should start between March and June 2018.
What is the overarching goal of the experiments?
The accepted projects cover a wide range of key aspects related to structural safety. The research will encompass geotechnical aspects with soil-structure interaction and liquefaction, existing structures with limited seismic design provisions as well as innovative structural systems, with focus both at component (e.g. steel connections, coupling beams) and whole structure level, to enhanced seismic isolation and retrofit solutions. Further, the experiments aim at implementing innovative testing techniques such as geographically-distributed hybrid simulation for seismic and fire testing.
What contributions you expect for the seismology and earthquake engineering community?
Given the heterogeneity of the selected projects and the research infrastructures peculiarities, we expect a wide range of contributions to the earthquake engineering and engineering seismology scientific community: The research will improve the knowledge and the safety of new, existing and retrofitted structures, through the investigation of specific structural aspects (e.g. components of shear resistance of coupling beams, soil-structure interaction) as well as the global response to different kind of actions (seismic, fire). The role of non-structural elements gained more and more importance in the last years, and it will be duly considered in the research. Furthermore, EE and ES communities will profit from the revision and improvements of Eurocodes, design guidelines and novel design methods based on the experimental campaigns results. Novel testing techniques will be implemented and validated, giving access to the scientific community to new powerful and cost-effective tools for structural assessment. Finally, all TA users will significantly benefit from the collaboration with highly-specialized first-class research infrastructures, bringing new skills and knowledge to their own institutions and to the whole scientific community through conferences, workshops, and so on.