Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems
A National Engineering Research Center

NHERI RTMD Equipment Site

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NHERI Lehigh Real-Time Multi-Directional (RTMD) Experimental Facility

To help meet the grand challenge of community resilience to natural hazards, the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Lehigh Experimental Facility (EF) was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be a world-class, open-access facility that enables researchers to address key research questions associated with the challenge of community resilience. The NHERI Lehigh EF has a unique portfolio of equipment, instrumentation, infrastructure, testbeds, experimental simulation control protocols, large-scale simulation and testing experience along with know-how that does not exist elsewhere in the United States. The unique strength of the NHERI Lehigh EF is accurate, large-scale, multi-degree-of-freedom and multi-directional simulations of the effects of natural hazard events on civil infrastructure systems (i.e., buildings, bridges, industrial facilities, etc.) with potential soil-foundation effects..

The types of laboratory simulations and tests enabled by the NHERI Lehigh EF include:

  1. Hybrid simulation (HS) which combines large-scale physical models with computer-based numerical simulation models.

  2. Geographically distributed hybrid simulation (DHS) which is a HS with physical models and/or numerical simulation models located at different sites.

  3. Real-time hybrid earthquake simulation (RTHS) which is a HS conducted at the actual time scale of the physical models.

  4. Geographically distributed real-time hybrid earthquake simulation which combines DHS and RTHS.

  5. Dynamic testing (DT) which loads large-scale physical models at real-time scales through predefined load histories.

  6. Quasi-static testing (QS) which loads large-scale physical models at slow rates through predefined load histories.

Additional information on the NHERI Lehigh RTMD Experimental Facility can be found at:


Specific questions regarding the equipment site can be addressed to the following individuals:


Dr. James Ricles, RTMD Facility Director and Bruce G. Johnston Professor of Structural Engineering, Lehigh University

Phone: 610-758-6252


Dr. Joseph Saunders, NHERI Lehigh RTMD Operations Manager

Phone: 610-758-3223


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