Search | Contact | Privacy Statement | Legal Notice
European Commission >JRC >IPSC >ELSA


Seismic Engineering Research Infrastructures for European Synergies


European seismic engineering research suffers from extreme fragmentation of research infrastructures (RI) between countries and limited access to them by the scientific and technical community of earthquake engineering, especially that of Europe's most seismic regions.

Major investments in experimental research infrastructures in earthquake engineering have been made in Europe, however this large capacity and the associated human resources are not used efficiently, as they are extremely fragmented among different Member States or Associated and Candidate Countries and are not open to access by talented outside researchers.


This project aims at bridging the two gaps of RTD in experimental earthquake engineering and structural dynamics: (a) between Europe and the US or Japan, and (b) between European countries with high seismicity but less advanced RTD infrastructures on one hand and some more technologically advanced but not so seismic Member States on the other.


A 23-strong consortium of the key actors in Europe's seismic engineering research (including 3 industrial partners) addresses these problems in a sustainable way via a 4-year programme of activities at an annual cost to the Commission less than 1.35% of the total present value (€190m) of the RIs' material resources.

The scope covers all aspects of seismic engineering testing, from eight reaction wall pseudodynamic (PsD) facilities and ten shake table labs, to EU's unique tester of bearings or isolators, its two major centrifuges and an instrumented site for wave propagation studies.

Three major activities form the backbone of the SERIES project:

A concerted program of Networking Activities, fostering a sustainable culture of co-operation among all research infrastructures and teams active in European earthquake engineering:

  • A distributed database of test results, pooling data from the beneficiary research infrastructures and others, accessible and maintained by a virtual research community after the project’s end;
  • Telepresence and geographically distributed concurrent testing at the research infrastructures;
  • Standards, protocols and criteria for qualification of RTD infrastructures in earthquake engineering;
  • Enhancement of human resources by training new users and beneficiary technical/research personnel in courses on good practices in operation and use of research infrastructures;
  • Co-coordination and collaboration with national, European and international related initiatives and support to the deployment of global approaches to research in earthquake engineering;
  • Dissemination to the entire European S&T community of earthquake engineering via all relevant national, European or international organisations, networks or bodies;
  • Clustering and co-ordinated actions amongst related European and national projects;
  • International Workshops and other targeted actions, to integrate the earthquake engineering community of the highly seismic regions of the Balkans and Turkey.

Co-ordinated Transnational in-person Access of Users to a world class portfolio combining:

  • EU’s four largest earthquake Shaking Tables, each one with diverse capabilities: the TAMARIS laboratory of CEA/Saclay (FR), the EUCENTRE/TREES Lab in Pavia (IT), LNEC in Lisbon (PT) and the Bristol University Earthquake and Large Structures Laboratory (UK),
  • EU’s largest Reaction Wall and Pseudodynamic testing facility (ELSA) at the JRC, Ispra, and
  • unique Centrifuge Test facilities at (a) LCPC in Nantes (FR) and (b) Cambridge University (UK).

Joint innovative Research toward new fundamental technologies and techniques promoting efficient and joint use of the research infrastructures, in three areas where the beneficiaries excel at world level:

  • Concepts, technical requirements and prototyping for new-generation electro-dynamic actuators (including coupling with hydraulic ones) for high-performance, enhanced-quality real-time testing;
  • New instrumentation and sensor techniques for improved sensing and test control. Dedicated software for data collection, processing and communication, serving current needs for model calibration and interpretation of structural response. Use of data assimilation and model updating to develop virtual models of the equipment-specimen system, in combination with recent advances in control, to reduce calibration pre-tests, optimise instrumentation and improve the quality results;
  • New capabilities and techniques for experimental study of soil-structure-interaction and seismic wave propagation phenomena, currently insufficiently covered by experimental research infrastructures at world level.


The SERIES project is a combination of Collaborative Project and Coordination and Support Action for Integrating Activities under the Framework Programme 7 of the European Union.

Project Web Page


Fabio Taucer
European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Institute For the Protection and Security of the Citizen
Tel. +39 0332 785886 - Fax +39 0332 789049


  • University of Patras (Coordinator) UPAT Greece
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki AUTH Greece
  • Commissariat á L'Energie Atomique CEA France
  • European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering EUCENTRE Italy
  • Géodynamique et Struture GDS France
  • Istanbul Technical University ITU Turkey
  • Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology IZIIS FYROM
  • Joint Research Centre JRC Belgium
  • Bogazici University, Kandilli Observatory & Earthquake Engineering Institute KOERI Turkey
  • Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussees LCPC France
  • Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil LNEC Portugal
  • Middle East Technical University METU Turkey
  • National Technical University of Athens NTUA Greece
  • P&P LMC Srl PeP Italy
  • G h. Asachi Technical University of Iasi TUIasi Romania
  • University of Cambridge UCAM UK
  • University of Ljublijana ULJ Slovenia
  • University of Naples Federico II UNAP Italy
  • Universität Kassel UNIKA Germany
  • Universitá degli Studi di Trento UNITN Italy
  • University of Bristol UNIVBRIS UK
  • University of Oxford UOXF UK
  • VCE Holding GmbH VCE Austria

Recent Publications