The Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research was formally established in 1984. Early research efforts were devoted to testing full-scale bridges in the field. However, with the completion of the high-bay structures laboratory in the Harry Reid Engineering Laboratory in 1992, recent efforts have used high-performance shake tables to study the seismic behavior of numerous structural and geotechnical systems.
Today, the Center comprises two research laboratories, one in geotechnical engineering and the other in large-scale structural systems. Almost 20 academic, research, and administrative faculty, research scientists, and technicians are affiliated with CCEER, and about 30 doctoral and masters students are engaged in research projects under the Center's umbrella.
In its more than 30-year history the Center has published more than 160 technical reports. Through these and other publications, CCEER has become well known for its work in advancing seismic safety, particularly in the area of highway bridges.
Through the Center's shared-use policies, research is carried out for federal and state agencies, the private sector and non-profit organizations. In addition to highway bridges, the Center's current research efforts include the study of nonstructural components in buildings and alternative building materials.