Validation is the process of the determining the degree to which a model is an accurate representation of the real world from the perspective of the intended use of the model.
-Oberkampf, W. L. and Trucano, T. G. (2008). "Verification and Validation Benchmarks", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 238, pp. 716-743
Nonlinear site response
Adequate validation of site-response and SSI methods requires either field tests or large-scale experimental models, both of which are highly challenging to perform. The Seismic Research Group will be performing a validation study for one-dimensional site-response analysis codes. The large-scale geotechnical laminar box at the University at Buffalo will be used for the experiments. When performed, this will be the first large-scale laboratory-controlled validation study for site-response problems.
Gapping and sliding
Gapping and sliding can significantly affect SSC response in nuclear structures, but these phenomena are currently not well understood. The Seismic Research Group will be conducting experiments to provide 1) insight into the physics of gapping and sliding between soil and concrete and 2) data that will be used to calibrate the soil-foundation contact models used in nonlinear SSI simulations.