Provision of access to the following infrastructure(s):


Name of the infrastructure and its installations:
IZIIS’ Dynamic Testing Laboratory (DYNLAB) Shake Table


Location (town, country) of the infrastructure:
UKIM, IZIIS, Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia


Web site address:


Reference contact for potential TA user groups:

Vlatko Sesov – vlatko@iziis.ukim.edu.mk


The IZIIS’ Dynamic Testing Laboratory (DYNLAB) is part of the Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (IZIIS), at the Ss. “Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia. The Laboratory is unique of its type in the region of Western Balkan Countries, as well as surrounding countries that are members of EU.
The shake table in DYNLAB is 5 DOF (Degrees-of-Freedom) MTS shake table having MTS Digital Controller 469D and has been operational since 1982. It is 5.0 m x 5.0 m in plane, allowing testing specimens under independent excitations of various types: sinusoidal, random, shock and time-history with 0 to 50 Hz frequency ranges. The max payload is 40 t. The peak velocity of the shake table is 1m/s and peak displacement is 0.125 m in the horizontal direction, while in vertical direction 0.5 m/s and 0.05 m respectively. The max acceleration is 3.0 g, and 1.5 g, in horizontal and vertical direction respectively, both for bare tables. The laboratory has 72 channel PXI-system for simultaneous data acquisition of various transducers, as well as 80 channels modular DAQ system for strain measurements, both from National Instruments Inc. The Laboratory possesses professional and tailor-made software (using LAB VIEW and MATLAB tools) for data acquisition, pre- and post- processing of measured data, as well.
DYNLAB has a set of three high-definition cameras, allowing telepresence, i.e., audio and video presence during the laboratory activities as well as recording and limited control of the view point. A special dedicated and secured link can be shared with the participants/users and the virtual presence can be enabled by the Microsoft Office 365 Teams and Stream applications. The comprehensive Dahua network cameras are installed in the testing laboratory. Their PTZ- pan-tilt-zoom characteristics, combined with 25 times optical zoom gives the remote-accessed personnel opportunity to observe damage and specimen behavior, close, in a way as they are present in the laboratory. The maximum 25/30fps at 1080P allows excellent video recording capabilities.
The laminar container is originally designed to be used for investigation of different kinds of geo-models on the shake table in the Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology – IZIIS supported by the European FP7 Project UREDITEME REGPOT-2008-1 (Upgrading of Research Equipment for Dynamic Testing of Large-Scale Models), grant no. 230099. The dimensions of the laminar container are 2.0 x 1.0 m at base and 1.5m in height (http://www.iziis.ukim.edu.mk/mk/labs/soillab/). The total weight of empty container is 1553 kg and consists of the following main components:
(a) 16 Aluminum layers/rings and ball bearing system; (b) Steel base plate with the saturation and drainage system; (c) Rigid steel frame which enables the integrity of laminar layers; (d) Flexible rubber-based membrane which covers the internal area of container’s walls. Particular attention has been made towards boundary conditions that the laminar container satisfies. The unique design of laminar rings and system of rollers overcome some of the shortcomings experienced at previous laminar containers such as boundary conditions, saturation, drainage, instrumentation. The performance of the laminar box was tested in 2015 and the results confirmed that the design criteria were fulfilled and that the laminar box could be used in further model testing on saturated geo-models. The results proved the shear beam type response of the soil simulating the free-field conditions and the effectiveness of the laminar box system for 1-g table tests. Accelerometers (ACC), LVDTs and Pore water pressure transducers (PWP) are available to measure physical quantities.


Besides the laminar box and shake table, IZIIS in the same facility can offer access to the following:

  • natural sand – Skopje sand which is available in the lab (enough material to perform a test in the laminar container), natural sand from the Vardar River terraces for which significant studies were performed up to know (Bojadjieva et al., 2019, Sheshov et al., 2019, Bojadjieva (2015) etc.);
  • access to the Soil dynamics Lab consisted of a cyclic simple shear device and dynamic triaxial testing machine for possible element test characterization of soil material which will be used in SSI studies. This will be the case if researchers decide to bring their soil material for testing.


With the mentioned additional facilities on site, IZIIS makes an excellent environment to perform limited size Soil -structure interaction tests in laminar containers on a shaking table, where Skopje sand is available, and access to the element testing lab is provided.

Services currently offered by the infrastructures:
The services offered to users that make the infrastructure unique include an experienced academic staff that work in different departments specialized in building structures, engineering structures, geotechnical and seismological investigations. High-quality control and acquisition system allowing recording up to 150 channels, professional and tailor-made software (using NI LabVIEW and MATLAB tools) for data acquisition and pre- and post- processing of measured data. Three high-definition cameras with non-stop audio and video presence during the laboratory activities as well as recording and limited control of the viewpoint is the added unique value of the DYNLAB. The comprehensive Dahua network cameras were installed in the testing laboratory. Their PTZ- pan-tilt-zoom characteristics, combined with 25 times optical zoom gives the remote-accessed personnel opportunity to observe damage and specimen behaviour, close, in a way as they are present in the laboratory. The areas of research supported by the infrastructure cover a variety of experimental and analytical national, international research and applied science projects in earthquake and geotechnical engineering both for new and existing structures. Also, the laboratory offers services for seismic qualification of various types of equipment for substations and nuclear power plants, and non-structural elements according to international standards. The laminar container with its unique abilities for saturation, installation, instrumentation and effectiveness offers many possibilities for research on shake tables such as SSI problems, soil slope instabilities, liquefaction building interaction, retaining structures, infrastructure behaviour (pipelines, reservoir etc.) etc. The facility has offered its services for the research groups participating in many European RTD projects, such as FP6 PROHITEC, FP7 SERIES, UREDITEME and H2020 SERA and NATO SfP projects. Tests performed therein include development and qualification of structural systems in reinforced concrete, steel, masonry or wood; seismic response control systems; geotechnical tests using a laminar box; retrofitting schemes; sustainable construction materials as well as gathered knowledge for development, research and education in the structural, earthquake and geotechnical engineering. Experimental tests are often complemented with the development and calibration of numerical models and with the experimental assessment of the structural vulnerability. In the frame of H2020 SERA Project DYNLAB hosted 3 (three) TA projects with more than 20 users from around 10 European countries.


Modality of access under this proposal:
DYNLAB personnel will be available for the potential users providing feedback and support regarding the project realization. It is expected the users to be physically present, but in other circumstances virtual presence can be offered through the telepresence system of DYNLAB. Timeline for each project will be agreed between the users and the laboratory depending on the complexity of the models.
The maximum number of user groups during this project duration is limited to 4(four). Such specification of the number of user groups shall enable accurate assessment of the resources necessary for successful and high-quality realization of the investigations offered to the users. Eligible costs for trans-national access to research infrastructure have been calculated based on actual costs that will be incurred for providing access to the selected user groups during realization of their projects. These costs are divided into actual costs of access, such as consumption of electrical power of the shake table, calibration of sensors for the needs of the testing, consumables during realization of the projects, maintenance, models construction, transportation, demolition, removal, personnel costs of administrative, technical and scientific staff directly assigned to the functioning of the installation and to the support of the users. The travel expenses of users to access infrastructure and travel of WP team members linked to TA activities within the project will also be covered from overall ERIES budget. The duration of user in-person access will depend on the complexity and type of the testing activities carried out (design of the test models and of the instrumentation, testing itself, results processing and interpretation, meetings for test campaign preparation and scheduling), and from the allocated amount of the overall ERIES budget.


Support offered under this proposal:

The services that will be given to users having access to the DYNLAB are:

  • Technical assistance in the definition and design of the test model and of the experimental setup, in order to adapt the testing programme to the characteristics of the infrastructure;
  • Fabrication of test models (reduced or full scale) and preliminary tests for material properties identification; Assistance in the design, calibration and implementation of the instrumentation;
  • Digital data acquisition systems and assistance in the choice of the input signals;
  • Photographic and video records of the test model before, during and after the test campaign;
  • Data acquisition, processing, analysis and interpretation of test results;
  • Vibration and seismic tests, as well techniques for modal assessment;
  • Support for building the geo models in laminar container including possibilities for fully saturation, PWP transducers, to simulate SSI problems;
  • Opportunity to collaborate with the national and international partners of the infrastructure.


The external users of the facility may count on the full collaboration of IZIIS’s staff for technical and scientific assistance. Several preliminary meetings will be organized for each user group discussing in detail the design and execution of the experimental program. A user support team will be allocated to each user group. Users will hence be easily integrated into the permanent laboratory team. After receiving the necessary training (if needed), users will be able to fully participate in the test preparation, execution and data acquisition and interpretation. They will benefit if needed, from the computing capabilities and expertise of the infrastructure. The enormous number of researchers that have visited the Institute in the course of 55 years of its existence are very well familiar with the hospitality of the highly professional Institute’s staff. During their stay at the Institute, future users of the DYNLAB infrastructure will be free to use the Institute’s premises for work and meetings. The Institute’s compound has a restaurant, two apartments, and fitness center available so that the users will be able to efficiently use their time during their stay.


Outreach to new users:
It is aimed to run a short one/two days workshop at the beginning of the project for every user group to introduce new users to shake table testing. In this workshop examples will be given of the types of projects and the complexity of model testing that can be achieved using examples from the previous EU SERIES and SERA projects. The event will be widely publicized via web announcements on IZIIS’ web site and on social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Direct emails to research institutions, SMEs, as well as single researchers. Flyers at conferences and meetings, etc.


Review procedure under this proposal:
For details on the TA evaluation process, please refer to Task 1.2 of WP1 and the process followed by the TA-SEP in particular.

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