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Richard '39 and Opal Vanderhoof Infrastructure Research and Education Facility

The Richard '39 and Opal Vanderhoof Infrastructure Research and Education Facility and the William H. Schuette '33 Structural Laboratory are premier facilities for large-scale structural testing.  They are used for both education and research on the performance of large-scale infrastructure components. It is available for use by academic researchers, industry, and governmental agencies. 

The facility is designed for both static and dynamic testing. Controlled force,displacement, or strain may be applied at frequencies up to 20Hz. The performance of innovative structural components, connections, structural sub-assemblages, pipelines, etc. can be evaluated. Experimental testing techniques to determine stiffness, static strength, fatigue strength, fracture toughness, cyclic behavior, and effective damping can be performed. Wind excitation, earthquake excitation, and vehicle-induced vibration can be simulated.

The facility supports one of the principal objectives of the Civil Engineering Department at Case: to provide advanced education and perform advanced research focused on our built infrastructure. Our goal is to prepare graduates to serve the public by improving the safety, sustainability, and energy-efficiency of our built infrastructure.


  • The facility features a 2,400 square foot strong floor and the L-shaped Frank E. Gerace '48 Strong Wall. Both are cellular box structures with 18-inch thick flanges and tie-down points on a two-foot square grid. A force of 60,000 lbs may be applied at each tie-down point.
  • A 15-ton crane, a loose servo-hydraulic actuator, and the 26-foot, 500-ton test cell are within the Frank E. Gerace'48 cellular Strong Wall.
  • Four six-foot by six-foot, uni-directional shaking tables are available for simulation of support motion in multiple directions.
  • A stainless steel pipe network supplies 3000psi hydraulic fluid to five power stations on the strong wall.
  • A 95 gallons per minute hydraulic power supply is situated in a separate, sound-containing room. The pump and oil temperature are controlled by a separate water cooling loop and rooftop heat exchanger.
  • A 32-foot scissors lift with full safety equipment facilitates safe operations at all heights within the laboratory.