USEMS, uncovering the secrets of an earthquake
The USEMS project
the project
State of advancement
The SHIVA machine
links to other pages:
INGV Roma-1
HPHT lab
Giulio Di Toro
Stefan Nielsen

The machine concept, project, design and realization involve a large group of persons, and even more will be involved in testing and using it once it is in function.
First and foremost, this realization was possible thanks to the continuous efforts and motivation of Giulio di Toro, Principal Investigator of the project USEMS (uncovering the secrets of an Earthquake). Ever since the time he was a PhD student in Padova and Post-doc at Browne, his dream has been to design his own experimental friction machine. Such dream has now come true thanks to his determination and to the dedication and help from his colleagues.

The E.U. attributed him a prestigious "starting grant" for the USEMS project (including the realization of the machine). He found a lot of support from INGV both for the project preparation and for its development.

Whithin INGV, many staff members, the president and directors provided top-level support and encouragement. In particular, Stefan Nielsen was involved in this project from the very start; he participated in all aspects of the machine concept and design, gave expertise on several mechanical points. Among others, he was in charge of characterizing and modeling the "earthquake-like" properties that the machine is expected to reproduce. He is following stp by step the progress if the machine, the coordination of people and of hardware manufacturing. Pier-Giorgio Scarlato, the manager of the HPHT lab, was one of the first promoters otf the project and makes sure that infrastructure and logistics are always fit. Sofia Mariano, her help is invaluable in the myriad of administrative problem and coordination with the E.U. Finally, our top-rank electronic specialists Gianni Romeo, Fabio Di Felice and Giuseppe Di Stefano, are actively involved in the electric/electronic network connecting and driving the machine parts and in the software design for the control system.

The first HVRF apparatus, which can be considered as the forefather of the SHIVA machine, was realized and conceived by Professor Toshihiko Shimamoto. His help was invaluable in this project and he hosted several of us in his laboratory in Kyoto, Japan, and now at Hiroshima, where many of us had our first on-hand experience of reproducing high-velocity , earthquake-like friction. His student Takehiro Hirose, now at JAMSTEK (Kochi, Japan), also provided insight and techincal expertise for many preliminary tests with the "machine 1" prototype.

Finally, we relied on outside consultatns and companies for many technical aspects and realization. Engineer Antonio Tripoli was of invaluable help in the completion of a preliminary project for the machine structure and mainframe. Many of the concepts and ideas used to build the SHIVA machine come from him, just to mention one the use two directly connected brushless motors with highly variable rotating rates, as opposed to a complex and slower system of gears. In the further advancement of the project and of the realization, we contacted the precision mechanics company RMP (Acilia, Italy) and we enjoy the feedback, passion and competence that they are putting in this project.