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MTS Teams with Chinese and U.S. Universities to Transform Civil Engineering Seismic Simulation

Collaboration with Tongji University and University of California, Berkeley Improves Accuracy, Lowers Costs

Eden Prairie, Minn. – September 3, 2015 – MTS Systems Corporation (NASDAQ: MTSC), a leading global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors, is collaborating with Tongji University in Shanghai, China and the University of California, Berkeley to develop an advanced methodology for simulating the effects of seismic activity on large civil structures. The new approach captures more realistic and accurate data on the behavior of buildings, bridges, tunnels and other structures when subjected to laboratory earthquake simulations in much less time, at lower costs and with much higher accuracy than previously possible.

Because of their mass and size, gaining meaningful data on how large structures behave when subjected to seismic shock and vibration is challenging. Laboratory tests are typically performed on physical models up to two hundred times smaller than their real-life equivalent, but scale models do not react to dynamic seismic inputs in the same way as full-scale structures. As a result, it is often difficult to apply test data to the real world.

The innovative technique developed by MTS, Tongji University and the University of California, Berkeley, allows civil engineers and researchers to conduct high-fidelity seismic simulations with much larger scale, partial physical specimens – for instance just a few floors of a building or a single bridge support. This hybrid technique utilizes seismic testing equipment coupled with actuators to replicate forces of a full-scale structure through simulation models, thus eliminating the need to build and test full-scale models, while delivering more accurate test results.

"The new technique for high-fidelity seismic simulation not only gives civil engineers better insight into the behavior of large structures during earthquakes but also significantly improves laboratory efficiency by reducing the time and the cost of testing," states Dr. Jeffrey Graves, Chief Executive Officer and President of MTS. He adds: "This was a truly collaborative venture, with MTS supplying technology, test expertise and consultancy, Tongji University providing funding, laboratory facilities and equipment, and the University of California, Berkeley offering extensive research and modeling expertise."

Dr. Chengyu Yang, a professor at the Tongji University College of Civil Engineering, comments: "This development could represent a new era in civil hybrid simulation. We will no longer need to build and test complete physical models of buildings - just a few floors or substructures are now enough to simulate the vibration performance of the most critical part of the whole building accurately."

Dr. Andreas Schellenberg, research engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, adds: "This development presents researchers with a valuable new tool for performing high-fidelity seismic simulation on larger structures, yielding far better, more realistic data. The potential applications of this testing technique are very exciting, far reaching and will foster collaboration of researchers in many fields."

About MTS Systems Corporation

MTS Systems Corporation's testing hardware, software and services solutions help customers accelerate and improve their design, development, and manufacturing processes and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures. MTS' high-performance position sensors provide controls for a variety of industrial and vehicular applications. MTS had 2,180 employees at September 27, 2014 and revenue of $564 million for the fiscal year ended September 27, 2014. Additional information on MTS can be found at