Thomas M. Marullo

Thomas M. Marullo

NEES IT Manager - RTMD Facility at the ATLSS Engineering Research Center

NEES @ Lehigh
117 ATLSS Drive
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
Phone: (610) 758-6683



  • Real-time and non real-time application development for control and simulation algorithms
  • Telepresence applications for audio, video and data
  • Web application development
  • Data modeling

Recent Academic Projects

Real-time Finite Element Modeling Software for Hybrid Simulation and Experimentation

Developed Matlab scripts and Simulink/xPC models to perform nonlinear dynamic time history analysis and real-time hybrid simulation. Plugin architecture permits numerous integration algorithms and element designs.

Control Algorithms for Self Centering Steel Systems

Developed Matlab scripts and Simulink/xPC models to control a four actuator coupled system in displacement control. The program utilized a convergence algorithm that allowed for outer-loop displacement control.

High Concrete Diaphragm Study

Developed a Matlab program to control two actuators which converged to target displacements while maintaining zero axial force. The program allowed the user to converge to outer-loop channels or inner-loop actuator feedback channels in real-time.

Diaphragm Seismic Design Methodology

The DSDM project was a collaboration of the University of Arizona, UCSD, Lehigh University and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). The research was a closely integrated analytical and experimental effort intended to significantly advance knowledge of the seismic behavior of precast floor diaphragms with the specific objective of producing an appropriate seismic design methodology for eventual code implementation. I developed an application which performed hybrid tests utilizing a PSD test method in Matlab which communicated with a complex analytical substructure in Ansys. This program also produced command displacements for controlling three coupled actuators.

Seismic Testing of Victaulic Piping Systems

Developed protocol for simulating different level real-time earthquakes on piping systems attached to a roof deck of a three-story building frame.

Real-time Hybrid Damper Systems

To avoid the fabrication and testing of an entire structure, the hybrid PSD test method is used where only a portion of the structure is experimentally tested (the experimental substructure). The experimental substructure degrees of freedom are coupled to an analytical model (analytical substructure) that represents the remaining part of the structure. I implemented the PSD test method using Simulink and Real-Time Workshop which allowed the researcher to perform real-time hybrid experiments using a real-time Target PC.

Lehigh Metadata Web and Data Model

The development of the Lehigh Model is based on the thorough review of existing data models and a study of recent large-scale structural experiments conducted at the Lehigh University ATLSS Center. The hierarchy of categories and data elements allows for efficient and effective organization of metadata and data for large-scaled structural experiments. I developed a web application which implements this data model and allows for users to enter, use and search information entered into a project.

Vanadium Steel

Developed a protocol for performing zero-moment load control using displacement control with two RTMD NEES actuators for testing properties of Vanadium steel trusses.

Experimental Investigation of a Prototype Elastomeric Structural Damper

This study characterized the mechanical behavior of a prototype Ultra High Damped Elastomeric Tube (UHDET) damper developed by Penn State Erie and the Corry Rubber Company, with input from researchers at Lehigh University. I developed a real-time control algorithm for performing ramping sine wave displacement control for a RTMD NEES actuator attached to the damper testbed.

Multi-Site Soil-Structure-Foundation Interaction Test (MISST)

The Multi-Site Soil-Structure-Foundation Interaction Test (MISST), a Pre-NEESR project, was conducted by collaborating partners at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Lehigh University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). This test was established to provide a realistic test-bed application in which to verify and extend all components of NEESgrid as well as all components of the sites taking part in the distributed simulation. I participated in customized the NTCP protocol developed through NEES to interact with the RTMD NEES actuators. Kinematic transformations for translating global control points into actuator displacements were developed.

Self-Centering Damage-Free Seismic-Resistant Steel Frame Systems

This project investigated a family of innovative self-centering (SC) steel frame systems with the potential to withstand the currently accepted design basis earthquake (DBE) for buildings without damage. I developed an outer-loop convergence algorithm to maintain displacement control based on rotation of a beam-column connection. I also developed a time-lapse video generator for webcam images taken at the Lehigh RTMD facility.

Recent Publications

  • HybridFEM: A program for nonlinear dynamic time history analysis and real-time hybrid simulation, Karavasilis T.L., James M. Ricles, Thomas Marullo, Cheng Chen, 2009.
  • Mercan, O, Ricles, J.M., Sause, R, and T. Marullo, "Kinematic Transformations in Planar Multi-directional Pseudo-Dynamic Testing,", Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/eqe.886, 2009.
  • Marullo T.M., Chen C., Cao J., Ricles J.M., “Implementation and Validation of the NEES Hybrid Simulation Infrastructure at Lehigh University’s RTMD Facility”, ATLSS Report 08-02, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 2008.
  • Mercan ,O., Ricles ,J. M., Sause, R., and T. Marullo, “NEES@Lehigh: Real-time Hybrid Pseudodynamic Testing of Large-scale Structures,” Chapter in Hybrid Simulation: Theory, Implementation and Applications, Edited by Victor Saouma and Siva Mettupalayam, Francis and Taylor Publishers, 2007.
  • C. Chen, J.M. Ricles, and T. Marullo, “Real-Time Hybrid Testing using the Unconditionally Stable CR Integration Algorithm,” ATLSS Report No. 07-11, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, U.S.A., 2007.
  • Mercan, O., Ricles, J.M., Sause, R. and T. Marullo, “Real-Time Large-Scale Hybrid Testing for Seismic Performance Evaluation of Smart Structures,” International Journal for Smart Structures and Systems, 2007.
  • G. Valencia, O. Mercan, T. Marullo and J.M. Ricles, “User’s Guide for Hybrid-Viz: A Visualization Tool for Real-Time Hybrid Testing”, ATLSS Report No. 06-20, Center for Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 2006.
  • Ricles, J.M., Mercan, O., Sause, R., and T. Marullo, ”Large-Scale Real-Time Hybrid Testbed for Seismic Performance of Smart Structures,” Proceedings, U.S.-Korean Workshop on Smart Structures Technology for Steel Structures, Seoul, Korea, 2006.
  • Mercan, O., Ricles, J.M., and T. Marullo, “Real-Time Pseudodynamic Testing of Steel Structures Equipped with Passive Dampers,” Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Behavior of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas – STESSA 2006, Yokohama, Japan, 2006.
  • Ricles, J.M., Sause, R. Mercan, O., and T. Marullo, “Real-Time Hybrid Testing With Rate-Dependent Seismic Hazard Mitigation Devices,” Proceedings, 4th NEES Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 2006.
  • Lee, C.H., Chin, C.H., Marullo, T., Bryan, P., Sause, R., and Ricles, J.M., “Development of NEES Data Model for Large-Scale Structural Experiments,” ATLSS Report No. 06-16, Center for Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 2006.
  • Lee. C.H., Chin, C.H., Marullo, T., Bryan, P., Sause, R., and J. Ricles, “Data Model for Large-Scale Structural Experiments,” Journal of Earthquake Engineering, 2006.

Outside Software Development Projects