Infrastructure systems form the backbone of all societies. Clean water, energy, and transportation are critical to our health and quality of life.
Our infrastructure will be sustainable only when its full social and environmental context is considered, rather than merely its initial cost. As such, how to provide reliable and affordable infrastructure services is a major focus of our department, where our research focuses on all stages of a project’s life cycle.
In the design phase, our research develops innovative technologies that enhance performance of systems during extreme events such as earthquakes, next-generation smart grids for renewable energy distribution, new materials with enhanced durability and reduced life-cycle impacts, and decentralized technologies for water treatment. In the project delivery phase, we have pioneered virtual design and construction techniques to effectively deliver complex projects and study innovative financing mechanisms to fund mega-projects. In the project use phase, we research how social systems interact with physical systems most effectively and develop new technologies such as wireless sensing systems to monitor the health and performance of our infrastructure.
Our innovations are not merely academic. Through close partnerships with industry, utilities, nonprofits, and governmental agencies, our research insights and the technologies we devise are frequently applied in practice.