Civil infrastructure systems are sets of physical structures, facilities, and other resources that provide essential public services. Cateogies of civil infrastructure systems include transportation, water and wastewater, energy production and distribution, communication, etc. These systems are a key driver of economic growth and prosperity for any society. Despite the general consensus over the pivotal social and economic role of a well-maintained civil infrastructure, the overall condition of infrastructure systems in the United States continues to degrade at an alarming pace. According to the 2013 Infrastructure Report Card issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), out of 16 infrastructure categories, 11 received a grade of “D+” or worse. The overall grade for America’s infrastructure was a “D+” and it is stated that in order to raise this grade to a “B” by 2020, a total of $3.6 trillion are needed.
Infrastructure asset management focuses on optimizing the infrastructure investments and expenditures through systematic and coordinated decision making procedures. It focuses on the whole life cycles of infrastructure systems covering the planning and design phases followed by construction, operations and maintenance, in-service evaluation and assessment, repair, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and decommissioning phases. Increasing levels of demand placed on these systems coupled with budgetary limitations urge researchers and agencies seek innovative solutions to rapid degradation of civil infrastructure systems.
Our faculty speciliazing in infrastructure engineering investigates various topics under the domain of civil infrastructure management (including but not limited to): risk assessment and mitigation, deterioration and performance modeling, sustainable construction practices, accelerated construction, life cycle cost analysis, life cycle assessment, and trenchless technologies.
Our research also focuses on best practices in Integrated Construction Project Management (IPM) with regards to optimization methodologies for the construction projects given the multitude of constraints including the project budget, schedule, risk, quality requirements, human resources, communication channels, procurement practices and the stakeholder management. In concert with these initiatives, we look into the existing or potential interdisciplinary connections that exist between the costruction engineering and across other economic, social and societal sectors that are often overlooked at traditional project management research and resource optimization practices. These competencies include, but not limited to, engineering entrepreneurship; budgeting and financial planning; organizational behavior; managerial strategic planning; game-theory applications in construction management; cultural and intercultural considerations in managing multinational and multi-background engineering project teams; litigations and construction claims as well as the health and safety, and sustainability initiatives in construction engineering and project management.