The “built environment” is a broad term that encompasses all human-made structures and facilities that provide essential services. ECS researchers are working on innovating and improving many types of infrastructure systems, such as transportation networks (e.g., highways, bridges, rail networks, and airports); air quality management, water and wastewater pipes and treatment plants; power generation, transmission, and distribution networks; and vertical structures that we need for shelter and work. Design, construction, and operation of the built environment requires accounting for the natural environment and interactions with other components of the built environment.

Within ECS, one set of projects in the Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering fields focuses on analysis of civil infrastructure against natural and man-made hazards and development of sustainable and bioinspired materials in civil engineering applications. In terms of construction and infrastructure management, ECS researchers contribute to addressing infrastructure risk assessment and mitigation, sustainable construction practices, and developing optimization strategies for construction projects. ECS researchers are also conducting front-line research on novel technologies for energy production and storage, smart buildings and cities, design for sustainable manufacturing, and engineering pedagogy.

A professor and three students looking at a map

One example of this type of research is Prof. Min Liu’s ongoing work on prioritizing bridge preservation projects in consideration of economic, social, and environmental impacts. Prof. Baris Salman is investigating innovative practices, such as the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Infrastructure and data collection methods using Internet-of-Things (IoT)-based approaches, for improvement of transportation and water infrastructure asset management strategies. Prof. Liz Carter is collaborating with the City of Syracuse to develop sensor- and computation-based approaches to managing city infrastructure.

Some notable ECS news stories in this area include:

Please explore the departmental webpages or the researchers’ websites below for more information.