Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering



— Risk-Informed Planning for a Resilient and Sustainable World



Infrastructure systems in the U.S. and worldwide are becoming increasingly complex socio-technical systems, involving a broad range of civil-engineering facilities that support society. There is a pressing need for effective infrastructure systems that are resilient and sustainable.

This need entails balancing new and existing systems, and optimally selecting when and where to repair or replace existing deficient or obsolete systems. Population growth, concerns for environmental well-being, and a changing climate complicate addressing this need. At Colorado State University, researchers are developing resilient and sustainable solutions at the intersection of engineering with social science and economics to provide risk-informed decision support for both chronic and acute natural and anthropogenic threats. Research activities include advanced modeling of the impacts of earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfire, surge/wave, and flood – shaping new scientific approaches to infrastructure resilience. Models couple the performance of buildings, multi-modal transportation systems, and lifelines such as water and energy networks, examining their interdependencies and impacts on the social and economic institutions they support.

To support analysis, design, and risk-informed decision-making for modern infrastructure systems, CSU researchers conduct a wide range of large-scale experiments in diverse aspects of structural engineering and hydraulic engineering. Additionally, researchers simulate whole, interacting communities and city responses to major events, such as earthquakes, tornadoes and floods; strengthening the recovery process through planning and response, including engineering, social science, and economic considerations. Societies around the world face challenges- human, environmental, technological and economic. CSU’s researchers seek resilient, sustainable infrastructure solutions to match those challenges.

CSU’s projects in infrastructure systems are funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations including the private sector.

Research focus subareas

Urban Infrastructure Resilience

  • Damage and loss analysis
  • Recovery modeling
  • Climate change impacts on communities
  • Risk Assessment and performance-based engineering of physical systems
  • Interdependent physical-social-economic modeling and analysis
  • Bridges over water

Sustainable Infrastructure Systems

  • Life cycle assessment and cost optimization
  • Sustainable material applications

Risk-Informed Decision Support

  • Natural Hazard Modeling
  • Real-time risk assessment and decision
  • Optimization of systems and their design
  • Transportation management systems
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Integrating physical, social, and economic systems