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Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 11:38am

A perennial political and economic issue, the state of American infrastructure in the face of rapid environmental and social changes is the focus of a new UGA institute that will involve collaboration with Franklin College faculty:

The Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems will be administered by the College of Engineering and will include faculty members from more than nine academic units across campus. Faculty in the new institute will explore ways to strengthen traditional "gray" infrastructure systems-such as water and sewage treatment, urban drainage, energy and transportation- and to integrate them with "green" and "blue" infrastructure-green spaces, bodies of water, and ecosystems that perform vital functions such as buffering storms and cleansing water and air.

"The institute will be nationally unique in that it unites engineering with ecology, environmental design and planning, atmospheric science, law and policy, public health, and other disciplines to effectively combine green and gray infrastructure solutions for resilience to weather and climate-related extremes," said Brian Bledsoe, the UGA Athletic Association Professor in Resilient Infrastructure and the institute's inaugural director. "By bringing together UGA's diverse strengths we hope to produce integrative research that can be used by communities, businesses and governments to mitigate risks through improved decision-making and infrastructure design at a variety of scales."

These broad issues in many ways epitomize the essence and deed of interdisciplinary faculty collaboration. We celebrate the forward momentum of facing these complex challenges that involve overlapping jurisdictions, constituencies, disciplines and sectors with the best of our people, knowledge and expertise, and look forward to progress that positively impacts the public. #civicinfrastructure

Image: Darlington railway station in County Durham, U.K.

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