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This center focuses on transportation infrastructure, including highways and airfield runways, high speed and transit rail infrastructure, embankments, retaining walls, dams, levees and others. Failures of this infrastructure arise from challenging soil conditions, extreme weather, environmental changes, seismic triggering, and large hydraulic loading events. Other causes of failures include aging of infrastructure and poor characterization of infrastructure systems. Currently, losses from infrastructure distressed by earthquakes, hurricanes, expansive soil movements, and other hazard events can cost billions of dollars annually.  Most failures caused by natural hazards and problem soil conditions are attributed to poor design and construction practices, as well as the material types and their characterizations currently followed in the practice.

Failure of infrastructure can result in human deaths during catastrophic natural events. The levee and flood wall failures after Hurricane Katrina are estimated to have caused two-thirds of the associated deaths. Human life losses are also experienced from infrastructure damage caused by earthquakes and other hazard events. 

The mission of the Sustainable and Resilient Civil Infrastructure Center is to explore and develop research solutions to improve the design and construction of sustainable and resilient civil infrastructure in complex, natural, and man-made hazardous environments.

Better design models and methods are formulated through comprehensive understanding of hazardous environments utilizing advanced geological and engineering research tools, as well as physical modeling and testing of full scale instrumented infrastructures in a simulated or natural hazard environments.

Institutes & Organized Research Centers of Excellence