Resilient Infrastructure Systems

New tool will give large concrete structures what amounts to an ultrasound, finding tiny cracks before they grow

A researcher measures the width of a crack in a reinforced concrete column after testing the strength of the column. A new project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency will develop a field-deployable tool to detect cracks far smaller than this — and inside rather than outside — thick reinforced concrete structures. (Photo: Chris Kiser)

Imagine giving large concrete structures something similar to an ultrasound and getting images so detailed you can see cracks just a tenth of a millimeter long. That level of detail just isn’t possible now. Yet such capability could revolutionize how engineers assess the health of thick reinforced concrete infrastructure like dams and power plants and bridges.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Building a better foundation: Iris Tien accepts the challenge

Assistant Professer Iris Tien sits at her desk in her Georgia Tech office. (Photo: Allison Carter)

For Iris Tien every road, bridge, or building is a potential research project.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Coogan wins Air Force Young Investigator award to improve roads, pipes and other physical networks

This image from software developed by NASA shows air traffic across the United States. Assistant Professor Sam Coogan has received funding from the U.S. Air Force to use new techniques to understand and manage how physical networks with interconnected components function. His work applies to all kinds of systems, like roads, airspace, water systems and factories. (Image Courtesy: NASA)

Sam Coogan will use a Young Investigator grant from the U.S. Air Force to develop a new approach to understanding and controlling physical networks like roads, air space and other critical infrastructure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tien, Lee win top paper award at Resilience Week 2018

Graduate student Cynthia Lee, left, and Assistant Professor Iris Tien with their first-place infrastructure paper aware at Resilience Week 2018. (Photo Courtesy: Iris Tien)

Two Georgia Tech researchers have won the first-place paper award in infrastructure at Resilience Week 2018 for their work using a variety of data sources to better understand and design infrastructure systems.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Silence to sound: Looking at Twitter posts from 2017’s Hurricane Harvey shows lack of activity can tell first responders where trouble’s brewing

Floodwaters cover Port Arthur, Texas, on August 31, 2017, following Hurricane Harvey. Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez took this photo from a South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during rescue operations following the storm. (Photo: Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez, U.S. Air National Guard)

With another hurricane season beginning June 1 — and some forecasters predicting another busy one — researchers in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering are working on a tool to help first-responders use Twitter activity to identify developing crises after a storm while also helping civilians more effectively plug in to disaster response efforts.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Documenting disaster: Group led by Tech experts gathers key data after major catastrophes to prepare for the next one

Alejandro Martinez collects data in Mexico after a major earthquake in September 2017. Martinez, MSCE 2012, Ph.D. 2015, was part of a team from the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association that traveled to the impact zone to gather “perishable” data about the earthquake to help scientists and engineers prepare for future events. (Photo Courtesy of Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association via the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine)

Just days after a major earthquake struck central Mexico in September 2017, Alejandro Martinez, MSCE 2012, Ph.D. 2015, found himself at the site taking vital measurements of the disaster. “It was a shocking day for everyone,” Martinez says.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tien, Johansen win Resilience Week top award for paper on vulnerabilities of interdependent infrastructure

Chloe Johansen, left, and Iris Tien hold their first-place paper award at the Resilience Week 2017 conference for their work analyzing the vulnerabilities of interdependent infrastructure. They used Atlanta's water and power systems as a case study. (Photo Courtesy: Iris Tien)

Iris Tien and Ph.D. student Chloe Johansen won a top award at the Resilience Week 2017 conference for their paper on analyzing the vulnerabilities of interdependent infrastructure.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Smart Cities: Innovative approaches combining engineering, technology and the social sciences are boosting the urban IQ

Smart Cities graphic with a rendering of the city of Atlanta.

Georgia Tech has been intensifying its smart cities initiative, including membership in the national MetroLab Network and the launch of a new faculty council with members from more than a dozen university units. Tech has long been working in the, but the now the Institute is organizing all the research that’s happening to have a bigger impact.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Researchers work to make robots the first-responders after nuclear power plant disasters

International Atomic Energy Agency fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman examines Reactor Unit 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on May 27, 2011. The team assessed damage from an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that caused three reactors at the plant to meltdown. (Photo: Gregg Webb / International Atomic Energy Agency)

Disasters at nuclear power plants present all kinds of problems for search and rescue teams, from lethal radiation exposure to danger from weakened structures. Associate Professor Yong Cho has begun work on a new project that could one day put robots on the ground in the immediate aftermath of a meltdown or other catastrophe, helping to rescue people trapped in the plant and contain dangerous nuclear material in situations where quick action is critical.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

LISTEN: I-85 collapse provides Tien a test case of infrastructure interdependence

Assistant Professor Iris Tien, center, with WABE-FM's Jim Burress and Rose Scott after their conversation about Atlanta's infrastructure on the station's daily program Closer Look. (Photo Courtesy: WABE)

For a researcher who studies the ways society’s infrastructure systems are interconnected and interdependent, the Interstate 85 collapse this spring in Atlanta had a silver lining. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Iris Tien told Atlanta public radio station WABE that shutting down one of the city’s main thoroughfares presented a rare opportunity — despite the disruption to businesses and the extra travel time for residents.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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