The aging of infrastructure and the effects from natural disasters, accidents, and terrorist threats, makes this a grand challenge for society as a whole. Not only is the repair of infrastructure following major disasters cost prohibitive, so is its maintenance due to aging. Materials play an important role in terms of designing cost-effective and sustainable solutions from which the infrastructure is built, while ensuring environmental, energy, and aesthetic considerations, as well as for developing methods that ensure prevention, diagnostics, and repair of failed systems. Corrosion of infrastructure materials, such as in gas pipelines, power plants, as well as in paper (and other materials) manufacturing industries, design of novel construction materials and methodologies, understanding of aging and life cycle prediction from various mechanisms of failure of infrastructure materials, and development of coatings, sensors, and monitoring systems to prevent catastrophic failure, are some of the research areas being pursued by MSE faculty.
The faculty listed below, have identified their primary research in the area of Infrastructure as the grand challenge being addressed in their work.