2009 China-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Sustainable and Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure Systems

October 20, 2009 10:30 – 12:00

Infrastructure systems provide us with clean and safe water, reliable power, and a means for rapidly and safely transporting people and goods.   Improving urban infrastructure systems is the key to economic growth, national security, and quality of life.  In recent years, collapse of highway bridges and buildings, failure of dams and levees, outbreaks of water-borne diseases, repeated power outages, and increasingly delayed flights are an indication that our infrastructure systems may not be adequately resilient to the various stressors placed on them, including increasing populations in urban areas, ageing infrastructure, increasing demands for energy, water, and materials, and the effects of natural hazards.  The National Academy of Engineering’s recently released “Grand Challenges for Engineering for the 21st century” noted that restoring and improving urban infrastructure will be one of the key challenges in the 21st century.  The report also noted that urban areas are particularly susceptible to damage from natural disasters, and solutions to these problems must be designed with sustainability in mind.  
Recent advances in new materials, robotics, sensor technology, nanotechnology, and computer technology have set the stage for the design, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the next generation of infrastructure systems that are more robust, resilient, and sustainable in the face of natural hazards.   The use of structural health monitoring systems, and associated tools for prognosis of infrastructure can dramatically enhance the safety and sustainability  of civil infrastructure systems exposed to natural and man-made hazards.  Similarly, advances in new materials, such as self-consolidating fiber reinforced concrete and weather steels, will  provide infrastructure systems that are more durable and efficient.
The first speaker will highlight the role of a variety of advanced materials in the design of new highway overpass bridges. In addition, the speaker will discuss the role of seismic response modification devices and state-of-the-art sensors to economically achieving a new level of seismic safety and a new level of long-term durability for highway bridges.

The second speaker will highlight the recent disruptions to electric power grid infrastructure from earthquakes, wind storms, and ice storms.      

The third speaker will discuss the role of information technology in managing complex infrastructure systems.  In particular, the speaker will discuss the role of intelligent sensors in natural hazard mitigation, controlling energy use, and asset management.

The fourth  first speaker will discuss the role of monitoring, evaluation, design, and control in designing infrastructure systems to resist earthquake and wind induced loading.

Jinping Ou
Jinping Ou
Dalian University of Technology
Dalian, China
Bridges for the Flat World: Next-Generation Highway Bridge Structures

Nearly eighty percent of California highway bridges, and a similar portion of bridges in the US, are cast-in-place reinforced concrete structures designed and developed using engineering techniques of the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. Design of new bridges today is not substantially different. The question we face is: how to design and build new highway overpass bridges with prefabricated structural elements and connection, made using a variety of advanced materials, equipped with seismic response modification devices, and instrumented using state-of-the-art sensors to economically achieve a new level of seismic safety and a new level of long-term durability?

In this talk, I will present details about the ongoing Caltrans and PEER Center projects on the next-generation of highway bridge structures. The principles of Seismic Accelerated Bridge Construction are the basis for development of the next-generation bridge ... More

Natural Diaster Evaluation and Mitigation of Electric Power Grid Infrastructures in China
Qiang Xie
Qiang Xie
State Key Laboratory of Diaster Prevention in Civil Engineering