National Institute for Risk and Resilience

Center for Infrastructure and Society


5 Partners Place

Example Interactions between the Human and Engineered Systems



About CI&S

The Center for Infrastructure and Society (CI&S) is an interdisciplinary center focused on research for understanding and solving "wicked problems" at the interfaces of natural, human, and engineered systems, with a special emphasis on the built infrastructure. The built infrastructure includes interdependent systems such as buildings and transportation and telecommunication networks, electric power grid, water and wastewater pipelines, etc., that help a modern society function well. CI&S studies how individuals, groups, and communities interact with and use the built infrastructure during normal conditions and adverse conditions caused by natural systems such as weather, climate, and systems responsible for earthquakes etc.

While infrastructure systems are interdependent networks, it is nearly impossible to understand the behavior of a network without properly understanding the behavior of its components such as a building, a bridge, a pipeline, or a transmission tower. As an integral part of understanding the network behavior, CI&S also carefully studies the physical impact of natural and man-made disasters and aging on components of the built infrastructure. Through these studies, CI&S develops widely-acceptable solutions for enhancing resilience of communities to impacts of natural and man-made disasters and the effects of day to day use of our aging infrastructure.