Session: State of the Field: The Infrastructure Enabled Infrastructure
  Title: State of the Field: Physical Infrastructure Assessment and Protection to Mitigate Natural and Man-made Disasters
  Chair: Frieder Seible (University of California, San Diego)
  Time: Thursday, November 20, 9:15AM - 10:00AM
  Rm #: Ballroom
  Frieder Seible (University of California San Diego)
  The dependence on the physical infrastructure of roads, bridges, dams, water supply pipelines/aqueducts, ports and harbors, etc., is an integral part of and so ingrained in our culture that we are mostly unaware of its existence as long as functionality is provided. The aging of our structures, natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, and fires, as well as man-made hazards such as terrorist attacks and accidents, threaten the functionality of our physical infrastructure and extraordinary expenditures are required to just maintain the status quo. Unless significant advances are made in monitoring, rehabilitating, and managing the existing physical infrastructure, our quality of life cannot be preserved. While some of these advances will come in the form of new materials and new structural concepts and systems, the major breakthrough will come from a ubiquitous cyberinfrastructure, consisting of distributed multi-use sensor nets, wireless and high speed networks, fully searchable data bases, and data mining tools to provide the operator and the end user with on-line information and knowledge, resulting in improved infrastructure systems management and use. The critical dependence of the Physical Infrastructure on the Cyberinfrastructure will be developed on numerous examples and changes on how we can better manage and use the physical infrastructure with cyberinfrastructure support will be speculated on from an engineering perspective.
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