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Big Ideas

Infrastructure Ecology Diagram

NSF Awards Grant to BBISS Researchers

September 2014

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $2.5 million grant to an innovative multidisciplinary research project led by BBISS Director, Professor John Crittenden. The three year project, under the Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Processes and Systems program (RIPS), is designed to develop the theory that infrastructure systems, with their many interdependencies and complex adaptations, have many similarities to ecological systems. The insights that arise from this grant will be useful in the future development of tools and methods used in the design and evaluation of urban infrastructure systems and their resilience under stresses like climate change, urban growth patterns, and extreme weather events. The investigators also expect that perspective will be gained by examining the relative advantages of ecological design versus engineering approaches in the design of complex systems such as urban infrastructure.

One of the most unique aspects of this work is its multi-disciplinary nature. The project team spans across ten different units, from five of the six colleges at Georgia Tech, plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). The project team is:

  • John Crittenden (PI) – Dir., Brook Byers Institute of Sustainable Systems, CEE
  • Baabak Ashuri (Co-PI) – Dir., Economics of the Sustainable Built Environment Lab, BC
  • ...


By Brent Verrill, Communications Manager, BBISS