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Sustainable Infrastructure

icon-buildingIn less than a century, the U.S. has experienced a major societal transition from designing and building urban environments and the associated pathways between destinations to maintaining the operational infrastructure of communities.

From massive repairs of aging systems for water, sanitation and more, to developing new improvements to preserve natural resources, it’s imperative that we harness technology and public policy across engineering and urban planning disciplines to create sustainable solutions.

To address these concerns, iSEE is encouraging and coordinating work in key areas of sustainable infrastructure:

  • Transportation
  • Built environment
  • Risk, resilience and adaptation
  • Pollution and waste
  • Cities and urban environments


Funded Projects

Critical Infrastructure and Transportation


Awarded $350,000 in July 2015.

Led by Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Ximing Cai, this project will create a framework for new strategies to expand and operate interdependent critical infrastructure systems (ICIs) — using multiple renewable energy sources to fuel better regional and national transportation systems.

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Stormwater and Mosquito Control


Awarded $350,000 in July 2015.

Led by Entomology Associate Professor Brian Allan, the team’s goal is to offer solutions, technology, and modeling for stormwater management in hopes of controlling mosquito populations and resulting diseases.

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Former iSEE-funded or -affiliated Projects

Smart Water Disinfection: Targeting Viruses


Awarded $400,000 in June 2014.

Led by Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Benito Mariñas, the project worked to overcome safe water challenges in emerging populations as well as those looming in the developed world.

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Oil Pollution Treatment: Nano-CarboScavengers


Awarded $170,000 in July 2015.

Led by Bioengineering Associate Professor Dipanjan Pan, the team continued developing and optimizing a Nano-CarboScavenger (NCS), a particle designed to attract oil for easy removal from water.

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Mapping Extreme Events & Resilient Communities


Awarded $200,000 by the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) in May 2015, and renewed in May 2016.

Led by Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Yanfeng Ouyang, CEE Associate Professor Paolo Gardoni, and Law and Philosophy Associate Professor Colleen Murphy, this team of experts coalesced by iSEE modeled the impacts of natural events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes — as well as human actions such as terrorist attacks or interventions — on communities and ecosystems.

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Former iSEE-affiliated Research Center

More on Infrastructure

The University of Illinois researches infrastructure solutions from several different angles on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Check out these links:

Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems Program, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, Illinois Applied Research Institute