Infrastructure: Physical, Technological, Social

Matthew J. Realff
Matthew J. Realff
College Liaison
Professor, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Associate Director, Strategic Energy Institute

How would you define this big idea?

An infrastructure is defined in NSF Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRISP), "as a network of human-made systems and processes that function cooperatively and synergistically to produce and distribute a continuous flow of essential goods and services." Examples of infrastructure components are roads, energy transmission grids, medical services, and flood protection levees. The U.S. has defined 16 critical infrastructure sectors a list of which can be found at here.

Learn more:

Rinaldi, S.M., Peerenboom, J.P., Kelley, T.K., Identifying, Understanding, and Analyzing Critical Infrastructure A classic reference paper in this area that highlighted the need for analyzing infrastructures as interacting systems and not just isolated entities.

Colleagues: John Crittenden, Nancey Leigh, Iris Tien