Sunil Sinha, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, principal faculty at Myers-LawsonFour years ago, America's energy infrastructure system earned a "D+" and the water infrastructure system earned a "D" on its report card, issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Unfortunately, not much has changed.
"Pipelines provide the lifeblood to society by transporting energy, water, waste, and other critical services. Our pipeline infrastructure systems was created in an era of inexpensive fossil fuel, stable climate, growing water demand, and rapidly expanding gross domestic product," said Sunil Sinha, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering,and principal faculty member of Myers-Lawson School of construction at Virginia Tech.
"Unfortunately, the pipeline infrastructure is aging and already operating outside its design limits. How a nation operates, retrofits, and expands its pipeline infrastructure will help determine the quality of life for future generations and that nation's competitiveness in the global economy," he added.
Sinha predicted that if the U.S. is to meet important challenges of the 21st century, a new paradigm for the building and retrofitting of critical pipeline infrastructure system is required, one that addresses the conflicting goals of diverse economic, environment, societal, and policy interests.
Sinha, a 2007 recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award for research in the area of sustainable water infrastructure management systems, is leading efforts to prioritize work that could change the energy and water pipeline industry to make it sustainable and resilient.
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