Nina Welding | February 21, 2017
Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issues a “report card” highlighting the status of the nation’s infrastructure: its roads; bridges and dams; drinking water; treatment of wastewater, solid waste, and hazardous waste; and more. When the organization last shared its assessment of America’s infrastructure, it was 2013. Not only did the country receive a poor grade (a D+), but the ASCE estimated that approximately $3.6 trillion would be needed to raise the grade and the quality and safety of the infrastructure.
This is key because the overall health of the nation and its economy is tied to the health of the infrastructure. Long-term funding sources for maintenance and modernization are critical. However, equally as critical is the development of leaders who can generate novel solutions and sustainable policies that protect cities and citizens from natural disasters [like earthquakes and hurricanes] and manmade hazards [such as water and air pollution], while also providing greater flexibility for mitigating the effects of such events. These future innovators are the target of a new minor being offered by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame — the Resiliency and Sustainability of Engineering Systems minor.