2004 Purdue–Silicon Valley Symposia

Intelligent Infrastructure Systems

Well over a trillion dollars per year is spent in the U.S. on the construction and maintenance of infrastructure. In addition to this recurring investment, potential disasters, both natural and human-induced, pose a significant threat to infrastructure safety. Purdue's Intelligent Infrastructure Systems Initiative is helping to address the efficiency of our nation's infrastructure investment, as well as mitigating the effects of possible disasters such as seismic events and terrorist attacks. Fred Mannering, professor and head of Purdue’s School of Civil Engineering, is developing new ways to make infrastructure safer and investments more efficient by integrating emerging technologies into buildings, roads, transportation systems, and water treatment facilities.

Truly interdisciplinary in its scope, Purdue's Initiative is creating smarter buildings with monitors for self-diagnosis and self-healing. Chemical and biological sensors are being developed to ensure the safety of drinking water. When coupled with wireless technology, optimally placed sensors could immediately detect hazardous contaminants and the extent of damage to structures after seismic events. Likewise, smart transportation and logistics systems offer the potential to increase security while also improving the efficiency of day-to-day flows of both passenger and freight traffic.

Fred Mannering

Professor and Head
School of Civil Engineering
Purdue University

Since June 15, 2001 Professor Fred L. Mannering has served as Head of the School of Civil Engineering. Before coming to Purdue, Mannering was Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington, where he was a member of the faculty since 1987. He holds a BSCE degree (with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan (1976), an MSCE degree from Purdue University (1979) and a doctorate from MIT (1983).

An award-winning teacher, Professor Mannering has published more than 60 articles in refereed journals and has co-written two textbooks: Principles of Highway Engineering and Traffic Analysis and Statistical and Econometric Methods for Transportation Data Analysis.

Fred Mannering, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, is married and has two children.