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Agents of Change for Resilient Infrastructure

Thomas O’Rourke

2019 Frank E. Richart, Jr. Distinguished Lecture 2019 Frank E. Richart, Jr. Distinguished Lecture
The effects of Hurricane Sandy on New York City and subsequent programs to improve the City’s infrastructure are described in this lecture. Special attention is focused on the restoration of the L Line Tunnel, which was flooded by Hurricane Sandy. Professor O’Rourke will describe how a team from Cornell and Columbia Universities was assembled at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo to help reengineer a $1/2 billion project to rehabilitate the subway tunnel, and still keep the subway in service. The new approach integrates several advanced technologies, including distributed fiber optics and LiDAR, and makes a breakthrough in infrastructure restoration resulting from interdisciplinary work between civil and electrical engineers. The agents of change that lead to improved policies and approaches are explored, including the technical, institutional, and social challenges of introducing new technologies and engaging community support.

Thomas O' Rourke is a professor of the Engineering Department at Cornell University.
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When and Where

Map Industrial and Operations Engineering Building - 1610

April 2019

4:30pm - 5:30pm

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