Workshop method

“Unprecedented workshop” highlights new ways of delivering infrastructure

The Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy (CPIP) at the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy and the University of Cambridge’s Center for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) will bring together top private sector leaders, academics, experts and practitioners and public for a workshop focusing on new methods of infrastructure delivery.

The workshop – Finance, Financing and Emerging Technologies in Infrastructure to Improve Resilience, Sustainability and Universal Access – will be held July 11-14 at Cornell Tech in New York. Select workshop sessions will also be livestreamed, allowing participants from around the world to engage in discussions. The conference is funded by the National Science Foundation and the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

“This will be an unprecedented opportunity for the smartest minds in infrastructure to share the latest thinking and develop new strategies,” said CPIP Academic Director Rick Geddes, Cornell Professor Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. “Time is money due to congressional passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and global demand for better public transportation and public services to respond to climate change.

Signifying the international nature of the gathering, participants will be welcomed by Professor Lord Robert Mair, a world leader geotechnical engineer and tunnel expert. He serves at the University of Cambridge as Sir Kirby Laing Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering and Senior Research Fellow. He is also the founding leader of CSIC.

Experts in the technological, technical, social, environmental, economic and financial dimensions of infrastructure will discuss how a multidisciplinary approach can address many pressing policy challenges. These include infrastructure resilience to climate change impacts, net zero carbon emissions and social equity, with a view to identifying potential policy implications and research needs.

Discussions will be led by prominent leaders in the field, including:

Raymond Di Prinzio – a Senior Vice President and Team Leader of Infrastructure Finance Team at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. He is responsible for originating and arranging debt financing for infrastructure projects in North America. He also sits on the advisory board of the CPIP.

Thomas O’Rourke ’70 – Thomas R. Briggs Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Director of CPIP, O’Rourke is an expert in geotechnical engineering for earth retention systems, foundations and soil interaction / structure; earthquake engineering; underground construction technology and engineering of large geographically distributed systems, such as water supply, gas and liquid fuel systems, electric power and transportation facilities.

Jennifer Education – Director of CSIC and expert in developing and delivering intelligent infrastructure solutions to real industry problems. She is also an expert in using data as an engineering tool to address pressing challenges facing industry, including climate change, resource constraint and resilience.

Kenichi Soga – A professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, Soga is the founding director of the Center for Smart Infrastructure, a collaboration with the East Bay Municipal Utility District that applies cutting-edge technology to address infrastructure challenges caused by change climate, aging systems, and natural hazards.

“This is an important and timely event bringing together international experts from academia, policy and practice to explore how to improve infrastructure provision in a post-COVID world through innovative finance and finance as well as emerging technologies,” Schooling said. “The reflection from the in-person and online events will help shape the outcomes of this international workshop, which will be transformed into a series of white papers to be shared with a wider audience, including policy makers, and they will inform future programs of research. ”

Workshop Cornell Tech sessions are by invitation only, but online presentations are open to anyone with registration information here.

Jim Hanchett is assistant dean of communications at the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy.