• Coastal challengesMitigating Coastal Flooding, Erosion and Storm Damage

    Sea level rise and wave-induced flooding during increasingly frequent storm events threaten sustainability of the more than 1,700 Department of Defense (DoD) managed military installations in coastal areas worldwide. Current DoD coastal protection measures, including bulkhead and coastal seawalls, may reflect wave energy, exacerbate flooding, create downstream sediment loss, and restrict water exchange. DARPA’s Reefense program aims to develop novel hybrid biological and engineered reef-mimicking structures to mitigate wave and storm damage and reduce the ecological impact of current coastal protection measures.


  • InfrastructureHigh Rises Made of Timber

    With an increasing demand for a more sustainable alternative for high-rise construction, new points to timber as a sustainable and effective way to make tall, high-density, and renewable buildings. Tall mass-timber buildings are a safe and sustainable alternative for high-rise construction,

  • ResilienceHow Disasters Can Spur Resilience in the Gulf

    Communities in the Gulf of Mexico are all too familiar with the whims of nature and power of the sea. This year’s hurricane season brought power outages, heavy rain, downed trees, property damage, and death and injury. As disasters cascade and compound, progress toward resiliency is made by people working together and using science to decide next steps. 

  • ResilienceMaking Our Infrastructure Safer

    By David L. Chandler

    Saurabh Amin, a systems engineer at MIT, focuses on making transportation, electricity, and water infrastructure more resilient against disruptions. “There are a lot of commonalities among these networks — they are built and operated by human actors, but their functionality is governed by physical laws. So, that is what drives me forward,” Amin says.

  • Cybersecurity educationCybersecurity Curriculum, Pilot Focused on Veterans and First Responders

    The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is part of a coalition of universities and industry partners that are developing a curriculum to increase cybersecurity talent focused on health care with $6.3 million in funding from the National Security Agency. The curriculum focuses on health care cybersecurity.

  • Critical infrastructureGuidance Will Improve Critical Infrastructure Resilience

    It is easy to understand the importance of our “critical infrastructure,” such as telecommunications, energy, transportation, and emergency services, but what’s often overlooked are the underlying technologies that enable them. DHS S&T is doing something about it.

  • InfrastructureSmart Concrete Could Pave the Way for High-Tech, Cost-Effective Roads

    By Luna Lu and Vishal Saravade

    Of the 614,387 bridges in the U.S., for example, 39% are older than their designed lifetimes, while nearly 10% are structurally deficient, meaning they could begin to break down faster or, worse, be vulnerable to catastrophic failure. The cost to repair and improve nationwide transportation infrastructure ranges from nearly US$190 billion to almost $1 trillion. Repairing U.S. infrastructure costs individual households, on average, about $3,400 every year. Traffic congestion alone is estimated to cost the average driver $1,400 in fuel and time spent commuting, a nationwide tally of more than $160 billion per year.

  • InfrastructureBuilding European Cities with Wood Would Sequester, Store Half of Cement industry’s Carbon Emissions

    Buildings around us create a whopping one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s about ten times more than air traffic worldwide. In Europe alone about 190 million square meters of housing space are built each year, mainly in the cities, and the amount is growing quickly at the rate of nearly one percent a year. Slowly increasing the use of wood in European construction could increase the carbon storage of buildings by 420 million CO2 tons over the next 20 years.

  • Grid securityNew Cyber Technologies Protect Utility Energy Delivery Systems

    Researchers are taking new approaches to solve cybersecurity vulnerabilities for utilities and other industries that use process control technologies. These connected devices are used in operational technology settings and tend to be more vulnerable to cyberattacks than information technology equipment. The software identifies and mitigates vulnerabilities in operational technologies.

  • InfrastructureBridges with Limb-Inspired Architecture Can Withstand Earthquakes, Cut Repair Costs

    Structural damage to any of the nation’s ailing bridges can come with a hefty price of billions of dollars in repairs. New bridge designs promise more damage-resistant structures and, consequently, lower restoration costs. But if these designs haven’t been implemented in the real world, predicting how they can be damaged and what repair strategies should be implemented remain unresolved.

  • InfrastructureExtending Concrete Structure's Lifespan with Carbon Textile

    Researchers have developed an effective structural strengthening method using a noncombustible carbon textile grid and cement mortar, which can double the load-bearing capacities of structurally deficient concrete structures and increase their usable lifespan threefold.

  • Infrastructure protectionU.S. Puts Sanctions on Russian Research Institution Tied to Malware That Targets Industrial Systems

    The United States has placed sanctions on a Russian government research institute connected to the development of computer malware capable of targeting industrial safety systems and causing catastrophic damage.

  • InfrastructureMaking Critical Infrastructure Safer as Natural Disasters Increase

    According to the European Union, it costs around €20 billion to repair and maintain transport infrastructure as a direct result of natural hazards. The American Society of Civil Engineers believes neglecting to maintain transport infrastructure could have dire economic consequences, including a loss of 2.5 million jobs and $7 trillion in business sales by 2025 A new roadmap shows the way to more resilient transport networks in a world where natural disasters are increasing, and data is at the heart of the plan.

  • Disaster managementCreating 3-D Maps of Complex Buildings for Disaster Management

    In case of an emergency, first responders like the fire brigade need up-to-date information. 2D maps are a common source of information but they can be difficult to read in an emergency situation. A researcher has created an algorithm that can accurately generate 3D models of the insides of large buildings from point clouds.

  • landslidesSimple Actions May Help People Survive Landslides

    An engineer who analyzed the aftermath of the March 2014 landslide in Oso, Washington, began to investigate the circumstances that can make landslides so deadly. The resulting study shows that certain human actions increase the chance of surviving a devastating event, and suggests simple behavioral changes could save more lives than expensive engineering solutions.