The U.S. National Science Foundation is supporting more than 20 exploratory research projects examining the interactions of people and society with physical and digital infrastructure. Through NSF’s Strengthening American Infrastructure initiative, researchers will investigate a variety of areas — from bridges and electrical grids to online education — with the shared goal of producing fundamental scientific knowledge that can be used to make current and future infrastructure safer, smarter, and more cost effective.
NSF is investing a total of $6.2 million in projects exploring multiple aspects of national and local infrastructure. They include studies on the potential city-wide effects of cyberattacks on self-driving vehicles, the effectiveness of flood mitigation systems, the resiliency of electrical grids and water supply systems during natural disasters, and the availability of telehealth services in rural areas with sparse internet connectivity.
The cross-disciplinary projects are led by social and behavioral scientists collaborating with researchers from a wide range of fields, including engineering, computer science, education, biology, mathematics, physical sciences, and geosciences.