Infrastructure System of Systems


Centre for Systems Engineering & Innovation Seminar by Dr Ali Mostafavi

On Friday 01 July 2016, the Centre for Systems Engineering & Innovation (CSEI) welcomed a visit from Dr Ali Mostafavi, Assistant Professor, OHL School of Construction, College of Engineering and Computing, Florida International University, who gave a seminar on
“Infrastructure System-of-Systems: A Holistic Paradigm for Sustainable and Resilient Civil Systems” as part of the CSEI's Seminar Series.

A full abstract of the seminar together with speaker biography is presented below. 


Resilience and sustainability of civil infrastructure systems is one of the grand challenges facing engineers and decision makers in the 21st century. The complexity of this challenge is due to the existence of multiple, heterogeneous, distributed, and interdependent systems composed of actors and physical components embedded in networks at multiple levels. To unlock the full potential of a sustainable and resilient infrastructure development, holistic paradigms need to be created to facilitate an integrated assessment of extant complex adaptive behaviours, decision-making processes, and dynamic interdependencies. To this end, recent studies have proposed the use of a system-of-systems paradigm for integrated modelling and holistic analysis in civil and project systems.

In this talk, the significance and elements of a system-of-systems research paradigm will be explained. Then, the use of the system-of-systems approach will be described in two studies related to: (1) analysis of resilience and adaptation of infrastructure systems under climate change impacts; and (2) assessment of resilience to uncertainty in project systems. The first study was geared towards a system-of-systems approach, and subsequently creation of an agent-based model to simulate the interaction between social systems and physical networks in order to analyse the long-term evolution of infrastructure in different climate change scenarios. The second study focused on assessment of resilience in project systems through the use of a dynamic meta-network modelling framework. In this study, data collected from complex commercial projects was used to simulate various scenarios of different uncertain events in order to quantify project vulnerability and proactively evaluate the effectiveness of various planning strategies in mitigating vulnerability and improving resilience in project systems. These studies illustrate the important role of the system-of-systems research paradigm in integrating interdisciplinary elements at the intersection of civil infrastructure, hazard, decision, computer, and social sciences in addressing disaster resilience, infrastructure sustainability, project systems integration, and climate change adaptation challenges.

Speaker Biography:

Ali Mostafavi is an Assistant Professor at the Florida International University (FIU) College of Engineering and Computing. Starting August 2016, He will join the faculty in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Purdue University in 2013. He also holds a Master of Science in Industrial Administration (One-year accelerated MBA) degree from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Ali Mostafavi supervises the Infrastructure System-of-Systems (I-SoS) Research Group. His research focuses on a system-of-systems paradigm that bridges the boundaries between complex systems science, network theory, and civil infrastructure systems. He is a principal investigator (PI/Co-PI) in multiple research projects funded by different agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), Construction Industry Institute (CII), Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC), and Miami-Dade Expressway (MDX). He is also a member of the Infrastructure Resilience Division (IRD) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Academic Leadership Committee of CII. Ali Mostafavi has received multiple awards and honors for outstanding research, teaching, and service. His recent awards include the CII Distinguished Professor Award, Engineering News Record's Top 20 under 40 in the Southeast Region, and the Best Paper Award of the 2015 ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Conference.

The Centre welcomes speakers who are interested in presenting ideas on or around Systems Engineering in Infrastructure.  Interested parties should contact the Centre Director, Professor Jennifer Whyte by email in the first instance.



Ms Alexandra J Williams

Ms Alexandra J Williams
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 5995

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