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Center for Sensed Critical Infrastructure Research (CenSCIR)

Irving Oppenheim photo
    Director Irving Oppenheim
  • Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Contact Information
  • Email: ijo@cmu.edu
  • Phone: 412-268-2950
  • Fax: 412-268-7813
    Mailing Address
  • 107A Porter Hall | Carnegie Mellon University | 5000 Forbes Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Mission/Goals
At CenSCIR we are working to deliver electronic “nervous systems” to critical infrastructure through the use of sensors systems, processes and technologies. To avoid costly failures and provide a twenty-first century infrastruc¬ture, government and industry must build their critical infrastructures with these “nervous systems” to collect and feed data to systems that interpret the data and allow for better decision making. Our center performs research that explores the need for this technology, provides design guidance for it, and gives clear justification for imple¬menters, operators and future designers of these “sensed” critical infrastructure systems. Our research helps to provide sensor data-driven awareness of the usage and condition of infrastructure sys¬tems (both for components and the entire network), and proactive, intelligent decision support and control of these critical infrastructure systems over their lifetime.

Critical infrastructure systems are defined as “those physical and cyber-based systems essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. Their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense or economic security of the United States” (President William J. Clinton, 1998). These systems include the transportation infrastructure, water distribution and treat¬ment, power generation and distribution, and the telecommunications infrastructure, among others. CenSCIR’s research is conducted at this intersection of cyber, physical and economic systems.

Because modern infrastructure is comprised of this collection of sys¬tems, only a multi-disciplinary team can bring together the ideas and the tools that are needed to create practical solutions for the built environment. At CenSCIR, we draw from Carnegie Mellon University’s world-class faculty to bring together true multi-disciplinary project teams that can see the whole picture.