The 2015 International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure (ISNGI) will take place Sept. 14-15 in Washington, D.C., part of a symposia series that seeks to bring together leaders from industry, government, and academia to begin a global infrastructure research program. 

The conference is hosted by the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, along with a cooperative of international partners. 

"The current state of infrastructure resiliency presents both opportunities and challenges for leaders in industry, government, and academia," says Virginia Tech President Emeritus and architecture professor Charles W. Steger. "We live in an interconnected and complicated world, and we need to foster a global understanding of how to deal with issues like decaying physical infrastructure, a healthcare infrastructure stressed by pandemics, overconsumption of resources in the power and transport sectors, economic volatility, and risks to cyber-infrastructure."

Steger further explains that the world's built environment is facing a diverse set of challenges and opportunities in the coming decades. As the effects of climate change become increasingly realized and the limits of the planet challenged, current practices must be adapted and strategies developed to respond to critical threats to the infrastructure that keeps modern societies functioning, he says.

The event is part of an ongoing series of international symposia that seek to encourage the development of systems and processes that will allow for economic, political, and structural resilience to meet the needs of future generations. It builds off the last ISNGI event, which took place in 2014 in Austria.

The 2015 symposium seeks to determine best practices and benchmarks needed to better inform strategies for ensuring infrastructure resilience by focusing on the major themes of healthcare, power and transportation, economic systems, modeling, and simulation. Speakers, including U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, and representatives from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, will speak to these topics and help shape the discussion among participants. 

Special registration rates are available for those who register before Aug. 14, the event organizers say, so they encourage interested participants to register early. Special reduced rates are also available for students; however, space is limited. Registration is now open.

The event's international partners include the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, University College London, University of Oxford, and the Delft University of Technology.

For more information about the conference, contacting Christine Haimann at 540-231-8320.

Written by Dana Cruikshank and Carla Craft