Skip directly to content

Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
Doing Business As Name:University of New Hampshire
PD/PI:
  • Majid Ghayoomi
  • (603) 862-3997
  • majid.ghayoomi@unh.edu
Award Date:07/20/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 99,859
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 99,859
  • FY 2021=$99,859
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:EAGER: SAI: Collaborative Research: Behavioral Theories for Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure
Federal Award ID Number:2121585
DUNS ID:111089470
Parent DUNS ID:001765866
Program:Strengthening American Infras.
Program Officer:
  • Steven J. Breckler
  • (703) 292-7369
  • sbreckle@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:51 COLLEGE RD SERVICE BLDG 107
City:Durham
State:NH
ZIP:03824-3585
County:Durham
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of New Hampshire
Street:51 COLLEGE RD SERVICE BLDG 107
City:Durham
State:NH
ZIP:03824-3585
County:Durham
Country:US
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI) is an NSF Program seeking to stimulate human-centered fundamental and potentially transformative research that strengthens America’s infrastructure. Effective infrastructure provides a strong foundation for socioeconomic vitality and broad quality of life improvement. Strong, reliable, and effective infrastructure spurs private-sector innovation, grows the economy, creates jobs, makes public-sector service provision more efficient, strengthens communities, promotes equal opportunity, protects the natural environment, enhances national security, and fuels American leadership. To achieve these goals requires expertise from across the science and engineering disciplines. SAI focuses on how knowledge of human reasoning and decision making, governance, and social and cultural processes enables the building and maintenance of effective infrastructure that improves lives and society and builds on advances in technology and engineering. This SAI project investigates interactions between the human decision-making process and infrastructure performance. Human actions and the decisions made in planning, designing and constructing infrastructure are influenced by an engineer’s socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, attitudes, values, and perceptions. Infrastructure response is also driven by uncertainties in material properties, design strategies, and physical and climatic stressors. This project links a well-studied social science framework (The Theory of Planned Behavior) to engineering modeling, offering new and transformative knowledge about infrastructure management. The new research models are specifically tested in the context of resilient flood protection systems such as levees and breakwaters in flood-prone communities of the Northeastern United States. The project aims to advance social science theory, develop new metrics for measuring and predicting the interaction of social, economic, and physical behavior of infrastructure components, and to use these metrics to enhance the resilience of infrastructure. The project ultimately helps to connect engineers with tools and methods that enable them to better understand and consider human behavior, potentially leading to tangible physical outputs. This will improve infrastructure design and performance assessment, making infrastructure safer, more cost-effective, and resilient. This project focuses primarily on theory building to develop a dynamic and novel model merging the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and System Dynamics Modeling. The goal is to integrate important social science variables such as values, norms, and attitudes into the flow of decision making an engineer undertakes for infrastructure design and uncertainties associated with infrastructure performance. The project develops a refined theoretical framework merging TPB with engineering, including a systematic theory-driven literature review, interviews with experts, and a survey of the engineering community. This static model is then transitioned to a more dynamic system platform incorporating dependencies, sensitivity analyses, and multivariate statistics. Bridging the theory to practice is tested on two flood defense target infrastructure systems (levees and breakwaters) in flood-prone communities of the Northeastern United States. The anticipated outcomes of the research include advancing social science theory, developing new metrics for measuring and predicting the interaction of social, economic, and physical behavior of infrastructure components, and using these metrics to enhance the resilience of infrastructure in design, construction, performance, and maintenance phases. The project builds a transdisciplinary new theory by extending a widely studied behavioral framework to strengthen convergence between social science and infrastructure. Ultimately, the project will help to connect engineers with tools and methods that enable better understanding of human processes that intervene in the performance of urban infrastructure. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.