1151639 (Pinto). This is an award primarily for participant support for the Fourth Annual Conference on Next Generation Infrastructures (NGInfra): Challenges and Research for the 21st Century. This conference is scheduled for November 16-18, 2011 in Hampton Roads, VA. The overall goal is to increase US participation in next generation infrastructure research and education, and to strengthen the nation?s position in the field, given the great importance of this vitally critical and developing topical area. The effectiveness and efficiency in addressing next generation critical infrastructure issues will be a primary challenge of this century. Pressured by increasing complexity, scarce resources, and emerging threats, the future of critical infrastructure development will continue to be a source of societal emphasis. The objectives of this conference are (1) to identify existing and future infrastructure challenges that must be addressed for societies to more fully realize their potential, (2) to provide a forum for highlighting advances in research and practice to address current and future infrastructure challenges, (3) to expose young or new researchers (especially underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities) to the state of the art in the field, and (4) to actively encourage students, especially under-represented minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and those in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), to pursue careers in engineering and applied sciences, and participate in the frontier of scientific research.
A conference titled '4th Annual International Conference on Next Generation Infrastructures' was held from November 16-18 2011 at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia (USA). The conference highlighted current research for working solutions for next generation infrastructures, and was one of the few collaborations in the world that carry out integrated research into the working of infrastructures, as complex systems. The conference highlighted some of the critical infrastructure findings in context. Understanding infrastructure networks provides the ability to trace forward to customers and backwards to providers to understand the flow of services. This is especially important, for example, when contaminants enter the food supply network, and it is imperative to both notify potential consumers and identify the source of the contamination. In the same theme, it is useful to know the influence of the environment on infrastructure performance. The impact of heavy rainfall on freeways can impede traffic flow and increase incidents, especially in areas that often experience tropical weather conditions. Adverse weather can severely impact travel and the overall transportation system of a region. Knowing the effect on travel time can assist in planning for traffic management and disaster response. Lastly, the coverage of mobile voice and data networks is of interest to government and consumers alike. Leveraging currently available technology, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, a methodology has been defined to both classify a wireless service region and how to determine the 'coverage' within that region. Modern society is changing rapidly, demanding more functionality, capacity and quality of our current infrastructures. Our goal is to ensure long-term flexibility for the next generation of infrastructures, while maintaining their stability and reliability. This conference provided a platform to discuss advanced methods and tools for the operation and control of existing infrastructures, as well as the impact of future technological, institutional and social developments. Notable submissions to the conference can be found at: 1. Holly Ann Heine Handley, C. Ariel Pinto and Adrian V. Gheorghe, International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, Special Issue on Next Generation Critical Infrastructure Systems: Challenges, Solutions and Research, Vol. 8 No. 2/3, 2012. 2. Charles B. Keating, Vicky Parsons, C. Ariel Pinto and Adrian V. Gheorghe, International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, Special Issue on Emerging System of Systems Engineering: Research and Application Challenges, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012.