Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI) is an NSF program that focuses on human reasoning and decision making, governance, and social and cultural processes that enable the building and maintenance of effective infrastructure. The goal is to improve lives and society by building on the advances of technology and engineering.

This project, funded by NSF's Strengthening American Infrastructure program, aims to better understand how social vulnerabilities intersect with engineering outages, with the goal of improving the equity of responses to electrical grid failure to support energy justice.



This study looks specifically at the electric grid and improving it to ensure that the most vulnerable people in the U.S. are not the most likely to be harmed by grid failure. Today outages are more likely to occur and harm communities that are already vulnerable. This project looks to provide knowledge so that electric grid and other built and social infrastructures can be created to have equal disaster response management. 

This study creates a data-enabled decision making framework that integrates socioeconomic and engineering factors to understand the outcomes and impacts of potential grid failures. This involves community-level data on power resilience, socioeconomic factors relevant to the region with history of grid outages. Subsequently, a social-engineering framework is developed that enables to examine and plan for potential outages and prepare a disaster response plan. The expected outcome is a comprehensive power infrastructure resilience framework that improves communities by looking at grid failure as a socio-technological issue.

This project began in December 2021. Learn more about the project here

You can read more about this project in the following publication

Kuang, B., Schelly, C., Ou, G., Sahraei-Ardakani, M., Tiwari, S., Chen, J. (2023). Data-driven analysis of influential factors on residential energy end-use in the US. Journal of Building Engineering. Vol. 75.

Tiwari, S., Schelly, C., Ou, Ge., Sahraei-Ardakani, M., Chen, J., Jafarishiadeh, F. (2022). Conceptualizing resilience: An energy services approach. Energy Research & Social Science. Vol. 94. 

Ketola, Z., Tiwari, S., & Schelly, C. (2024). How forcing community resilience in rural communities harms sustainable development. Sustainable Earth Reviews, Vol. 7, Article 2.