Construction on the new Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) continues to move along briskly at the Texas A&M University System’s (TAMUS) RELLIS Campus, located at the southwest corner of State Highways 21 and 47. The new CIR should open in the first quarter of 2018!
That’s exciting because the CIR will be a leading source for the development of transformative infrastructure solutions.
“The CIR will develop infrastructure solutions that last longer, cost less and can be built in less time,” said John Barton, Assistant Vice Chancellor TAMUS, RELLIS Director and CIR Executive Director.
Considering all the current news about infrastructure, that’s important! These days everyone is aware of infrastructure problems that range from road construction and bridge failures to power outages, train derailments and overcrowded airports.
The need to develop solutions for infrastructure renewal was recognized by the Texas Legislature in 2015 when it appropriated $5 million in debt service for the construction of the CIR as a joint center between two renowned state agencies, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). Both TEES and TTI have decades of experience solving engineering, research and transportation issues.
The CIR will solve infrastructure issues as a state-of-the-art, 138,000-square foot facility that provides the multidisciplinary research environment necessary for attracting significant cross-industry and government agency participation. The research conducted at the CIR will improve the safety, security, longevity, efficiency, performance, resiliency, financial feasibility and sustainability of our state and nation’s infrastructure.
“The CIR will facilitate the creation of state-of-the-art methods, technologies and solutions for infrastructural renewal,” Barton said. “We will accomplish this by focusing on multidisciplinary research, innovation and workforce development.”
The one-of-a-kind CIR will contain large-scale laboratories for testing full-scale infrastructure components; a smart grid laboratory; sensor and corrosion laboratories; advanced materials testing facilities; a state-of-the art virtual reality and simulation laboratory; smart infrastructure monitoring laboratories; and asphalt, concrete and soils innovation facilities to accelerate knowledge into practice. The CIR will be placed in the premier high-tech research, technology development and education environment at the new RELLIS Campus.
Additionally, the CIR will both seek out and share infrastructure knowledge and innovation through a series of collaborations, workshops, summits, advanced training, knowledge sharing communities and professional development programs. Through these activities, the CIR will accelerate the integration and sharing of knowledge that can quickly improve and renew the nation’s infrastructure.
“While we’re very excited about opening the building,” Barton said, “the CIR already is positioned on the leading edge for developing transformative infrastructure solutions with our current workshops, symposiums and research-focused efforts post Hurricane Harvey.”
The CIR should be ready to open in the first quarter of 2018. Stay tuned – more details are coming soon on the grand opening for this new world-class research, innovation and workforce development center.