The video above was recently seen in the Let’s Talk about Water Film Festival hosted by The Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan.


Civil engineering infrastructure systems are built to serve the public, and, as a result, the performance of these systems depends on feedbacks among natural resources, infrastructure, and society. Research in the Sociotechnical Systems Analysis (STSA) Lab investigates sociotechnical systems, where human behaviors, decision-making, resource availability, and infrastructure performance are inextricably linked. This research asks and answers the question “How do human behaviors and choices affect the performance of engineered infrastructure systems?”

The STSA Lab has developed agent-based models of sociotechnical systems to simulate feedback mechanisms and adaptive behaviors among consumers, infrastructure, and environmental systems.  Ultimately, we want to capture loops in which human behavior affects infrastructure systems, and infrastructure performance feeds back to affect human behavior.  Our goal is to capture and predict instability, fragility, and tipping points in urban infrastructure and natural resources systems.

Our research also explores optimization models and algorithms to manage the sustainability, security, and resilience of complex infrastructure systems. Agent-based models, water system models, and optimization methods, including evolutionary algorithms, are coupled to identify infrastructure management strategies that adapt to sociotechnical dynamics. See our research interests for descriptions of how we are applying agent-based modeling, infrastructure modeling, optimization, and statistical modeling for sociotechnical systems analysis.  You can find outcomes of this research on our publications page, Google Scholar, and github repository.

“At this challenging time across our nation, and in our own community, we want to be clear where NC State leadership stands: We stand against and condemn white supremacy, racial injustice and all forms of racism and discrimination. NC State’s Black students, faculty and staff deserve a campus culture where they feel safe, supported, respected and valued. We are committed to doing all we can to protect, promote and advance diversity, equity and inclusion at NC State.” – NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson