Sinha receives $787,000 NSF CAREER grant

Sunil K. Sinha, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty associate at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER Award is the highest award given by the foundation. It provides five years of funding to stimulate the early development of academic careers in science and engineering and to support the critical roles played by faculty members in integrating research and education.

The $787,355 grant will focus on research, education and outreach efforts in water and wastewater pipeline infrastructure systems. "The overall objective of this research is to enrich the state of decision-making as it applies to pipe infrastructure asset management and renewal programs," said Sinha. This effort, the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management System (SWIMS), investigates how an innovative evaluation system, renewal engineering and visualization system can be integrated for efficient water and wastewater pipeline management.

Sinha continued, "SWIMS as an engineered management system will equip municipal engineers with the decision-support tools needed to decide when, where and how to best maintain pipeline infrastructure systems. The SWIMS program is envisioned as a model system that can be implemented by municipalities and institutions across the country, and possibly worldwide."

The SWIMS research program is designed to benefit the education of undergraduate, graduate and extension students through research infrastructure developments, incorporation of new knowledge in teaching and research, continuous training and education of professional engineers and scientists and public education in sustainable resource development and operations. In addition, kindergarten-through-12-grade students and their parents will be educated about the challenges of civil infrastructure renewal and the opportunities that co-exist in allied engineering disciplines through a hands-on educational experience.

Sinha received his doctoral degree in civil engineering and systems design engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 2000. He joined the Penn State faculty in 2001. He has extensive experience in the construction industry, including the design and construction of major bridges, highways and pipelines and has consulted in construction, environmental, transportation and buried pipeline technology issues. Sinha has published and presented more than 70 papers and is actively involved in many state and national professional associations and societies.

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Last Updated July 06, 2009