Syracuse University Launches Unique, Multidisciplinary Institute Focused on Infrastructure

The Syracuse University Infrastructure Institute is a new venture involving all of the University’s schools and colleges, and focused on facilitating effective and efficient development of new, modernized and socially responsible public infrastructure.

The institute’s core mission is to achieve this goal by integrating and supporting previously distinct disciplines with a singular focus on infrastructure, including: architecture; arts and history; civil and environmental engineering; communications; computer engineering and science; economics; electrical engineering; entrepreneurship; finance; information systems; law; management; public administration; public policy; social sciences; and supply chain management.

Steven M. Charney, chairman of the national construction and infrastructure law firm Peckar & Abramson, P.C. (P&A), is the founding advisor. He also serves on the Advisory Council for the Whitman School. The Infrastructure Institute is Charney’s vision, borne out of the recognition that traditional methods and “siloed” industry perspectives must yield to a unified approach.

Professor Laura J. Steinberg, former dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, is the institute’s executive director. She continues to serve as a special assistant for strategy to the vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and provost and is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“We believe Syracuse University is the first and only university to create an institute that integrates multiple disciplines around an infrastructure focus,” Steinberg says. “The Infrastructure Institute breaks new ground in education, commentary and research, and will enrich and enable a new generation of students and professionals as they improve upon and create desperately needed infrastructure.”

“An unprecedented collaborative effort will be required to meet the demand for modernized and new infrastructure, which will require an extraordinary integration of historically distinct skill sets,” Charney says. “Such integration is critical to the ability to plan, design, engineer, finance, operate, maintain and implement socially responsible infrastructure.”

“Syracuse University is uniquely positioned to address the challenge—the colleges and schools offered in the academic setting at Syracuse University closely mirror those that must align in both the public and private sectors to meet current and future infrastructure demand,” he continues.

“The excitement in seeing this institute come together in response to the staggering infrastructure needs across the United States and globally should pale in comparison to the impact the institute can have at home and around the world,” Charney says.

Arielle Spears