Texas Tech University to Host Conference on U.S. Infrastructure

The conference will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss infrastructure challenges facing the country in the 21st Century.

U.S. Infrastructure: Challenges & Directions for the 21st Century

Texas Tech University will host a conference on “U.S. Infrastructure: Challenges & Directions for the 21st Century” on September 8-9 at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center. The conference, organized by the Department of Political Science in association with the Departments of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering and the Department of Economics, will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss infrastructure challenges facing the country in the 21st Century.

Some of the academic speakers at the conference include:

  • Rosabeth M. Kanter, Ph.D. - Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business at Harvard Business School at Harvard University
  • Burcu Akinci, Ph.D. - Paul Christiano Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University
  • C. Michael Walton, Ph.D. - Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ian Savage, Ph.D. - Professor of Economics and Director of the Transportation and Logistics Program at Northwestern University
  • Martin Wachs, Ph.D. - Distinguished Emeritus Professor of  Civil & Environ­mental Engineering and of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Jacqueline M. Klopp, Ph.D. - Associate Research Scholar at the Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University

The deadline to register for the conference is August 31.

This conference will give academic representatives the opportunity to apply their research to real-world issues.

“A lot of academics are criticized because their research is not meaningful for current-day social problems,” said Dennis Patterson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science and one of the organizers of the conference. “Where academic research and training is going these days are things that relate to specific cluster problem areas. Infrastructure is a problem area for policy in the United States. This conference is taking this academic research and trying to bridge the gap so a huge practitioner contingent can also participate in solving this problem.”

Aman Khan, a professor of political science and public administration, first approached Patterson about the idea of this conference. Khan wanted to host this conference in the context of the 2016 presidential election, when infrastructure was a major focus..

Participants in the conference will hear from academics from various universities across the United States, who have expertise within the realm of infrastructure. The Conference is the first of its kind that looks at infrastructure challenges from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

“Without all the voices from each department, you won’t get the full story on what’s going on with infrastructure,” Patterson said. “We want to have the variety of points of view to discuss and analyze the different topics that are moving these problems toward solutions.”

Policymakers, such as members of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of Transportation, local business and community leaders as well as selected industries have also been invited to attend the conference. Patterson hopes having policymakers there will help solve problems in infrastructure.

To register for the conference, click here.

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Whitacre College of Engineering

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.

Approximately 4,300 undergraduate and 725 graduate students pursue bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees offered through eight academic departments: civil and environmental, chemical, computer science, electrical and computer, engineering technology, industrial, mechanical and petroleum.


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The Texas Tech University College of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1925 as one of the university’s four original colleges. 

Comprised of 15 departments, the College offers a wide variety of courses and programs in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. Students can choose from 41 bachelor’s degree programs, 34 master’s degrees and 14 doctoral programs.

With over 10,000 students (8,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate) enrolled, the College of Arts & Sciences is the largest college on the Texas Tech University campus.


Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science is in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The department offers graduate study in American politics, public administration, comparative politics, international relations and political theory.


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The mission of the ESRL is to provide survey research services to the university community and to public sector agencies and organizations. Along with the Center for Public Service, ESRL serves as a support resource for students, faculty and administrators involved in survey and social science instruction and research.

Although we are housed in the Department of Political Science, we are capable of research in all fields including healthcare, economic development, public administration and customer satisfaction.