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Media Advisory 08-020

Bridges to the Future: A Vision for Infrastructure in the 21st Century

Experts to convene April 10 to address challenges and solutions for future of power generation, water resources and the structures around us

On April 10, 2008, NSF and Popular Mechanics will host a Bridges to the Future webcast.

On April 10, 2008, NSF and Popular Mechanics will host a Bridges to the Future webcast.

March 27, 2008

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

On Thursday, April 10, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Popular Mechanics will co-host a webcast conference to address challenges and solutions driving the future of infrastructure in the United States.

Moderated by Popular Mechanics editors and webcast by NSF, Bridges to the Future will bring together leading experts on the power grid, water resources and the built environment for three, hour-long panel discussions beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The sessions are all call-in programs, with conversation driven by the questions that come in live from decision makers, the research community and the public.

The Web site for the event is Additional articles about the topics to be discussed are available at The panels are as follows:

The Smart Grid
12:30 p.m. EDT

Second-by-second information-sharing among households, utilities and even individual appliances may revolutionize the grids that distribute electricity throughout the country. Panelists will explore how to make the grid more resilient and nimble, saving energy and forestalling blackouts.

Panelists include:

  • Roger N. Anderson, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Anjan Bose, Washington State University
  • Arthur Kressner, Director of Research and Development, Power Supply, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
  • James A. Momoh, Howard University

Water in 2025
2:30 p.m. EDT

Over the next generation, water supplies in the United States will face increasing pressure. Panelists will lay out the challenges, which range from leaky municipal water systems to growing populations, and explore technology to ensure that fresh water remains safe and plentiful.

Panelists include:

  • Marc Edwards, Virginia Tech
  • Mark Houck, George Mason University
  • Patricia Mulroy, Southern Nevada Water Authority
  • Jerald Schnoor, University of Iowa
  • Daniel Sheer, Hydrologics, Inc.

Standing Strong
4:30 p.m. EDT

It's been half a year since the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed. In that time, there has been fresh debate over how to fix America's bridges and roads. Panelists will discuss state-of-the-art building technology and how such ideas should be applied to dams, buildings, roads and more.

Panelists include:

  • Linda Figg, Figg Engineering Group
  • Antonio Nanni, University of Miami
  • Matthew Realff, Georgia Tech
  • W.M. Kim Roddis, The George Washington University
  • Yang Wang, Georgia Tech

To attend in person, RSVP to Joshua Chamot, National Science Foundation, (seating is limited).


Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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