ENCI610-20A (C) Any Time Start 2020

Special Topic: Infrastructure Systems - Criticality and Lifelines

15 points

Start/End Date: The start and end dates are specific to each student. For further information please contact one of the following (as appropriate):
  • For Masters theses please contact the relevant College Office.
  • For Doctoral degrees (PhD) please contact the Postgraduate Office.
  • For other types of anytime start courses (i.e. generally courses worth 60 points or less) please contact the Course Coordinator.
Withdrawal Dates
The withdrawal dates for this course (both with and without fee refund) will be confirmed once a) the course start date and b) course length is confirmed. Students are advised to consult the department for further information.


Special Topic: Infrastructure Systems - Criticality and Lifelines

Engineering Management for Resilient Infrastructure

The course focuses on the physical and societal attributes of critical infrastructure, how it functions, and how residential and commercial buildings, as well as water supply, gas and liquid fuel production and distribution, transportation, electric power, and flood protection systems should be maintained and managed. The course uses case histories with the instructor’s personal experience to explore the World Trade Center Disaster on New York City, earthquake effects on San Francisco and Los Angeles, Hurricane Katrina and Sandy impacts, and special emphasis on the effects of earthquakes and flooding relevant to New Zealand. Metrics for infrastructure resilience and sustainability are covered, as well as modelling procedures and tools for making decisions with statistical analysis, fault trees, system simulation, and optimization. Students will develop skills in the rational planning and engineering of infrastructure, including the establishment of performance goals, creating programs to achieve these goals, and making investments using multi-objective criteria.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of this course, participants will understand how infrastructure development exposes systems to hazards, and they will be able to assess system criticality, interdependencies, and failure impacts. The course objectives are to:

  • Develop an understanding of infrastructure, including how it functions, how to define critical functions, and how to plan and manage infrastructure. Case histories will be used to define and characterize infrastructure and explore infrastructure interdependencies;
  • Review the historical development of selected systems e.g. transportation, water, electricity;
  • Appreciate infrastructure system exposure to: earthquake impacts including liquefaction; landslides; tsunamis; volcanoes; floods and other meteorological events; space weather;
  • Instil lessons learned from natural disasters and human threats;
  • Define and assess criticality at component, network and interdependency levels;
  • Analyse cascading failure impacts using event and fault trees;
  • Conduct a resilience assessment of part or whole of an infrastructure system;
  • Develop skills in the rational planning and engineering of infrastructure, including the establishment of performance goals, creating programs to achieve these goals, and making investments using multi-objective criteria.
  • Acquire practice and skills with modelling procedures and tools for making decisions


Subject to approval of the Director of Studies

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Intensive Block Course A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 09:00 - 17:00 Wheki 104 17 Feb - 23 Feb
16 Mar - 22 Mar
Intensive Block Course B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00 Wheki 104 17 Feb - 23 Feb
16 Mar - 22 Mar

Timetable Note

The course is delivered in ‘Block Mode’, with one two-day block (17-18 February 2020) and another two-day block (16-17 March 2020) at the University of Canterbury. The block course offers lectures designed to introduce basic concepts and ideas of infrastructure types, criticalities and interdependencies, and hazard types and impacts. These sessions will provide opportunity for discussion and reflection on issues specific to different infrastructure systems, as well as their interdependencies. Lectures and workshop sessions will focus on developing event and fault trees as well as conducting geospatial infrastructure analyses.


Professor Tom O'Rourke (Cornell University)


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Homework 50% Case histories, probabilitiy functions and fragilities
Report 50% Event and fault tree analyses

• The deadlines for all assignments will be displayed on the Course Schedule and on LEARN
• Any changes to submission dates or other details will be communicated through LEARN. It is the responsibility of each student to check the LEARN website regularly
• Assessments must be submitted by the due date on LEARN. Marks will be posted online as soon as they are available.
• Our aim is to provide feedback on assessments within one month. Where this is not possible, it will be communicated to you.
• All submissions should be single (typed) PDF documents. Specific formatting requirements for individual assessment swill be made available prior to course commencement

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Hill, A C; Martinez-Diaz, L; Building a Resilient Tomorrow; Oxford University Press.

Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia. , Association of Local Government Engineers of New Zealand; International infrastructure management manual; 5th edition, international edition, 2015; IPWEA ; NAMS Group, 2015 (Available as e-book through University of Canterbury library).

O'Rourke, T D; Engineering for Disaster Resilience; National Academy of Engineering, 2019.

A detailed list of peer-reviewed articles, reports and other documents will be made available to participants prior to course commencement.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,102.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 5 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.

All ENCI610 Occurrences

  • ENCI610-20A (C) Any Time Start 2020