11.165 / 11.477 Infrastructure in Crisis: Energy and Security Challenges

As taught in: Fall 2009

A wind turbine towers over a small red farmhouse.

Mendota Hills Wind Farm in Illinois. The farm has 63 operating wind turbines. Each turbine stands over 200 feet tall. (Image courtesy of thomas.merton on Flickr.)


Undergraduate / Graduate


Prof. Karen R. Polenske

Prof. Apiwat Ratanawaraha

Course Features

Course Description

The purpose of this seminar is to examine efforts in developing and advanced nations and regions to create, finance and regulate infrastructure systems and services that affect energy security. We will introduce a variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives. During the seminar, students will explore how an energy crisis can be an opportunity for making fundamental changes to improve collapsing infrastructure networks. The sessions will be used to introduce the challenges to modern society concerning energy security, and for students to study how food security and energy security are intertwined, as well as how infrastructure supports the energy system. We will review the moral hazard aspects of infrastructure and the common arguments for withholding adequate support to the rebuilding of energy systems. Students taking the graduate version will complete additional assignments.