Assignment 1

After reading the three documents, what advice would you give to the government with regard to investment in infrastructure as an economic stimulant? Please give the reasoning behind your advice, and contain your comments and discussion to not more than 500 words.

"Be Careful What You Wish For." The Economist, February 5, 2009.

"Can The Centrists Hold?" The Economist, February 5, 2009.

Doshi, Viren, Gary Schulman, and Daniel Gabaldon. "Lights! Water! Motion!." Strategy + Business 46 (2007).

Lec #6

Assignment 2

After reading the two articles accompanying this assignment and incorporating what you have learned from the lectures thus far on construction finance, private participation in infrastructure delivery (and any other relevant information), prepare a memo offering your comments on the assigned readings. For example, you may choose to comment broadly on the state of infrastructure delivery in the U.S. and the limitations or opportunities provided by various financing strategies, issues regarding the delivery of major/transformative projects, and/or any other issues related to the readings. This assignment is purposefully open-ended to encourage you to analyze the readings and craft an original response, but please feel free to raise any questions you may have about the assignment in class in Lec #9 or #10.

Your memo should be similar in length to the papers you prepared for Paper 1 (i.e., approximately 500 words). There are no strict formatting guidelines, but double-spaced text is preferred, and any references you use should be appropriately cited using footnotes or a reference list at the end of your document.

Cooper, Michael. "Big Ideas, Grand Plans, Modest Budgets." The New York Times, February 14, 2009.

Poole, Robert. "Infrastructure Report Card: A Caution." Surface Transportation Innovations 64 (2009).

Lec #11

Assignment 3

A report issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation consists of several case studies of recent projects in transportation. Please go over the list of cases and select two cases that, in your opinion, provide a good contrast. This contrast could be in terms of financing, nature of contract or organization. You are encouraged to look at additional information that you can find on the web or library related to your chosen cases.

Turn in a short paper (roughly 5-10 pages) with regard to your analysis and comparison of these two cases.

AECOM Consult Team. "Case Studies of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships in the United States." Federal Highway Administration Report. July 7, 2007. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF ‑ 7.1MB)

Case selection due Lec #15

Paper due Lec #20

Site visit (PDF)   Lec #17


Additionally, students enrolled in the graduate subject 1.401J or ESD.081J are asked to complete a term project. The term project consists of a final report and in-class presentation providing a comprehensive review of an infrastructure engineering project of interest. Students must also submit a 1-2 page project proposal outlining their chosen topic. Due dates for the proposal and term project report are listed in the calendar.