Do Orange County's roads, schools and beaches make the grade?<br>New study will assess the county's quality of life by rating it

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New study will assess the county's quality of life by rating its infrastructure

Irvine, Calif., May 16, 2002 — The Samueli School's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the CEE Affiliates and local engineers are launching a study of Orange Countians' quality of life by rating the condition and capacity of the local infrastructure.

The study will begin with a meeting on May 17, 2002, at 8:00 a.m. at the Beckman Center for the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. Over the next five months, the volunteer group will grade the county's roads, schools, parks, airports, mass transit, water and waste treatment systems. The group will announce the results in a final report card in October 2002.

The meeting at the Beckman Center will include talks by Jan Mittermeier, former Orange County CEO and principal of Mittermeier Consulting, and Stan Oftelie, president of the Orange County Business Council. During the meeting, eight working committees will be created in the areas of transportation, water, wastewater, flood control/urban runoff, schools, solid waste, aviation, and parks and recreation facilities. Local civil engineers are encouraged to attend.

The Orange County study will be modeled on the national infrastructure assessment conducted last year by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the nation's oldest engineering society. Orange County's infrastructure was last studied in 1996.

Study participants also include the California Rebuild America Coalition, Orange County Business Council and the Orange County chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Public Works Association.

More information about event registration and the forthcoming report card is available at

CEE Affiliates, a group of approximately 30 public and private entities, supports research on civil infrastructure systems by the UCI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Members include the California Department of Transportation, Orange County Sanitation District and Irvine Water District.

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering encompasses five departments: biomedical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, chemical engineering and materials science, electrical and computer engineering and mechanical and aerospace engineering. The school also is home to numerous research centers, including the Structural Engineering Test Facility, National Fuel Cell Research Center and Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility. In addition, the school is an integral part of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, one of three California Institutes for Science and Innovation. Additional information is available at

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