My research focuses on large technological systems, also known as infrastructure, mainly in Germany. Why and how were systems for water, transportation, energy, and communications built, and how were they operated? Building and operating infrastructures required careful attention to the knowledge and know-how needed to resolve problems at local, regional, national, and transnational levels of governance. Those problems involved economic, social, political, and environmental issues in the hidden -- and sometimes not so hidden -- technological integration of regions and nations. Since it may be clear if infrastructures work, they provide a basis for comparative history. Where do they work and why do they work? Part of Science and Technology Studies, this research area provides an interdisciplinary approach to the world in which we live.
At the University of New Haven, I teach several courses in Science and Technology Studies: the history of science, the history of technology, environmental history, and an interdisciplinary course combining the history, sociology, and philosophy of science. In addition, I teach German History, The Modern Western World, and Europe in the Twentieth Century. My most recent special topics course investigated the age of wars between 1914 and 1945.