Home > OUR STUDENTS > Lillian Rodriguez

Lillian Rodriguez

Project Title

Restoring and Improving Urban Infrastructure

Project Description

In the developing world, there is a large need for adequate and sustainable housing. When engineers attempt to build houses in developing areas, there often seem to be only two options:  (1) very safe houses built to U.S. standards for which cost is extremely high  or (2) cheap houses that provide a place to live but which offer little to no safety or security.  As the cheap houses have almost no safety, they are not an adequate option for housing, but the alternative model of U.S. standard houses is too expensive for people in developing areas to afford. Therefore, this model is not sustainable. 

The research project I am proposing is to explore the relationship between cost and safety in housing in the context of Léogane, Haiti, where Associate Professor Alexandros Taflanidis works with Engineering 2 Empower.  Currently, there is little research on the middle ground where a compromise between cost and safety could be made. I would like to explore questions such as “How cheaply can a house be made without compromising safety?” and “How much safety needs to be compromised to make a house affordable?”  Under the guidance of Professor Taflanidis, I hope to understand the relationship between cost and safety in order to produce sustainable infrastructure for the developing world.

Department Affiliation

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences