Carrie Gates | January 14, 2016
It is more than 80 degrees and raining hard on the gravel road outside Pokhara, Nepal. When the truck driver says it isn’t safe to cross the raging river ahead, his passengers—including Notre Dame graduate student Kevin Phaup—find themselves contemplating a narrow footbridge with no railings, followed by a winding journey up the side of a mountain.
The passengers hesitate for only a moment before disembarking, hoisting the 12-foot sheets of tin roofing material above their heads, and beginning the trek to the earthquake-ravaged village of Thaprek, more than a mile away.
Phaup, who is pursuing a master’s degree in industrial design, went to Nepal last summer to conduct research for his thesis project—designing stronger, safer, cost-effective temporary shelters for refugees and victims of natural disasters.