October 15, 2014 | The Daily Domer
Five years after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, many members of the population remain in limbo.
Their temporary shelters have been in use too long, and yet there are few resources in the country to jumpstart a wave of rebuilding. But Notre Dame engineers may have a solution.
In 2011, Engineering professors Tracy Kijewski-Correa and Alexandros Taflanidis, with the help of then-graduate student Dustin Mix, developed a concept that could reverse Haiti's housing shortage. They designed a new kind of house that is easy to build and structurally sound enough to withstand earthquakes and hurricanes. But just as important, they created a model for aid that promotes economic growth by engaging local contractors and banks, which allows these devastated communities to help themselves. For that reason, they call their initiative Engineering2Empower.
The group has set a goal of building five houses in 2015, to help existing Haitian families finally recover, and to make the dreams of new families come true. To realize this goal, Engineering2Empower has launched a crowdfunding campaign, so that members of the Notre Dame family can reach out a helping hand.