College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Construction engineering faculty member searches for best disaster response strategy (text-only)

Connections and institutional effectiveness shape how different communities respond to post-disaster housing reconstruction. A key example is Puerto Rican communities rebuilding after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Cristina Poleacovschi, an assistant professor in construction engineering, wants more effective reconstruction.

“Identifying the institutional challenges that household members experience when a disaster hits emphasizes the organizational loopholes that need to be collectively addressed in order to create more resilient communities,” says Poleacovschi.

Poleacovschi’s research investigates why certain communities are more successful in housing reconstruction processes. Her project will provide guidelines for policy makers that will describe how to most effectively address post-disaster housing reconstruction when a response to the crisis is limited.

It will also provide communities most vulnerable to disasters and climate change with strategies that incorporate both the importance of relationships and the presence of institutional challenges with well-engineered physical systems and housing.