Civil engineering scholar, a tsunami survivor, awarded fellowship to review catastrophe restoration | Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering


Ilham SiddiqIlham Siddiq survived the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami and is now utilizing his firsthand catastrophe information to guage the effectiveness of restoration insurance policies.

Siddiq, a civil engineering PhD scholar on the College of Colorado Boulder and native of Indonesia, has earned a prestigious United States Company for Worldwide Improvement / Habitat for Humanity fellowship to research the effectiveness of long-term restoration initiatives, with a concentrate on the 2004 catastrophe, which took the lives of greater than 200,000 folks.

“This analysis is essential to the humanitarian shelter and settlement sector as a result of billions of {dollars} have been invested into the humanitarian and restoration efforts,” Siddiq stated. “To return and know what labored and what was not efficient is actually essential. We will study classes so humanitarian organizations and different actors can handle their packages higher.”

Siddiq is keen about this difficulty as a survivor of the catastrophe. He has a singular viewpoint and want for higher catastrophe threat discount and post-disaster reconstruction.

“My complete village was cleaned by the tsunami,” Siddiq stated. “There was nothing left to see, simply flat clear floor. My mother and my grandma went away with the tsunami. I used to be the oldest in my household to outlive, which made me the pinnacle of my household.”

His fellowship will concentrate on long-term restoration efforts, significantly with housing and jobs. This summer time he’ll spend time in Indonesia to conduct discipline observations and meet with residents in 9 villages throughout three municipalities. He’ll research areas which have had robust, reasonable, and weak recoveries primarily based on housing and livelihood indicators to find out components that result in the completely different restoration outcomes.

Rising up in a rural a part of Indonesia, Siddiq by no means imagined he would turn into an engineer, a lot much less earn a PhD in america. As a baby, his village had no electrical energy and he didn’t start to study English till age 12. At the moment, he speaks it in addition to any American.

“Individuals say, ‘You sound such as you’re from Kansas,’” Siddiq stated.

Siddiq has at all times been fascinated by studying and the bigger world. As a baby, he was fascinated with the overseas languages on milk can labels, and when his household moved from their village to Banda Aceh, the capital of his province, he gained entry to the web for the primary time.

“That was a recreation changer,” he stated. “I had entry to YouTube, Wikipedia, every kind of stuff and I’d lose myself in Wikipedia rabbit holes.”

He earned his undergraduate diploma in civil engineering in Indonesia and started working at a catastrophe analysis institute in Aceh. It gave him the chance to community with worldwide specialists who visited the middle. He related with a gaggle of researchers from Georgia Tech and was capable of earn a Fulbright Fellowship to review on the Atlanta establishment for his grasp’s diploma.

A convention in Aceh shortly earlier than he left for Atlanta additionally gave him his first connection to CU Boulder and his now-PhD advisor, Amy Javernick-Will, whose analysis focuses on world engineering, catastrophe restoration and resiliency.

“I met a CU Boulder PhD graduate on the convention,” Siddiq stated. “I had seen his analysis summary and struck up a dialog about his work. We talked for 3 hours till the lodge workers kicked us out. He stated I wanted to work with Amy Javernick-Will, his professor, and that he would put me in contact along with her. Now I’m doing my PhD along with her.”

Siddiq is grateful for the alternatives he has had and is keen to contribute to catastrophe restoration analysis that may assist communities sooner or later.

“I’ve the mix of lived expertise and theoretical information,” he stated. “I’m keen about bettering resilience in susceptible communities, particularly these which are low-resourced world wide. It’s a rewarding difficulty to work on. I believe I used to be born to do that.”



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