Tracy L. Kijewski-CorreaTracy L. Kijewski-Correa

Tracy L. Kijewski-Correa (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is the Leo E. and Patti Ruth Linbeck Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences. An Indiana native and a “triple-Domer,” she joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2003.

Called the best structural engineer of her generation by her peers, Kijewski-Correa and her Structural DYNamics And MOnitoring (DYNAMO) Laboratory team address “21st-century civil infrastructure challenges posed by increased urbanization and natural hazard vulnerability,” she says.

While some of her award-winning research has focused on topics such as the effects of wind on tall buildings, she has also been drawn to topics less traditional in her discipline.

“I have particular interest in the impact of natural disasters and substandard infrastructure on developing countries,” she explains. Part of DYNAMO’s work seeks to use engineering as a tool to empower people and build the capacity of communities by researching solutions to practical problems.

An initial project in Thailand and Indonesia explored design and policy changes to improve tsunami resistance following the 2004 Indian Ocean disaster. Today, with her DYNAMO team and other groups of students, she is using interdisciplinary collaborations and innovative technologies to address a range of problems in the developing world.

The “Engineering2Empower” project is developing an affordable, culturally appropriate housing model for post-earthquake Haiti that can resist both earthquakes and hurricanes and be built and maintained by Haitians with locally available materials and technology.

A “Shelters for All” competition, part of a National Science Foundation–funded project, asked citizens-at-large to propose innovative housing for the world’s poor in a new crowdsourcing initiative.

Kijewski-Correa is also the faculty advisor for NDSEED (Notre Dame Students Empowering through Sustainable Engineering Development), which each year designs and builds a footbridge in an isolated rural community—so far in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. The effort is funded by the Kellogg Institute.

Kijewski-Correa’s many papers have appeared in such venues as the Journal of Structural Engineering and Journal of Engineering Mechanics. In 2008, her paper “Validating the Wind-Induced Response of Tall Buildings” won the American Society of Civil Engineers State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award.

Spring 2012