MISSION: Engineering2Empower (E2E) was founded at the University of Notre Dame in 2010 in the wake of the Haiti Earthquake. Under its mantra of Listen.Innovate.Empower, E2E carries forth a simple yet powerful mission...
...to empower community resilience in the developing world.
VISION: Through a spectrum of programming in the US and Haiti, E2E is helping to train the next generation of global citizens while building a world where communities discover and cultivate their unique potential for resilience.
E2E will continue to carry out three critical activities: listening, innovating, and empowering solutions. E2E's human centered approach ensures that the form and content of each solution is approrpriate for that setting whether it be tackling the housing crisis in Haiti, the home of our first field office, or Ecuador, our first field pilot.
WHAT MAKES E2E DIFFERENT?
Prioritize MARKET-BASED SOLUTIONS
that break the cycle of aid dependence
Foster LOCAL INCUBATION of technologies
to enhance community ownership
Harness the university as a DEVELOPMENT LABORATORY
to deliver unique solutions while training the next generation of global citizens
Focus on TECHNOLOGY and PROCESS INNOVATIONS
to ensure safety and quality in developing settings
Seed INNOVATION ECOSYSTEMS
tapping the creativity of local popluations for context-specific solutions
Leverage INFORMATION + MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES
to scale proven solutions
WHAT IS THE UNIVERSITY ADVANTAGE?
ideal for identifying HOLISTIC solutions to development challenges
to speed SELF-SUSTAINING products and processes to local markets
including intellectual, computational and laboratory infrastructure
Access to the next generation of GLOBAL CITIZENS
with a passion for innovation and its implementation across the developing world
Socially-conscious ALUMNI and CORPORATE partners
bringing resources, real-world expertise and professional networks to incubate innovations
through internationalization and study abroad opporutnities worldwide
The Beginning: Engineering2Empower (E2E) was founded in 2011, in direct response to the January 2010 Haiti Earthquake by University of Notre Dame civil engineering faculty, Dr. Tracy Kijewski-Correa and Dr. Alexandros Taflanidis, and graduate student Dustin Mix. What started as a pure engineering reconnaissance mission quickly turned into much more when the founders realized the underlying problems plaguing housing in Haiti. Frustrated by the lack of careful and thoughtful consideration of permanent housing solutions after the earthquake, E2E was founded with a focus on a multidisciplinary, sustainable, and innovative approach. E2E started as an organization committed to exploring new approaches and solutions to the Haitian housing problem. The E2E has since expanded to include two Community Representatives (Lamarre Presuma and Edson Jean) and its first Quality Control Engineer (Gede Jean Benoit) in Léogâne, Haiti, two Masters Students (Kevin Fink and Erik Jensen) supporting its US Operations, and a team of undergraduate students as well as a large set of both university and non-university partners.
As E2E further developed its approach and solution, through intense engagement with the Haitian population, its founders came to the realization that simple exploration and recommendations of solutions would not suffice to bring about the change it envisions. With this in mind, E2E started to build out a strategy under its mantra of Listen, Innovate and Empower that more fully encompassed its vision for human-centered risk mitigation in the developing world. In Haiti, this manifested as not just an alternate housing system and certified construction process, but also a business model and a community-led innovation framework. The combination of a housing solution, a business model tied to that solution, as well as a framework and theory for engaging local populations in a human-centered design process is the embodiment of E2E’s vision, differentiating it from the current solutions being offered.
Haiti Field Office: In October 2013, E2E launched its first field office in Léogâne, Haiti under the leadership of In-Country Director Dustin Mix. This marked the first formal segregation of activites between US Headquarters directed by Alexandros Taflanidis and our field operations in Haiti. Support for these operations in their develoment of various programs uses a combination of:
local partners, volunteer consultants, quality control engineers, community representatives, and incubator participants in Haiti
Notre Dame students organized into various teams supporting these efforts in the US
Volunteer consultants and partnering organizations who collaborate on organizational strategies, new programming, and lead marketing and fundraising activities
Network of alumni, friends and industry partners with expertise in engineering, business, construction, and IT provide pro bono services to support the organization in various activities.
Prototypes: In the spring of 2014, ARCO/Murray National Construction, under the leadership of Joe Pomerenke (ND 05), assembled a team of two other corporate partners, including Western Forms and Paul Hundt Concrete as well as a dozen private sector donors, to launch the E2E Expo: Urban Housing Solutions for the Developing World. This team flanked over 20 Notre Dame students in the construction of two full-scale housing prototypes in the Spring of 2014. The homes use two different construction sequences and reinforced concrete structural typologies: E2E’s traditional frame and panel model and the popular cast-in place load bearing wall system employing Western Forms International’s patented formwork system. Through this effort, E2E:
Evaluated different urban housing typologies from the perspective of financial sustainability, construction feasibility and cultural viability in Haiti
Trained students in the construction of housing typologies that serve the developing world
Used in-situ testing to verify as-built capacity
Increased awareness of the housing crisis facing post-quake Haiti & E2E’s mission to empower Haitian-led recovery in this sector
In parallel with the campus prototypes, the first prototype home was constructed in Haiti through the long-standing partnership with Magepa S.A. Located on Rue La Croix in the city center of Lèogâne, this prototype was built to serve three purposes:
Evaluate the feasibility of the E2E Housing Model in Haiti, built by local construction crews and using locally available materials
Expose and train the first E2E contractor partner to the E2E Housing Model
Expose the community at-large to the E2E Housing Model, the construction process, and increase awareness of E2E's efforts to provide access to safe, affordable housing
The prototype home is the largest of E2E's models, measuring approximately 800 sq. ft. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a small kitchen. In order to convey to the community how serious E2E is about permanent housing, and to show the possibilities for progressive construction of the model, the house boasts many options that, over time, a homeowner might add to a basic E2E model. These options include tile flooring, a drop ceiling, kitchen cabinets, electrical hook-up, and a water source. E2E has used the model extensively to educate local Haitians on the model, as well as many potential and existing E2E donors. The home has been well received in Lèogâne, and is consistently referred to as "trè bèl", or "very beautiful".