Building Infrastructure to Handle Growing Populations

Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student, Eric Chang, has been named a Watson Fellow. The fellowship enables graduating seniors to spend a year traveling around the world, exploring and learning about topics of their choice. Chang will spend about three months each in Taiwan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Hyderabad, India. In Asia, more and more people are moving from rural areas to the cities, and these cities must be able to build the infrastructure to handle the new population. "I wanted to see how these problems are being approached in these countries," he says. "These issues are going to have a large impact on the world." [Caltech Feature]

Eric Chang's winning proposal:

Building to Prosperity: Bringing Sustainability to the Masses 

More than half of the world's population lives in Asia whose population only continues to grow. This demand will require millions of offices, schools, and homes to be constructed and renovated. Green buildings can satisfy this growth while at the same time reduce our impact on carbon pollution. Traveling to China, India, and Taiwan, I will study how sustainable principles can be pushed into the market and implemented on a large scale to meet Asia's and the world's appetite for housing. To gain a complete picture of the global building industry, I will examine this question from several different perspectives: technological, governmental, corporate, and civic.

Tags: honors research highlights MCE Eric Chang