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Engineering for International Development Centre

Engineering for International Development Centre researches engineering solutions for human development and wellbeing, which address SDGs using locally acceptable water-sanitation-energy approaches.

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About

Engineering for International Development Centre focuses on engineering solutions for human development and wellbeing. The centre researches locally acceptable water-sanitation-energy solutions to address Sustainable Development Goals.

UCL’s Engineering for International Development Centre was founded by Dr. Priti Parikh to address gaps in infrastructure provision in resource-challenged settings in low-middle income countries. EFID brings together a team of doctoral students, postdocs, academics and cross sectoral organisations to address global challenges in water, sanitation and energy provision. This is achieved by combining technical innovation with societal needs through mixed method research. EFID is pioneering work on evidencing links between infrastructure and the Sustainable Development Goals. Dr Parikh aspires to inspire future engineers to tackle global challenges such as urbanisation, climate change, poverty alleviation and gender inclusion through engineering. To that end she founded CEGE's Engineering for International Development MSc, the Engineering Faculty student Hub and the BSCC EFID research centre.


People 

Academic members

Dr Priti Parikh, EfID Centre founder and Director.

Associate members
Research associates
  • Lucila Carbonela: With extensive experience working as an architect, Lucila has recently completed her doctorate on urban housing reconstruction after disaster from a gender and diversity standpoint. Her interests lie in urban development planning, with a focus on intersectionality around housing policy and planning.

    As research associate for ToolSanDurban, Lucila has conducted an extensive evidence review focusing on Durban-centric sources to identify over 140 linkages between sanitation and the SDGs in the local context.

  • Kerry Bobbins: Over the last 9 years, Kerry has worked on developing knowledge on sustainable urban infrastructure at the academia-policy interface. She has worked closely with a range of government, private sector and civil society stakeholders in South Africa and the United Kingdom to produce academically relevant policy outputs on water, sanitation and energy. Kerry’s academic interests lie in the situated aspects of urban sustainability transitions, where she has previously utilised a practice theory approach for exploring how concepts such as green infrastructure and nature-based solutions have been used by a range of urban actors in planned and unplanned ways. Kerry is a Research Fellow on the Cross-sectoral benefits of action in sanitation project, where she works closely with the core research team and wider partner network to co-develop policy outputs.
  • Margarita Garfias RoyoMargarita recently completed her PhD on Gender and Built Environment, looking the link between urban infrastructure and Violence Against Women in public. She has a high level of cross-cultural understanding achieved through international experiences, and has experience conducting mixed-methods research across the world. Margarita is a Research Fellow on two projects:
    • Integrated and Inclusive Infrastructure Framework (3IF), a Royal Academy of Engineering funded project conducted in partnership with Kuonkuey Design Initiative (KDI) to enable participatory, sustainable and inclusive infrastructure planning and upgrading, while achieving a range of Sustainable Development Goals and African Agenda 2063 Goals.
    • WASH Resilient Recovery, a UKRI-ESRC-funded project focused on communities impacted by the 2018 tsunami affecting Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.
  • Imad Ahmed: Imad is pursuing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in International Development focusing on resilient infrastructure in resource-constrained settings. He is focusing on two new research projects:
    • WASH Resilient Recovery, a UKRI-ESRC-funded project focused on communities impacted by the 2018 tsunami affecting Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.
    • TEG cookstove user perceptions, a UCL-IIT Delhi Strategic Partner Funds project. The energy access project is being conducted in partnership with UCL’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOSH) and with IIT Delhi’s Centre for Rural Development Technology.
Research assistants
  • Loan Diep: Loan is an urban researcher on green infrastructure, water and sanitation, and environmental justice in cities. Her PhD focuses on the urban politics of green infrastructure in contexts of favelas in São Paulo. She graduated from a BSc in Environmental Geography and an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development at UCL. She also worked as a consultant for various organisations including UNEP and IIED, and as a project officer for Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor. Parallel to her PhD, she is currently conducting different research projects with WaterAid and with KDI on developing policy tools that articulate the links between sanitation and the SDGs, with IIED on humanitarian aid for WASH services in Jordan, and with UNICEF on climate change impacts on children.

Completed PhD

Dr Iwona Bisaga

  • Dr Bisaga completed her PhD - Scaling up off-grid solar energy access through improved understanding of customers’ needs, aspirations and energy use of decentralised (SMART) Solar Home Systems – a case study of BBOXX customers in Rwanda - in 2019, supervised by Dr. Priti Parikh.

Imad Ahmed 

Margarita Garfias Royo

  • Primary supervisor: Dr Priti Parikh.
  • Secondary supervisors: Mr Julian Walker and Dr Jyoti Belur.
  • Research interests: International development; infrastructure delivery; urban development; safe cities; violence against women.
  • Working thesis title: The link between Violence Against Women in public and urban infrastructure: A case study in Corregidora, Mexico

Eve Mackinnon 

  • Primary supervisor: Dr Luiza Campos.
  • Secondary supervisors: Dr Priti Parikh and Dr Lena Ciric.
  • Research interests: Sanitation, water and sanitation, public health, development, exposure risk, risk assessment and management.
  • Working thesis title: Exposure risk management for workers in container-based sanitation systems.  

Current research student members 

Loan Diep
  • Primary supervisor: Dr Priti Parikh
  • Secondary supervisor: Dr David Dodman
  • Research interests: Socio-environmental justice; green infrastructure; water management; informal settlements; São Paulo.
  • Working thesis title: Green infrastructure and socio-environmental injustices in urban governance: a nested systems approach.
Vivien Kizilcec
  • Primary supervisor: Dr Priti Parikh
  • Secondary supervisor: Dr Catalina Spataru
  • Research interests: Energy access, off-grid energy, solar energy, energy modelling.
  • Working thesis title: Examining the peer effects and energy demand patterns of smart solar home system customers in East Africa.
Julia Vila Guilera
  • Primary supervisorProf Monica Lakhanpaul.
  • Secondary supervisorsDr Priti Parikh and Prof Rajib Dasgupta (JNU University, Delhi).
  • Research interests: My goal is to work towards improving global health equity. I am interested in the fields of global public health, environmental engineering and international development. My current research focuses on hygiene and sanitation practices and their link with infections and malnutrition in children in rural India. I am aiming to integrate different disciplines (public health and environmental engineering) to investigate problem-driven solutions using a holistic approach.
  • Working thesis title: Exploring the household environment in rural India to characterise the faecal-oral transmission routes leading to infections in young children. Julia is based in the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Visit Julia's LinkedIn profile and follow her on Twitter: @juliavigu   
Tash Perros
  • Primary supervisor: Dr Priti Parikh
  • Secondary supervisor: Dr Julia Tomei
  • Research interests: I am interested in how innovative technology and business models can create a more equal world. My current research is part of the EFID BBOXX collaboration and uses mixed methods to investigate how pay-as-you-go LPG can improve access to clean cooking in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Working thesis title: Smart Cooking Solutions for All
Vasco Mergulhã​o
  • Primary supervisor: Dr Priti Parikh
  • Secondary supervisor: Dr. Licia Capra
  • Research interests: Sustainable Energy; Energy Access; Applied Machine Learning; Data Science. My research seeks to leverage the ever-increasing data assets that are being collected under the Pay As You Go (PAYGo) model to increase our understanding of Solar Home System (SHS) adopters. 
  • Working thesis title: Rwandan & Kenyan Solar Home System User Behavioural Patterns – a Data-driven Approach

Publications   

Dr Parikh's publications

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In the media 

ToolSanDurban: Engaging internationally beyond the lockdown

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbXO8UYkDdM

Videos
News and links
Media and Blogs

Collaborators 


Teaching

EfID Centre members contribute to the following programmes: 

EfID Centre Director Dr Parikh founded Engineering for International Development MSc in 2014, and was the programme director for five years.

The Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience offers the following programmes:

Dr Parikh was Co-Director of USAR Centre for a number of years, and continues to supervise USAR students, many of whom have interests within the field of engineering for international development.

The student experience

Dr Parikh also founded the UCL EfID hub, facilitating opportunities for all UCL Engineering undergraduates from across the Faculty to work on global international development projects, honing their skills and putting their engineering knowledge to good use.

Dr Parikh has also worked extensively with UCL Engineers without Borders, and the EfID Centre will continue this relationship. As UCL's branch of Engineers without Borders UK, this student society offers its members the opportunity to network, upskill and participate in overseas projects.