Position/ Title: Research Fellow
Duty Station: Kathmandu, Nepal with frequent field visits
Date of Entry: Ongoing recruitment
Duration of assignment: 6 months
Following the 2015 earthquake, Nepal suffered widespread damage to houses and infrastructure across 32 districts. Almost 25,000 households were categorized as damage grade 2 or damage grade 3. In addition to these, there is a huge number of vulnerable houses across Nepal.
Institute of Engineering (IOE) is Nepal’s leading technical school and has been producing outstanding engineers for more than 80 years. Center for Applied Research and Development (CARD) is an autonomous research and development center within the IOE whose mission is to establish a culture of research and development leadership.
IOE and Build Change have collaborated since Build Change was established in Nepal. To strengthen institutional capacity and provide valuable research in the field of retrofitting, IOE and Build Change have established a fellowship program to facilitate research work on retrofitting in Nepal. This fellowship is being funded by DFID through the Project “Seismic Retrofitting of Unsafe Housing in Nepal”.
It is envisaged that the initiation of the program will facilitate to understand the undeniable importance of retrofitting of damaged house in Nepal.
The general objective is to determine the most effective method of seismic strengthening/retrofitting of the buildings representing the vernacular typology of the area considering the earthquake hazard, technology and materials of construction specific to the locality.
The specific objectives include:
- To determine the earthquake hazard of the selected/chosen area in terms of PGA, Spectral Acceleration or other intensity parameters.
- To identify the typology of the buildings specific to the locality considering the culture, live style, available materials and technology of construction.
- To determine the most effective method of structural condition assessment inclusive of earthquake damages.
- To determine the structural weaknesses including seismic vulnerability of the buildings through the detailed analysis.
- To determine the type of intervention, if required, in the building to restore with necessary seismic capacity of the buildings.
- To identify existing retrofit designs and techniques for rural houses in Nepal.
- To collect, organize and synthesize information about each retrofit technique or technical design for practical field trial.
- To compare and contrast the cost, cultural and social aspects and sustainability of piloted retrofitting techniques.
The fellow will be required to produce research paper(s) and “Completion of the Fellowship” will only be awarded after the presentation of the research paper based on work undertaken during the tenure as a fellow.
The fellow will be based in Kathmandu and in relevant rural areas of Nepal.
THE RESEARCH FELLOW SHALL:
- Select an area for the research work or will be allocated.
- Collect all necessary information on the existing typology of buildings, available materials and technology of construction.
- Conduct a desk review to identify existing retrofit techniques and designs for rural houses applicable to Nepal via research in coordination with private sector, government and non-government organizations.
- Research and collect comprehensive information about each retrofit technique or technical design for practical field trial.
- Seek guidance and support from the allocated supervisors at Pulchowk Campus and/or Retrofit Alliance members to review different techniques and select the most appropriate ones to be showcased in a catalogue for wider publication.
- Select and pilot various retrofit methods inclusive of the DFID housing retrofit project, and government approved type design on few pilot houses. The selection of houses, design and construction work will be managed by the research fellow. Build Change will provide technical guidance throughout.
- The cost per technique will be determined and the piloting of retrofitting will be carried out on the considered houses.
- The piloted retrofitting techniques will be analyzed on factors such as cost, cultural and social appropriateness, and sustainability (other factors may be also included).
- The techniques selected/proposed shall be based on the availability, accessibility, and affordability, as far as possible.
- There should be a possibility of extending the method and technique to be applied in other rural areas of Nepal.
- Time and resources allowing, additional work could be conducted to further develop a combined, cost and performance optimized type design for rural housing in Nepal.
- Write reports on research progress at regular intervals that would support DFID housing retrofit project.
TYPE OF GRANT
This fellowship will provide following allowances:
- Return air fare in economy from fellows home country to Nepal
- Accommodation will be provided by Build Change Nepal, in Build Change’s guest house in Sanepa, Lailtpur.
- Living Allowance of Rs. 45,000 per month and a transportation allowance of Rs. 10,000 per month. The allowance is calculated from the date of arrival until the date of departure.
- Transport in country, for purposes linked to the fellowship will be covered by Build Change.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPLICANTS
We are seeking exceptionally competent applicants who are passionate about reducing risk in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, and sharing knowledge and expertise with people within these communities. The applicants must have a Master’s degree or related post graduate degree in structural engineering, architecture or other relevant fields. Candidates currently enrolled in a PhD program are also welcome to apply.
- of Engineering is seeking applicants whose interest lies in the retrofitting of masonry houses taking into consideration the use of locally available materials and cultural and social appropriateness.
Interpersonal and Communication
- Strong sense of obligation and responsibility to support and help others through sharing of knowledge and experience.
- Desire to learn and understand different cultures and program contexts, and work in a collaborative and diverse environment.
- Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a team environment.
- Communicate clearly and concisely, taking cultural norms into account, verbally and in writing.
- Optimistic, flexible, humble, patient and a good sense of humor.
- Fluent in English.
- Willingness to travel, live and work in rural areas of Nepal
This fellowship is open to non-Nepalese students with preference to those from South Asia
Women, are strongly advised to apply.
SUPPORT DURING THE PROGRAM
The research fellow will directly work with Build Change and can seek guidance and support from professors at Pulchowk Campus. Also, Build Change will provide technical guidance throughout.
HOW TO APPLY /SELECTION PROCESS
We invite interested candidate to apply through our online application system. Applicants should submit Expression of Interest in the fellowship program.
The Expression of Interest should include the following:
- A curriculum vitae that includes relevant academic credentials and professional experience
- A personal statement (one/two pages) which includes motivations for applying to this program
- Copies of academic transcripts