Meredith (Mia) Lochhead is interested in how structural engineering can be applied to natural disaster-prone environments. This year, Lochhead is working with Professor Kijewski-Correa on a project on the Risk Triangle in the Bahamas, where construction practices translated from both Haiti and Florida were exposed to a Category 5 hurricane. Using past work on masonry typologies as well as investigation of informal Haitian construction practices, Lochhead is working to create her own framework for rapid risk assessment of hurricanes in diverse types of construction. Lochhead will then use data StEER collected on the ground in the Bahamas to test her models by simulating the performance of different building classes under Category 5 winds and comparing it to the actual damage observed in Hurricane Dorian. Through this work, Lochhead hopes to provide better understanding of the risks associated with different formal and informal construction practices.
During the spring of 2019, Lochhead received a grant from the First Year of Studies to conduct a research trip in London, alongside two peers. Under the mentorship of Professor Eileen Hunt Botting, Lochhead studied various portrait representations of Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneering feminist who lived in the late 1700s. In addition to that, Lochhead is a member of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, through which she received funding to conduct a two-month service project in San José, Costa Rica during the summer of 2019.