It has been five years since Hurricane Katrina blew into New Orleans. In many ways the city is still recovering. But as the city works to revive itself, much of the research community has already blossomed again.
Nelson says that for him, the New Orleans area has “become a very interesting place to do research” since 2005. After walking around the city in the storm’s wake, he even changed his area of research in order to study why the levees failed during the hurricane.
And while nearly all of the engineering departments at Tulane had dissolved by the summer of 2007, with some professors moving to other universities and others opening private engineering firms in the area, the university has not eradicated engineering experts from its faculty entirely.
Instead, the university is incorporating engineers into other foundational science departments, including chemistry, physics, and environmental science. Gasparini, one of four new professors hired by Nelson’s department since 2007, is an example of this effort to maintain engineering collaborations throughout the campus.
(Republished with permission)