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Talking trash in Jakarta

April 16, 2015
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Frank Sedlar is a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Michigan studying the convergence of the world’s urban population with the effects of climate change. He’s particularly  interested in flooding in megacities such as Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

Specifically his work focuses on building the tools necessary to understand both the technical and societal responses of complex urban systems. The instruments include developing camera systems to track garbage in flood canals, designing and prototyping emergency flood shelters and using drones to map informal, flood prone settlements.

He has presented his research internationally through invited talks and gallery exhibits to audiences ranging from the urban poor in the slums of Jakarta to the World Bank. Sedlar is a recently named Fulbright Fellow to Indonesia where he will work with PetaJakarta.org, which collects information about flooding and water infrastructure, and the local government to coordinate an Urban Drone Research Program. He is also a current foreign language area studies fellow at U-M’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

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