Briar Goldwyn
PhD Student
Construction Engineering and Management • Engineering for Developing Communities

428 UCB
ECCE 153
Boulder, CO 80309-0428

Briar is a third year PhD student in Construction Engineering & Management (CEM) focusing on post-disaster reconstruction and resilience. She is co-advised by Dr. Amy Javernick-Will and Dr. Abbie Liel. As the former Project Manager of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Engineers Without Borders Thailand Team, Briar discovered her passion for international development while working closely with a community in rural, northern Thailand to design a Slow Sand Water Filtration System. While spending most of her time working on research projects and Engineers Without Borders during her undergraduate degree, Briar grew to realize the potential impact of research which evaluates the construction of infrastructure across resource-limited areas frequently hit by disasters. Briar decided to pursue a PhD to work with local communities and study ways to promote recovery and resilience.

Briar is focusing on understanding the housing safety perceptions of those involved with Puerto Rico's informal construction sector and how these housing safety perceptions do and do not align with structural performance assessments of informally constructed housing in hurricanes and earthquakes in Puerto Rico. This project aims to determine local preference and understanding of building components that are safe; assess the structural performance of shelters in multi-hazard environments; and create a communication design to assist communities and organizations in enhancing their resiliency to natural hazards.


  • BS in Civil Engineering, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, 2018


Goldwyn, B., Javernick-Will, A., and Liel, A. (2021). "The Dilemma of the Tropics: Changes to Housing Safety Perceptions, Preferences and Priorities in Multi-Hazard Environments." Natural Hazards Review.

Opdyke, A., Goldwyn, B., and Javernick-Will, A. (2020). “Defining a humanitarian shelter and settlements research agenda.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Goldwyn, B., Javernick-Will, A., and Liel, A. (2020). "Changing Perceptions of Safe Housing After a Less Familiar Disaster." Engineering Projects and Organizations Conference, Virtual. 

Goldwyn, B., Venable, C., Javernick-Will, A., and Liel, A. (2020). "The Influence of Reconstruction Modality, Social Capital, and Community Satisfaction on Willingness to Participate in Resilience-Building Activities." 2020 Proceedings of the Construction Research Congress, Phoenix, AZ.

Goldwyn, B., Opdyke, A., Javernick-Will, A., and Liel, A. (2019). “Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Research Priorities.” 2019 Engineering Project Organizations Conference, Vail, CO.