Ilham Siddiq
PhD Student
Civil Systems

Ilham (he/him/his) is a second-year PhD student in civil systems engineering.  He holds bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from University of Muhammadiyah Aceh and in English education from the State Islamic University of Ar-Raniry in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. He also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

A survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami, Ilham is passionate about disaster risk reduction and post-disaster reconstruction. In Spring 2022, he was granted a USAID/BHA/Habitat for Humanity Fellowship to study the long-term outcomes of post-tsunami housing and livelihood programs in his hometown of Aceh, Indonesia. About 15 years ago, at least $1.6 billion of aid fund and a massive amount of natural resource were used to build over 130,000 houses for tsunami survivors in the province. Today, half of these post-tsunami aid houses have been abandoned and left to decay amid communities in a state of disrepair. The research investigates the causal pathways leading to this unfavorable outcome.

Previously, Ilham worked at Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center iin Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where he enjoys working in the field and with communities to educate and to collect data for research. He also disseminated research findings in various forms, including social media infographics and policy briefs. He is proud to have made such contributions as co-developing a document that sets the city’s goals and actions in mitigating the impacts of sea level rise due to climate change. The document was signed and enacted by the Mayor of Banda Aceh in 2020.

When not geeking out about disaster risk reduction or sustainable development, you will find Ilham in the kitchen cooking spicy Indonesian food or on the couch watching cartoons. You may also run into him on your daily hikes.


  • MS in Civil Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2021
  • BS in Civil Engineering, Universitas Muhammadiyah Aceh, 2017