“Recovering from Expected Flooding Under Residential Buildings” (REFURB)

This project closes on March 31, 2024.

Faculty Researcher: Richard Smith

Contact Details

Richard J Smith


CIVIC Community challenge accepted: Wayne State University investigators with expertise in Social Work, Anthropology, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Communication, and Environmental Science will collaborate with the Eastside Community Network, Jefferson East, Inc., and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to ensure that residents who have faced racial and economic discrimination have the information and resources needed to prepare for and respond to climate change induced flooding.

Social Work Associate Dean for Research and Professor, Richard Smith, is the principal investigator for this project called “Recovering from Expected Flooding Under Residential Buildings” (REFURB). REFURB will use technology to improve recovery from and preparation for persistent and increasing severe basement flooding that impacts homes in Eastside Detroit.

“Our focus will be in neighborhoods with older homes connected to again sewer systems that are undersized and poorly maintained due to racially-driven development policy and investment decisions,” Smith said.

To that end, Wayne State (WSU) was recently awarded a six-month, $50,000 planning grant from The National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as part of a Civic Innovation Challenge. The Civic Innovation Challenge is a competition that funds ready-to-implement, researched-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-driven projects. WSU is among just 56 U.S. teams that were awarded grants. Learn More.


Good writing with some experience in qualitative data analysis. Structured topic modeling in R or Python a plus.

Project Timeline

ASAP - end of Winter Semester.


Up to 10 hours/week coding documents and writing up results. Literature search and summarizing.

Project-related Tags

Last Updated

November 7, 2023