Assistant Professor Nina Brooks Seeks to Reduce Pollution in Bangladesh

Nina BrooksAssistant Professor Nina Brooks seeks to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by targeting the brick sector in Bangladesh. This fall she is launching a pilot study with collaborators from Stanford University, Delhi-based Greentech Knowledge Solutions Ltd, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research, Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology that aims to get local brick manufacturers in Bangladesh to adopt energy efficiency improvements to the brick production process. The interdisciplinary team of social scientists and engineers will provide information, training, and on-going technical support to brick kiln owners — while studying a range of issues related to management, operation, and technology adoption and measuring the impact on of these improvements on emissions.

This pilot study will pave the way for a randomized controlled trial that will evaluate the intervention in a larger sample of brick kilns, with the goal of generating evidence-based policy recommendations for improving kilns across all of Bangladesh. The research program on brick manufacturing builds on almost a decade of work between the collaborating institutions and scientists, including a recent study that used machine learning to identifies where all of the brick kilns in Bangladesh were located in satellite imagery and assessed compliance with local environmental regulations. This study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year. The study is entitled Scalable deep learning to identify brick kilns and aid regulatory capacity.”