Carnegie Mellon University

Bobuchi Ken-Opurum

June 05, 2023

Ken-Opurum Named as a Forbes Magazine 30-under-30

Bobuchi Ken-Opurum (AECM '22) has been recognized as one of Forbes Magazine's 2023 30-Under-30 in Energy. She completed her PhD studies in Architecture Engineering and Construction Management (AECM), a joint program of CEE and the College of Fine Arts. 

Her work sheds light on the stark disparity where those most affected by climate change often have the least access to viable solutions that could improve their lives. Motivated to address this imbalance, she developed the Re-HOUSED Climate Decision Support Toolkit, a comprehensive resource specifically tailored for individuals living in tropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere. This toolkit equips self-builders with modest incomes with invaluable information and strategies to construct or upgrade their housing, enabling them to tackle the challenges posed by floods and heat stress effectively.

Recognizing that existing solutions are often buried within scientific journals and conference papers, Bobuchi emphasizes the crucial need for accessibility. She simplifies and demystifies these solutions, breaking them into easily understandable components. Through visual presentations, she has crafted a user-friendly web application within the toolkit, empowering individuals to make informed decisions aligned with their unique needs. Furthermore, the toolkit includes a guidebook that details various strategies, catering to a significant portion of the global audience who construct their own dwellings.

Bobuchi's upbringing in Nigeria exposed her to the transformative impact of grassroots measures and ingenious approaches. Simple measures like rainwater collection through cisterns and basic pothole repairs greatly improved the quality of life in her community. Guided by her deep-rooted fascination with bottom-up initiatives and local ingenuity, she recognizes the importance of understanding how diverse cultures adapt and cope with climate change.

In addition to her remarkable contributions to Re-Housed, Bobuchi Ken-Opurum serves as the Director of Research at the Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute. Her comprehensive studies delve into the intricate interplay between energy burden, energy efficiency, and distributed energy, with a specific focus on the profound implications for lower-income households.