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Painting on Canvas

Lauryn Spearing, PhD

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Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Research Interests

Some people throughout the United States receive subpar infrastructure services, while other communities completely lack access to infrastructure systems, which are critical for public health (e.g., water to wash hands during pandemics). My passion for research stems from my desire to improve the provision of critical infrastructure services, primarily water infrastructure, to underserved communities and communities facing stress (e.g., disaster displacement). To improve services, policy can be used as a lever of change by, for instance, changing the regulatory environment or providing funding. In turn, I bridge the gap between civil engineering and policy by tackling relevant societal issues and disseminating solutions to policymakers, while also providing technical solutions to engineers. 


Spearing, L. et al. (2020). “Implications of Social Distancing Policies on Drinking Water Infrastructure: An Overview of the Challenges to and Responses of US Utilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Environmental Science and Technology Water.

Spearing, L., and Faust, K. (2020). “Cascading System Impacts of the 2018 Camp Fire in California: The Interdependent Provision of Infrastructure Services to Displaced Populations.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Spearing, L., Stephens, K., and Faust, K. (2021). “Shelter Shopping: Where the Built Environment and Social Systems Meet.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

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