Students compete to design post-disaster shelters

Posted: March 15, 2014 at 1:08 p.m.

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Two Pittsburg State University engineering students are building an easy-to-assemble shelter they hope will someday be used by refugees and disaster victims around the world.

The Joplin Globe reports Austin Leake, of Independence, Kan., and Cody Frieden, of Lamar, Mo., will enter their design next month in a national contest in Arkansas.

The World Vision/John Brown University Disaster Shelter Design Competition offers a $1,000 prize. But just as important to Leake and Frieden, the winning design will also be given to World Vision to use in building shelters for refugees in Syria.

The contest has strict requirements. Each shelter must house four people, be lightweight and cost a maximum $1,500 to produce, and withstand earthquakes and high wind. It must also require no tools or special knowledge to assemble.