Author Archives: Leidy

Hi, I’m Leidy Klotz. I try to help young people make a better world. The best way I know how is through teaching and research, in particular trying to find out what leads to elegant, sustainable solutions.
I live with my beautiful wife, Monica, in Clemson, SC where we don’t like to use air conditioning and the majority of our climate-changing emissions come from traveling to see family or the beach.

Academic article alert! Sustainability and broadening participation in engineering

Students in Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries help people by providing clean water in Haiti, and they haven't even graduated yet.

Academic article alert! I will be giving myself a break on my weekly blog post whenever I get an academic article published. On those weeks, the blog post will be a link to the published article and my attempt at describing it for the 99.99999999% of people who could care less about the research method and just want to know what we found and what Read More →

Warren Godfrey guest post: Don’t rely on the planning “experts”

The idea for NYC's award-winning "high line" came from the community

This is the second guest post from Charlotte area engineer/planner Warren Godfrey. It builds on ideas about elegance in planning from his popular previous post cautioning against over-planning. Conversations with Warren have really broadened my thinking about sustainability in the built environment and I think you’ll see why when reading this. Don’t rely on the planning “experts”, by Warren Godfrey The time has come to do Read More →

Speed dating is way better than a normal class

speed dating

I was planning a post this week describing how to use speed dating as a class activity. I can always count on speed dating day as one of my favorite classes of the semester – the energy in the room is unbelievable. Students enjoy it and appear to learn while, at the very least, practicing their communication skills (over and over and over). As I Read More →

I learned more from a single soccer season than I ever learned in school

Glory days

“There is not a book, a class, a concentration or a degree that can encompass the education you gave each other this season.”  That’s what Clemson Men’s Soccer Coach Mike Noonan told his players at their post-season banquet. Sitting in the audience as someone who recommends books, teaches classes, and designs degrees, maybe I should have been offended. But I knew Coach Noonan was right. Read More →

Elegant beachfront living

beach hurricane home

This beachfront home didn’t do very well in the hurricane.   This beachfront home would probably fare better, but it is not very elegant, with lots of concrete and other expensive building methods. Plus, even though it may do a better job resisting wind and wave forces, the home is still vulnerable to rising sea levels and beach erosion.   This “pop-up” mobile beachfront home will Read More →

Warren Godfrey guest post: “I’m not anti-planning; I just think we overdo it”

Systems and Sustainability in the Built Environment

For the first post of 2014, I’m excited to share this guest perspective on elegance,  sustainability and (over)planning from Charlotte area engineer/planner Warren Godfrey. E-mail conversations with Warren have really broadened my thinking about sustainability in the built environment and I think you’ll see why when reading this. I’m not anti-planning; I just think we overdo it, by Warren Godfrey Engineers and planners tend to try Read More →

Our favorite advice from Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

We used the time in our research group meeting today to reflect on Nelson Mandela’s life and how his massive influence relates to sustainability. Here is some of our favorite advice from Nelson Mandela and what it means to us. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel Read More →

The Power is yours – by Lisa Watkins

I’ve been planning to write something about the unique character of Clemson students to change the world. Glad I never got around to it, because student Lisa Watkins did a much better job at it than I ever could in her recent column in The Tiger News. Lisa is a senior majoring in environmental engineering and yes, she “engineers” as well as she writes. The Read More →

Elegant bathrooms

Many readers will be familiar with the problem represented in the bathroom below, a problem that is compounded when you are wearing sandals (For a full description of proper etiquette in these situations, check out post #555 on Assuming you have good aim, dividers can solve the problem, but not elegantly. This painted on fly is a much more elegant solution to the overspray problem Read More →