Meet Our Ph.D. Students

Meet Our Ph.D. Students

Our Ph.D. students come from a variety of different academic and professional backgrounds. Each student goes on to a fruitful career in either academia or professional practice.

Portrait of Xiaofan

Xiaofan Liang

Xiaofan Liang's research interests revolve around spatial social networks, urban analytics (GIS, machine learning, and agent-based modeling), and digital civics/critical data/engagement methods in spatial planning. Liang is advised by Dr. Clio Andris under the Friendly Cities Lab. Her papers were published in Environmental Planning BUrban Informatics and Future CitiesSocial InclusionACM SIGKDD, and Transactions in GIS. Learn more about her work at her personal website

Before joining the Ph.D. program, she received a B.A. in Sociology from UC-Berkeley (2013-2015), a B.S. in Computational Science from Minerva University (2015-2019), and spent two summers at Santa Fe Institute (2017-2018).

Portrait of Morgan Lane

Morgan Lane

Morgan’s research interest is in urban climate change adaptation. She is interested in exploring the ways that climate change is impacting cities, specifically through excessive heat and flooding, and investigating strategies to reduce these impacts and build urban resilience. Morgan is advised by Dr. Brian Stone who leads the Urban Climate Lab.

Morgan holds a B.A. in Neuroscience and Government from Hamilton College and a Master in Public Health from Emory University. Before coming to Georgia Tech, she worked in environmental health and infectious diseases research at Emory.

Portrait of Chaneum Park

Chaneum Park

Chaneum has a profound research interest in economic development, science & technology (S&T) policy, and happiness. His current project focuses on exploring the influence of technology policy and regional tech agencies, such as system integrators, on the technology adoption processes of small- and medium-sized manufacturers. He is currently under the esteemed guidance of Dr. Nancey Green Leigh, collaborating as a graduate research assistant at the Planning Local Economic Development (PLED) lab.

Chaneum holds a B.A. in Public Administration and a Master of Policy Analysis from Korean University. In addition to his academic pursuits, he has a passion for swimming, playing soccer, and playing the piano.

Portrait of Uijeong Hwang

Uijeong Hwang

Uijeong Hwang's research interests lie in the fields of urban and economic geography, spatial data analytics and urban informatics. He hopes to deepen the understanding of a link between the built environment and travel behavior through the lens of urban sustainability. 

Uijeong Hwang is a research assistant at the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization (CSPAV), working with Dr. Subhro Guhathakurta. His research interests are centered around travel behavior, exploring the connections between the built environment and travel behaviors through the lenses of sustainability and equity. His dissertation attempts to debunk myths surrounding "Bikelash" and to illustrate how bike lanes can contribute to a more inclusive and safer transportation environment. View his work here.

Before joining the doctoral program, Uijeong worked at the Seoul Institute and the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements in South Korea. He holds a B.S. and a M.S. in Urban Planning and Design, both from the University of Seoul.

Portrait of Hina Ahmed

Hina Ahmed

Hina Ahmed’s research focuses on urban design and spatial inequality. Dr. Perry Yang is her advisor; she is part of the Eco Urban Lab. Hina holds an MSc in Environmental Design of Buildings from Cardiff University, UK and a BSc in Architectural Engineering and Design from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan. Before joining the doctoral program, she worked as an architect and lecturer in Lahore. 

Portrait of Chaeyeon Han

Chaeyeon Han

Chaeyeon Han is a Ph.D. student in the School of City of Regional Planning at Georgia Tech and a research assistant at the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization. Her research interest revolves around urban analytics (GIS, GeoAI, GeoData Science) and building resilient cities in the age of the climate crisis. Before joining Georgia Tech, Chaeyeon worked with the CyberGIS Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds an M.U.P degree from UIUC and B.S. in Computer Science from Yonsei University, Seoul.

Portrait of Eunjee

Eunjee Son

Eunjee's research interests revolve around urban housing market dynamics, with a primary focus on the integration of disruptive technologies within the real estate and construction industries and their subsequent effects on submarkets and communities. She is a research assistant at the Urban Research Group, working with the School of Public Policy at Tech. Her research projects examine the consequences arising from the activities of institutional investors in urban housing markets.

Eunjee holds an M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a B.S. in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. Prior to her enrollment in the doctoral program, she gained practical experience as an Urban Development Analyst at a development firm based in New York City, known for delivering turn-key solutions using cutting-edge technologies with a particular emphasis on innovations such as offsite construction.

Portrait of Heon Yeong Lee

Heon Yeong Lee

Heon Yeong Lee's research prominently converges at the nexus of technology, workforce skills, and regional economic development planning. Currently, he is engaged in an NSF-funded project, the National Robotics Initiative 2.0 (NRI), wherein he explores the diffusion of collaborative robot technologies among small and medium-sized manufacturers in the US.

Before embarking on his Ph.D. journey, Heon Yeong Lee dedicated his efforts to the Korea Environment Institute from 2013 to 2015, contributing to various studies centered on community development planning and policy evaluation. Heon Yeong acquired both his bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2013) degrees in Urban Planning and Engineering from Yonsei University.

Portrait of Gabriel

Gabriel Appiah

Gabriel Appiah’s research focuses on analyzing people’s perceptions and experiences on safety regarding ride-sharing. His ongoing projects include shifting patterns in data sources and techniques used in geographic and spatially enabled research and GIS mapping for Meals on Wheels. Dr. Clio Andris is his advisor; he is part of the Friendly Cities Lab in the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization (CSPAV).

Gabriel holds an M.A Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University and B.S. Development Planning from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Before joining the doctoral program, he worked as a Regional Planner II at Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council, IA.

Find Gabriel on Google Scholar

Download CV

Portrait of Mark Sloan

Mark Sloan

Mark Sloan’s research interests center on creating more sustainable urban living environments through study of the influence of space (the occupiable voids between buildings) on human social and consumptive behaviors. He seeks to find “tipping points” for new models, codes, and assessments that create better exterior spaces for people, that improve economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Mark is a recently retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, who served as an Air Force Civil Engineer, with assignments at Headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon, and on command staffs at U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Force Global Strike Command. He is a two-time squadron commander, including Base Civil Engineer and Commander of a civil engineer squadron in the Middle East, and later Commander of the Air Force’s Civil Engineer Technical School. He most recently served as Deputy Director for the Air Force’s worldwide design and construction directorate at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center in San Antonio, Texas. 

After earning a B. Design in Architecture from the University of Florida in 1991, Mark then earned his M. Arch professional degree from the University of Florida in 1993, and an M.S. in Strategic Leadership from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio in 2006. He is also a graduate of Air War College (distance learning program).

Portrait of Josh Ayers.

Josh Ayers

Josh Ayers’ research interests focus on the intersection of rapid urbanization in the Global South with the worsening impact of natural hazards as a result of climate change on the lives of those living in informal settlements. Specifically, his research aims to better understand how urban and regional planning policies influence the risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and resilience opportunities for informal settlements in urban contexts.  Josh is advised by Dr. Steve French and works with him as a research assistant on the multi-institutional, NIST-funded IN-CORE project as part of the broader Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning

 Prior to beginning the Ph.D. program, Josh spent nearly 20 years in the humanitarian sector working with international NGOs in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), and Resilience sectors.  Most recently, Josh was the Director of Risk & Resilience programs globally for Food for the Hungry.  He holds an M.A. in Development & Emergency Practice from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, UK and a B.S. in Building Construction from Georgia Tech.

View Josh's CV


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