Student Profiles

Information about current students

Recent Student Honors, Awards, Fellowships

Earlier student honors, awards, fellowships


Hamid Abdirad

Ph.C., University of Washington (2016)
M.Sc. Building Construction and Facility Management, Georgia Institute of Technology (2014)
M.Sc. Project and Construction Management, Shahid Beheshti University (2013)
B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering, IKIU (2010)

My research interests are Building Information Modeling (BIM), Design-Construction Integration, and Multidisciplinary Collaboration in the AEC/FM industry. I am specifically interested in quantitative assessment of BIM inputs, processes, and outputs in the practice, extending BIM applications in facilities management, BIM contracting, and BIM-enabled collaboration in integrated design-construction processes and IPD.


Alireza Borhani

Photo of Alireza Borhani

M.S. Construction Management, University of Washington (2015)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Bergische University Wuppertal (2011)

My research interests are in Building Information Modeling (BIM), including BIM-based project collaboration and management, data interoperability, and green BIM. I am particularly interested in promoting an interdisciplinary research approach in the fast-growing BIM industry through applying computational methods and information technology in developing innovative BIM implementations during the life cycle of a construction project. I have an additional research interest in sustainability, including high performance building, energy efficiency, and sustainability certifications.


Photo of Hyein Chae

Hyein Chae

M.S. Urban Design, Seoul National University (2012)
B.L.A., Seoul National University (2010)

I have a strong interest in urban conservation, which aims to enhance sustainability in old urban areas physically, economically, and socially. I would like to study management of changes in old (historic) urban areas, specifically focusing on creative approaches such as adaptive reuse projects, contemporary designs, and long-standing communities. In addition, I am also interested in urbanism issues in developing countries in East Asia, international preservation principals, gentrification, public places.


Photo of Jonathan Childers

Jonathan A. Childers

Ph.C., University of Washington (2016)
M.P.H., environmental and occupational health, University of Washington (2014)
M. Urban and Regional Planning, environmental planning and policy, Virginia Tech (1999)
B.S. Biology, Virginia Tech (1997)

I am interested in environmental democracy and the material and social dynamics that interact to affect community well-being and ecological health. While completing my Master of Public Health degree at UW, I led projects for the Health Impact Assessment of the Cleanup Plan for the Duwamish Superfund Site in Seattle, and then evaluated the outcomes of that HIA. Research for my PhD in the Built Environment will build on that work, further considering the determinants and production of adaptive capacity, resilience, sustainability, and vitality.


Photo of Jenn Engelke
Jennifer Engelke

M.L.A., Kansas State University (2012)

I am concentrating my studies in the Sustainable Systems and Prototypes track related to ecological design and restoration in urban settings, studying the balance between the stormwater and habitat performance of green infrastructure and human perception and recreational use of these areas. I have additional interests in ecological design, stormwater, watershed planning, community planning, green infrastructure, habitat design, natural systems, and urban ecology.


M. Sadra Fardhosseini

Ph.C., University of Washington (2018)
M.S. Construction Engineering and Management, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2016)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Power and Water University of Technology, Iran (2013)

My research interests are mainly about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and construction safety with a focus on hazard identification and risk assessment. Previously, I worked on safety research topics such as “finding the relationship between workers’ attention and accidents using the eye-tracking device,” and “workers’ safety in post-disaster recovery operations.” Currently, I am conducting research on designing a holistic safety training for construction workers by using virtual reality technology.


Mia Ho

Ph.C., University of Washington
M.S. Historic Preservation, University of Pennsylvania
M.A. Art History, National Taiwan University
B.Arch., Tamkang University, Taiwan

My research interests are in preservation policy and preservation economics in the field of architecture/urban planning—a complex matrix of politics, economics, and architecture and urban studies in China at its national and local levels. I have additional interests in urbanization and preservation in Asian cities.


Photo of Kirk HochstatterKirk Hochstatter

M.S. Construction Management, University of Washington (2013)
B.S., Construction Engineering Management, Oregon State University (2002)

In addition to working in the construction industry, I plan to research reliability in supply chains and its impact on economic stability in prefabricated materials. I will further explore how human behaviors, such as communication, impact project reliability. I have helped design and teach the newly launched undergraduate digital tools course at UW and am an active member and leader of the Cascadia-Seattle LCI community of practice.


Sara Jacobs

Ph.C., University of Washington (2017)
M.L.A., Harvard University (2012)
B.A. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley (2007)

I am interested in critical landscape history and theory, environmental knowledge production, and the politics of infrastructure and ecological representation. Other interests include speculative site methodologies, digital and analog mappings, landscape narrative, and material geographies of waste and decay.


Photo of Babita Joy

Babita Joy

M.S. Arch. History/Theory, University of Washington (2018)
M.Arch., Illinois Institute of Technology (2009)
B.Arch., Visvesvaraya Technological University, India (2006)

I plan to examine the intersections of architectural practice and theory, specifically, the interweaving of structural and material compositions with theoretical frameworks. My research focuses on the architecture of modern/contemporary cultural spaces being shaped by influences of technology, interdisciplinary dialogue, culture, and urbanism. I have additional interests in materiality, complexity theory, minimalism, construction history, and transnational and global architects/architecture.


Kyle McDermott

M.A. Environmental Horticulture, University of Washington (2019)
B.S. Environmental Science—Environmental Communications, Northern Arizona University (2013)

My research interests are in organizational excellence and change theory, systems approaches to sustainable development, and the use of virtual reality for providing increased transparency and understanding of sustainable building and green infrastructure technologies. I am intrigued by post-colonial theory and alternative understandings of decision-making and creative processes within institutions, organizations, and communities that collectively define value and objectives as they relate to creation of the built environment. I’m particularly interested in how these collective understandings and decision-making structures can work to ensure equitability and participation that centers diverse semantic and cultural approaches to sustainability.


Yohan Min

Yohan Min

M.S. Engineering, Purdue University
B.S. Engineering, Ajou University

My interests are in studying resilient and sustainable infrastructure systems in the built environment to promote community resilience by encouraging the deployment of renewable energy and innovative management systems in consideration of invisible costs of environmental externalities and human health and private investment opportunities. This would be examined by optimizing the interdependent systems through frameworks and decision support tools, utilizing data analytics, simulation modeling, life cycle assessment, geographic information system, and financial policy analysis.


Christopher Monson

Christopher Monson

Ph.C., University of Washington (2015)
M.Arch. (with distinction), Harvard University (1993)
B.Arch., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (1987)

My research interests focus on the contemporary problems of integrated architecture, engineering, and construction practices, particularly the communication processes and team workflows that support them. This work is at the intersection of AEC and the sociological and organizational theories that help identify and analyze the activities within professional practice collaboration. I am using qualitative studies to build theory and practice models for Lean Construction, sustainable design and construction, and integration across design, construction, and facility management. I am also working with technological constructs like BIM and COBie that form foundations for new kinds of collaboration.

I am a licensed architect, and have been a long-time educator in architecture and construction. I have taught design and construction studios, building detailing and assemblages, and architectural theory, and have been recognized institutionally and nationally for teaching excellence. My instructional research is focused on studio-based learning and design thinking. I am a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional.


Bo Peng

M.L.A., Rutgers State University, (2019)
M.S. L.A., Rutgers State University (2018)

My particular interest and great passion lies in the social consequences of inclusive landscapes in immigrant communities, especially in relation to public space. I would love to research the typologies and requirements of an inclusive place-making that conveys respect to different needs and activities, especially under today’s political atmosphere in terms of immigration and the xenophobia surrounding it. My doctoral study will try to establish a comprehensive understanding of the inclusivity and livability of more recent immigrant communities, as concerned directly with the narrative of everyday activities. How can inclusive public spaces in immigrant communities that serve diverse populations, including outsiders, promote environmentally as well as socially sustainable development of those communities? I would also like to explore the theory of space syntax with regard to an inclusive place-making process. By analyzing spatial configuration of public landscapes that are shaped by people’s everyday activities, space syntax offers empirical studies regarding reciprocal impacts of human behavior and the environment.


Lucky Pratama

Ph.C., University of Washington (2018)
M.S. Construction Management, University of Washington (2015)
B.Engr., Andalas University, Indonesia (2012)

I am interested in research related to emerging technology in the AEC industry, and looking for opportunities to conduct experiment-based research whenever possible, particularly research related to virtual construction or construction safety. I have additional interests in public-private partnerships, lean construction, and project delivery.


Photo of Adnya Sarasmita

Adnya Sarasmita

Ph.C., University of Washington (2016)
M.S. Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa (2014)
Sarjana Teknik (Strata I) Arch., University of Brawijaya (2010)

My research focuses on the dynamic informality of contemporary Asian cities. Using street vending networks, I am currently exploring how informal practices produce and appropriate urban public spaces, and how these spaces are constantly contested and defended.



Valerie Segrest

M.A. Environment & Community, Antioch University Seattle (2013)
B.S. Nutrition, Bastyr University (2009)

I am a native nutrition educator, specializing in local and traditional foods. As an enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, I serve my community as the coordinator of the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project and also work for the Northwest Indian College’s Traditional Plants Program as a nutrition educator. In 2010, I co-authored the book, Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture. I am a fellow for the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy. I work to inspire and enlighten others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a simple, common sense approach to eating.


Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Ph.C., University of Washington (2015)
M.S. Architectural History/Theory, University of Washington (2013)
B.A. Anthropology, University of Washington (2002)

My research focuses on historic preservation theory and practice, particularly related to vernacular buildings and cultural landscapes. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how the intellectual framework that underlies public policy can better support the preservation of community gathering places and other historic sites that are significant for their contemporary cultural uses, social values, and roles in traditional economies. For more information about my research, please see “Recognizing the Contemporary Cultural Significance of Historic Places: A Proposal to Amend National Register Criteria to Include Social Value” on the US/ICOMOS site. In addition to pursuing doctoral research, I am the owner and principal of Past Forward Northwest Cultural Services, a consulting business specializing in historic preservation research and heritage education projects.


Shannon K. Tyman

Ph.C., University of Washington (2013)
M.A. Environmental Studies, University of Oregon
B.A. Growth & Structure of Cities, Bryn Mawr College

My interests lie at the intersection of urban studies, environmental studies, and food systems. I use food and agriculture as a lens through which to explore issues of social justice, urban design, and ecological politics. My research is currently focused on the politics of alternative food movements. My experiences with and in the food system both academically and professionally inform much of my research. Among other projects, I have worked with the University of Oregon’s Dining Services to identify paths toward sustainability and with Healthy Foods Here, a healthy food retail project in Seattle, WA. I have published research on food hubs and organic agriculture. In addition, I serve on the board of trustees of Central Co-op, a cooperatively-owned grocery store in Seattle. My hope is to incorporate principles of cooperative learning into my teaching pedagogy and expand the interdisciplinary conversation around food/ag studies and cooperative economies.


Photo of Elizabeth Umhanhowar

Elizabeth A. Umbanhowar

M.L.A., University of Washington (2007)
B.A. English, Carleton College (1989)

Through my studies, I am undertaking a critical investigation of the historic and future role of digital visual culture and technology in mediating, navigating and shaping personal and social cognition and connectivity in our contemporary urbanscapes. While design professions are actively adopting new digital technologies into the classroom and workplace, there has been less research on the role of mobile technologies and Virtual and Augmented Reality on user/stakeholder experience. I am collaborating with allied disciplines to establish methods to evaluate and potentially develop digital mobile technologies that will measure and enhance experience, engagement and connection to outdoor or public places. Ultimately I am interested in: how the use of and access to evolving digital mobile technologies effect human health and well-being; what are impacts on individual and collective rights to occupy, define, and participate in public places; and what are the implications for the teaching and practice of landscape architecture?


Photo of Supasai Vongkulbhisal

Supasai Vongkulbhisal

Ph.C., University of Washington (2018)
M.S. Arch. History/Theory, University of Washington (2016)
M.Arch. University of Texas (2012)
B.Arch. Silpakorn University (2008)

My primary focus is on the role political hegemony plays in relationship with Modern architecture of each nation, as well as its transitional periods and post production. In my current research, I argue that the transplantation of Western Modern architecture in Thailand, carried out by Western-educated Thai architects, initiated a Neo-colonial pursuit as the architects’ creations were subtly subjected to an American Cold War agenda. I am additionally interested in colonial and post-colonial architecture, particularly in Southeast Asian region.


Yuyi Wang

M.U.P., Ball State University (2018)
Cert. Real Estate Development, Ball State University (2016)
B. Urban Planning and Development, Ball State University (2014)

I will study China’s urban transformation, paying particular attention to its informal processes, particularly through local semi-formal politics, public participation, and indigenous space-making. I want to base my research on local people’s lives and their perception and negotiation of space, and building narrative from small to large. My additional interests include urban transformation, community development, space, social justice, and international planning and design.


Jerry Watson

M.L.A., University of Washington
B.A. Asian Design, University of Washington

My current Ph.D. research is investigating the history of transportation in the U.S. national parks. My research will explore from a historical and ecological perspective how to protect and preserve the park’s natural resources, while accommodating the public’s ability to visit the parks without causing irreparable harm. I believe a new strategy is required to address the critical transportation issues in these parks. I would like to formulate, develop, and evaluate a strategic model that explores alternatives to traditional modes of transport within national parks. There are three basic components of my research: conflict resolution, environmental ethics, and the ecological effects of roads (road ecology).

The main impetus for my decision to apply to the PhD program in the Built Environment, at the University of Washington is the opportunity to work in a program that offers me a unique opportunity to investigate the complicated problem of human-environment relationships. This will allow me to realize my belief that environments can be manipulated and planned to enhance the quality of people’s lives. I believe that significant impacts on the development of sustainable responses to environmental challenges can best be achieved through education and research.


Tera Williams

M. Design Studies, Boston Architectural College (2018)
B.A. interdisciplinary Studies/Architecture, Evergreen State College (2012)

I am interested in researching equitable revitalization methods in marginalized communities so those communities can be revitalized without creating mass displacement and erasure of the existing culture. I have been using environmental psychology as a lens to analyze the neighborhood and explain the existing value there to people who do not inherently see it. I am interested in delving into how design can be used as a tool to empower communities to strive for spatial justice. I have additional interests in culture, place, identity, collectivism, belonging, community, equitable community development, human well-being, affordable housing, economic empowerment, and interdependence.


Photo of Shuang Wu

Shuang Wu

M.S. Historic Preservation, University of Pennsylvania (2016)
B.Engr. Architectural Conservation, Tongji University (2013)

My scientific direction focuses on the preservation of cultural heritages and their relationship to the environment; on natural and anthropogenic drivers’ impact on architectural structure, function, and pattern; and on the adaptation of human society to environmental changes (e.g. climate change) in their building/urban design, planning, and construction. Additionally, I am also interested in cultural landscapes, material conservation, and risk assessment of historic sites, as well as socio-cultural processes in architecture and urbanism in Asian cities.


Photo of Zhenyu Zhang

Zhenyu Zhang

Ph.C., University of Washington (2018)
M.S. Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chongqing University, China (2016)
B.Engr., Chongqing University, China (2013)

My research interests are integrating emerging information and communication technologies into the construction project management to increase collaboration between building supply chain entities, streamline the management process of sustainability and improve the profitability of sustainability initiatives. I am specifically interested in developing optimum implementation strategies of field ergonomics assessment in the construction industry to improve the industry’s capability of collecting ergonomic data and thereby inform the design of ergonomics intervention for promoting occupational health and welfare in construction.


Earlier student honors, awards, fellowships

  • Leann Andrews: 2016–2017 Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship
  • Barbara Rodriguez Droguett: 2015 Beca Chile CONICYT Government of Chile Scholarship
  • Daniel E. Coslett: 2014 CEMAT Research Grant (Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis) dissertation research grant, Tunisia and Algeria
  • Julie Kriegh: 2014 AIA Upjohn Initiative Research Award—People + Energy + Place: Understanding Behavior in High Performance Buildings and Communities
  • Daniel E. Coslett: 2013 Ottenberg-Winans-Honors Fellowship (University of Washington African Studies Program), dissertation research grant
  • Julie Kriegh: 2013 AIA Upjohn Initiative Research Award—Tenant Engagement in High Performance Buildings and Communities
  • Amber Trout: 2013–2014 AAAS Emerging Leaders in Science and Society Fellowship
  • Shu-Mei Huang: 2011–2012 Dissertation Fellowship, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange
  • Chiaoyen Yang: 2011–2012 Dissertation Fellowship, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange
  • Chiaoyen Yang: 2011 Chester Fritz Endowment Fellow
  • Ozge Sade: 2009–2010 Fellow, Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations
  • Kuei-Hsien Liao: 2009–2011 Scholarship, Taiwan Ministry of Education
  • Chiaoyen Yang: 2008–2010 Scholarship, Taiwan Ministry of Education
  • Shu-Mei Huang: 2008–2010 Scholarship, Taiwan Ministry of Education
  • Meriwether Wilson: 2008–2010 Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh, School of GeoSciences
  • Kuang-Ting Huang: 2008–2009 China Studies Program Fellowship
  • Paula Patterson: 2008–2009 American-Scandinavian Foundation dissertation research fellowship
  • Jayde Lin Roberts: 2008–2009 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship
  • Jayde Lin Roberts: 2008–2009 Gething Travel Award
  • Kuei-Hsien Liao: 2007–2008 Chester Fritz Endowment Fellow
  • Ashish Nangia: 2007–2008 Research Cluster funding from Simpson Center for the Humanities
  • Eric Noll: 2007 Public Humanities for Doctoral Students Fellowship
  • Ashish Nangia: 2006–2007 India Association of Western Washington South Asian Studies Scholarship
  • Paula Patterson: 2006–2007 Valle Scholarship, Finland
  • Jayde Lin Roberts: 2006–2007 Blakemore Freeman Fellowships for Advanced Asian Language Study
  • Paula Patterson: 2005–2006 FLAS Fellowship for French
  • Meriwether Wilson: 2005–2006 Henry Luce Fellowship
  • Paula Patterson: Summer 2005, FLAS Fellowship for Finnish
  • Jayde Lin Roberts: 2004–2005 FLAS Fellowship for Hindi
  • Paula Patterson: 2004, Kate Neal Kinley Memorial
  • Ken Camarata: 2003–2005 Gerberding Fellowship
  • Ken Yocom: 2002–2006 National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellowship