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Graduate Profiles

Information about program graduates


Hamid Abdirad

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2020)
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)

Dissertation: Developing Digital Project Delivery Routines Around Frequent Disruptions: How Do AEC Organizations Respond to Disruptive Information Exchange Requirements?

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Anne Anderson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2015)
M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Washington (1994)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Oregon State University (1991)

Dissertation: Visualization, Communication, and Copresence: Using Building Information Models in Virtual Worlds

Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Construction Management, Roger Williams University

Research interests when at UW: Prior to returning to the University of Washington for a Ph.D. in the Built Environment, I worked as a structural engineer and general contractor. My experience in the building industry led me to understand and appreciate the need to improve communication between the various disciplines in the industry, each of whom operated within their own boundaries of knowledge and language. My research interests focus on the use of emerging visualization and communication technologies in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. As part of a National Science Foundation grant, I have studied how geographically distributed teams collaborate in the media-rich environment of a 3D virtual world where building information models (BIMs) may be imported into the virtual space and explored and discussed by the team synchronously. The goal is to determine communication efficiency and effectiveness gained through the shared visualization and nonverbal cues afforded by the 3D environment.


Leann Andrews

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2018)
M.L.A., University of Washington (2013)
Certificate in Global Health, University of Washington (2013)
B.S.L.A., Ohio State University (2007)

Dissertation: Integrating human health, ecology and built environment design: A TDAR Gardens Intervention case study with an informal slum community in the Peruvian Amazon

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Pennsylvania State University

Research interests when at UW: My research focuses on understanding the intertwined relationship between human and ecological health and how we can design resilient landscapes to simultaneously and explicitly improve both. I am also interested in cross disciplinary collaboration, embracing complexity, communication, education and the role of play/happiness/delight/art in health.


Rahman Azari

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2013)
M.Sc. of Architecture, Sahand Univ. of Technology, Iran (2002)
Registered Architect, Iran
LEED GA (2001)

Dissertation: An Evaluation Framework for the Integrated Design Process of Sustainable High-Performance Buildings

Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Pennsylvania State University

Research interests when at UW: My broader academic goal is to investigate ways to reduce the environmental impacts of built environments, and to find solutions toward environmental regeneration. I have conducted research and published within this realm on a variety of topics, including environmental life-cycle assessment of buildings, integrated design, energy-efficiency, etc. My doctoral dissertation seeks to understand the integrated design process of high-performance buildings and propose a maturity assessment method for the process.

In addition to my main research interests, I have served as pre-doctoral research associate at the University of Washington in several funded research projects in the field of construction management. These projects address diverse topics such as project delivery systems, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), collaboration in virtual environments, prefabricated modular construction, etc.


Alireza Borhani

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2022)
M.S. Construction Management, University of Washington (2015)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Bergische University Wuppertal (2011)

Dissertation: IB Index: Developing a Standard Evaluation System for Intelligent Buildings

My main research interest is in emerging technologies in built environments. Through my interdisciplinary and practical research, I aim to explore the adoption and implementation of digital technologies such as BIM, AR/VR, and IoT in the AECO industry. Additionally, I apply qualitative research methods to address the technical and organizational aspects of technology deployments throughout the entire project lifecycle. My second research area is sustainable development, focusing on smart buildings and cities, and using evaluation systems for performance assessment and optimization.


Daniel E. Coslett

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2017)
M.A., History of Architecture & Urban Development — Cornell University (2009)
B.A., Political Science and Classical Studies — Davidson College (2005)

Dissertation: Re-presenting Antiquity as Distinction: Pre-Arab Pasts in Tunis’ Colonial, Postcolonial and Contemporary Built Environments

Currently: Assistant Professor of Architecture, Drexel University

He has edited three works: Neocolonialism and Built Heritage: Echoes of Empire in Africa, Asia, and Europe (Routledge, 2020), Islamic Architecture Today and Tomorrow: (Re)defining the Field (edited with Mohammad Gharipour, Intellect, 2022) and Rethinking Global Modernism: Architectural Historiography and the Postcolonial (edited with Vikramaditya Prakash and Maristella Casciato, Routledge, 2022).

Research interests when at UW: My areas of interest generally center on the place of the historical within contemporary built environments. Through my work and teaching I aim to gain a better understanding of how surviving traces of the past are preserved, interpreted, and experienced today, and how they contribute to crafted urban identities. Related areas of interest include historic preservation, archaeology, tourism, and place branding. My dissertation project considers the role played by antiquity in the design and use of colonial and postcolonial Tunisian built environments during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Jennifer Engelke

Ph.C., University of Washington (2021)
M.L.A., Kansas State University (2012)

Dissertation: Towards a Holistic Landscape: Understanding, Repairing, and Sustaining Systems

Currently: Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech

Research interests when at UW: My research investigates how urban waterfront landscapes can reveal human/more-than-human narratives and engage community in meaningful ways to create holistic systems. It examines landscape literacy, ecological literacy, and place attachment through the lens of systems-based thinking and design, specifically with storytelling through design, eco-revelatory design, and community engagement. Additionally, I am interested in ecological design, stormwater, restoration, watershed planning, community planning, green infrastructure, habitat design, natural systems, and urban ecology. As a licensed landscape architect, I have practiced in Austin, TX and Chicago, Il and am currently serving on the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Board of Directors.


M. Sadra Fardhosseini

Ph.D., University of Washington (2021)
M.S. Construction Engineering and Management, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2016)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Power and Water University of Technology, Iran (2013)

Dissertation: A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of Integrating Digital Technology for Formwork Fabrication on Human Factors Perspectives

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Cheryl Gilge

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2014)
M.F.A., University of California—Riverside
B.F.A., University of Minnesota—Minneapolis

Dissertation: Entanglement and experimentation; or, Cultural fascism and Google Street View

Currently: Academic Researcher

Research interests when at UW: My research is located at the intersection of the built environment, visual culture, geography, urban studies, mediated experience, and the public realm, examined through spatial imaginaries, political economy, political theory, and philosophical and sociological inquiry. My dissertation focuses on Google Street View (GSV) as a visual navigational tool and archive of the urban realm, and the range of users, from academic research to gaming platforms, from artistic practices to sensational curation. As critical engagement, I focus on the newness of the phenomenon in relation to a rapidly changing media landscape, and the unique tensions produced in the larger cultural field. As a visual phenomenon, I highlight the spatio-temporal disjunctions of the interface; examine artistic practices and the role ‘wonder’ plays in cognition and aesthetic experience. As a research tool, I examine the dangers of knowledge production from this visual approximation of the urban realm. As a political-economic environment, I focus on the insidious confluence of the neoliberal agenda, open-source movement and citizen participation via Web 2.0 technologies, producing what Deleuze and Guattari call ‘microfascisms’: daily practices adopted at the expense of individual freedom, with the belief in a better future or outcome. The core dissertation argument is twofold: Google as a corporate entity presents a suite of tools that appeal to our desire for efficiency in our daily lives; the user practices display a heterogeneous mix of potential outcomes for knowledge and cultural production. Taken together, I focus on the meaning that is constructed and installed at the social level and the production of meaning that takes place at the individual level to sketch out the tensions that result from these co-constituting practices.


Naeun Gu

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2019)
M.S., Housing & Interior Design, Yonsei University (2012)
B.S., Housing & Interior Design, Yonsei University (2009)

Dissertation: Place, People, and Health: Korean Apartment Residents’ Experiences of Local Social Relationships and Their Effects on Mental Health and Well-being

Research interests when at UW: My primary interest is exploring how the built environment influences people’s health and well-being. Through my research experience, I have come to believe that appropriate environmental settings can work as a strong health intervention. Specifically, my interest is in investigating what physical and social factors can affect health in the everyday living environment, with a focus on neighborhood and community design.


Keith Harris

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2016)
LEED AP (2007)
Master of Engineering, Civil Engineering (structures emphasis), Texas A&M University (2003)
Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering (structures emphasis), Texas A&M University (2001)

Dissertation: The Coordinated City’s Mutation Machine: Capitalism, Sympathy, and Urbanization in Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood

Currently: Assistant Teaching Professor, Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington

Research interests: See Keith Harris’s faculty page at UW.


Chung Ho

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2019)
LEED AP, U.S. Green Building Council (2014)
M.S. Structural Engineering, University of Texas, Austin (2010)
B.S. Structural Engineering, the National University of Civil Engineering, Viet Nam (2006)
B.Engr. Construction Management, The National University of Civil Engineering, Viet Nam (2005)

Dissertation: Application of Optimization to the Production Planning of Construction Prefabrication Supply Chains

Research interests when at UW: My research interest is lean construction, focusing on applying operations research to assist the management of construction prefabrication supply chain. I have other interests including project management, construction technologies, Building Information Modeling, and construction sustainability.


Mia Ho

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2022)
M.S. Historic Preservation, University of Pennsylvania (2004)
M.A. Art History, National Taiwan University
B.Arch., Tamkang University, Taiwan

Dissertation: Tracing Values through An Interpretative Model — A Comparative Study on Urban Conservation of Pingyao and Datong in China

Research interests when at UW: My research interests are in international preservation policy and cross-cultural comparative studies in the field of architecture and urban planning. My concentration is a complex matrix of politics, socio-economic, architecture and urban studies in China and its localization of international paradigms on cultural heritage conservation. I have additional interests in urbanization and preservation practice in Asian cities, architectural history (architectural forms and styles), and art history (Chinese painting, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco).


Hoda Homayouni

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2015)
M.S. Design Computing, University of Washington (2007)
B.S. Architecture, University of Tehran (2004)

Dissertation: Aligning Contractual, Technological, and Organizational Elements to Achieve Higher Performance buildings: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis Approach

Currently: Assistant Professor, Shahid Beheshti University

Research interests when at UW: My research interests include High Performance (HP) buildings, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and inter-organizational collaboration among project teams within Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. As my Ph.D. research, I used a methodology called fuzzy sets Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to create a framework for analyzing interdependencies within contractual, organizational, and social elements that foster inter-organizational collaboration and BIM implementation within HP projects. I also used this framework for creating typologies of successful HP projects based on their collaboration techniques and use of BIM technologies.


Jiawen Hu

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2015)
M.S. Landscape Architecture, Peking University (2009)
B.A. Law & Economics, Peking University (2007)

Dissertation: Coming Home to the Land: Natural Farming as Therapeutic Landscape Experience in Chengdu Plain, China

Research interests when at UW: My interest in how the physical world encompasses our daily life led to my master’s study in landscape architecture, during which I focused on the importance of the social context—i.e. economic, legal, psychological, and epistemological aspects—of the built environment that constitute the driving forces of physical forms, as well as the human experience and interaction with space and place. My current research involves human spatial strategies for psychological and spiritual well-being, especially the experience of therapeutic landscapes in the context of contemporary China, where stress and the feeling of rootlessness overwhelm modern urban life. I am also researching how space and place can contribute to the existential quest and what conflicts or different interpretations are involved in how we experience places.


Kuang-Ting Huang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)
M.S. Building and Planning, National Taiwan University (2003)
B.A. Architecture, Tunghai University (2000)

Dissertation: Remaking Chinese Planning as a Profession: Growing Demand and Challenges

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan

Research interests when at UW: Due to my involvement as planning practitioner in a series of participatory planning and cultural landscape preservation projects in Taiwan, I am interested in the evolution of planning profession and its consequences, particularly from a comparative perspective. In order to expand my views of how planning is practiced in different social and political contexts, I investigated into a case of urban planning in Southeastern China (Zhenjiang City in Jiangsu Province), presented in my thesis A Case Study of Heritage Conservation and Old City Renewal in China: Zhenjiang City and Xijin Ferry Historic District. Through the process, I gradually expanded my interest from planning practice to its institutionalization and got interested in seeking the common ground among the different political entities in East Asia, including China, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Following the current academic concerns with the East Asian developmental states, I will focus on the institutional change of the planning profession and explore its political embedded-ness in the process of state transformation. Thus, my dissertation would begin with empirical-based studies (using qualitative case studies to develop a comparative framework) and then go back to the case of China, questioning how the professionalization of planning is consistently held in check not only by the socialist state in the pre-reform era but also by the capitalist one in the reform era.


Shu-Mei Huang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)
M.Sc. in Building and Planning, National Taiwan University, Taiwan (2004)
Exchange student in Tilburg University, Netherlands (2003–2004)
B.Sc. in Architecture, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan (1997)

Dissertation: Carescapes: Transnational Urban Redevelopment of The Post-Colonial Hong Kong

Publications: Shu-Mei Huang and Elizabeth Maly, Community Responses to Disasters in the Pacific Rim: Place-making in Displacement (Routledge, 2023); Shu-Mei Huang, Hyun Kyung Lee and Edward Vickers Frontiers of Memory in the Asia-Pacific: Difficult Heritage and the Transnational Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2022); Shu-Mei Huang and Hyun Kyung Lee, Heritage, Memory and Punishment: Colonial Prisons in East Asia (In Memory Studies: Global Constellations, Routledge, 2019); Shu-Mail Huang, Urbanizing Carescapes of Hong Kong: Two Systems One City (Rowman & Littlefield’s Lexington Books, 2015).

Currently: Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University. Research link.

Research interests when at UW: My research is driven by a broad array of interests in transnational urbanism, geographies of care, and linkages between migration and urban redevelopment. My current work concerns mainly the new trends of urban redevelopment in East Asian cities in relation to shifting landscape of care and housing provision and how that contributes to remaking of urban citizenship. I am working on my dissertational project with focus on urban renewal and polarizing housing/care provision in Hong Kong during the post-handover era. I have been participating in planning practices in Taiwan since 2004. In recent years, I write independently for popular publishing and citizen media in Taiwan and Hong Kong. I am looking forward to bridging discussion about changing community and urban space across the Pacific Rim.


Sara Jacobs

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2020)
M.L.A., Harvard University (2012)
B.A. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley (2007)

Dissertation: Measured, Marked, Modeled: Becoming with the Urban Landscape

Currently: Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Eyun Jennifer Kim

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2018)
M.Arch. Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)
M.A. English, City University of New York (CUNY)
B.A. English, Pomona College

Dissertation: History, Narrative, and Production in the Cheonggyecheon Reconstruction

Research interests when at UW: Research interests in public architectural projects, memorials, power dynamics in architecture and planning, and opportunities for social justice in spatial design. Additional interests are post-colonialism, transnational identity, and phenomenology and performativity in the built environment.


Julie Kriegh

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2018)
Passive House NW, member & training
LEED AP, U.S. Green Building Council
Certified Sustainable Building Advisor
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Registered Architect — State of Washington
M.Arch., University of Washington
B.A. Fine Arts, Duke University

Dissertation: LIFEBUILDINGX Life Building Exchange: Investigating the Intersection of Pro-environmental Behavior, Place Meaning, and High-performance Design

Currently: Principal, Kriegh Architects; affiliate instructor, Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington.

Research interests when at UW: My current research focuses on pro-environmental behavior in high-performance buildings and neighborhoods. By linking high-performance energy-efficient technologies in the built environment with a deep understanding of pro-environmental human behavior, my research aims to answer the question: can architects and planners design in a way that affirms and reinforces pro-environmental behaviors in the context of the built environment? I founded my firm in 2000 and specialize in the design and construction of Passive House buildings and environmentally sustainable planning. While in the UW Ph.D. program, I have co-led professional practice/academic research projects based on sustainable community principles with the UW Green Futures Lab and co-authored two papers with the UW Center for Integrated Design Lab: “The Building User Audit: Capturing Behavior, Energy, and Culture” and “Occupant-Behavior-Driven Energy Savings at the Bullitt Center in Seattle.” In 2015, I was a co-author for the chapter, “On the Road to Smart Green Growth,” in Planning the Pacific Northwest. I have presented aspects of my work at regional and national conferences including: ACEEE, BECC, EDRA, ILFI, and Passive House North America. I have received grant awards from AIA Upjohn Research initiative, Precourt Fellow, Puget Sound Energy, and UW Green SEED.


Namhun Lee

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2009)
M.S. Construction Management, University of Washington (2003)
B.E. Architectural Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Korea (1998)

Dissertation: A Framework for Developing New Visualization Schemes for Construction Project Performance Monitoring

Currently: Professor, Construction Management, School of Engineering, Science, & Technology, Central Connecticut State University

Research interests when at UW: What convinced me to join this Ph.D. program is its interdisciplinary nature. I believe that major advances in research and discovery will be made at the interfaces between disciplines. I am interested in information visualization that applies AR (Augmented Reality) technology and HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) concept to the CM (Construction Management) domain. Construction information visualization provides better understanding of ongoing construction projects to project participants. Using information visualization system, project team members are able to better analyze actual project status in the dynamic environment, make more informed decisions, and take timely corrective actions for a project’s success. My research focuses on Intelligent Construction Information System, Augmented Reality in Construction, and Innovative Games and Simulations for Construction Education.


Wonil Lee

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2018)
M.S. Occupational and Environmental Exposure Sciences, University of Washington (2018)
M.S. Civil Engineering, Carnegie-Mellon University (2011)
B.S. Architectural Engineering, Yonsei University, Korea (2008)

Dissertation: Use of Wearable Sensors to Unveil Roles of Task Demands-Personal Resources and Burnout on Performance of Construction Workers

Currently: Ergonomist, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

Research interests when at UW: My dissertation study focused on understanding how task demands and personal resources affect construction workers’ performance. It introduces a method for applying wearable sensors to human-resource management in construction. The key contribution of this work is a scientific approach to evaluate construction workers’ physical strain and psychological stress and assess the effects of such phenomena on task- and individual-level performance.


Kuei-Hsien Liao

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012))
LEED Accredited Professional (2004)
Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania (2003)
Bachelor of Arts in Economics, National Taiwan University (NTU), Taipei, Taiwan (1996)

Dissertation: The Dynamics and Resilience of River Cities as Coupled Human-Natural Systems

Currently: Associate Professor, the Graduate Institute of Urban Planning, National Taipei University, Taiwan

Research interests when at UW: Many riverine cities across the globe have long histories of fighting the rivers for development. As a means to prevent the city from flooding, flood defense infrastructure (including river engineering works and the stormwater drainage networks) has become an integral part of urban river dynamics. At the expense of the health of the urban rivers, current flood infrastructure fails to even provide safety. This reveals how poorly we understand the dynamics of rivers and watersheds, and also calls for a re-examination of the fundamental assumptions behind the design of modern hydrological infrastructures and even cities.

Many environmental problems humans face today derive from our ignorance of the complex nature of the systems we are dealing with. Modern cities continue to suffer from flooding because we treat the river as a simple hydraulic system and use a simple solution to deal with flooding: getting the water out of the way as soon as possible. Flooding, however, is a subject of synergistic effects of both human and natural factors. It is important to recognize that the river in the urbanized watershed is not totally “natural,” in the sense that it is a phenomenon emerging out of complex interactions between natural and human processes—it is a coupled human and natural system.

My dissertation research is toward understanding urban rivers as coupled human and natural systems and urban flooding as a complex phenomenon, exploring the feedback loop among urban flood-defense infrastructure, flood disasters, perception of floods, and river health. I am also investigating spatial strategies that could reduce flood disasters and enhance/restore the health of urban rivers. Essentially, I intend to conduct interdisciplinary research that integrates urban design, ecohydrology (environmental flows), and flood management.


Yue Liu

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2019)
M. Building Science, University of Southern California (2013)
B.Arch., Hunan University, China (2011)

Dissertation: Computing Long-term Daylighting Simulations from High Dynamic Range Imagery Using Deep Neural Networks

Research interests when at UW: My research interests include daylighting, energy conservation analysis in buildings, and building envelope systems.


Joshua J. Miller

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2010)
M.U.P. University of Washington (2005)
B.A. Community, Regional and Environmental Studies, Bard College (1997)

Dissertation: Cyborg Love, Critical Mass and Possibility: Enacting the Right to the City

Currently: Program Manager, Cascade Bicycle Club

Research interests when at UW: I’ve had a long and abiding interest in what I like to call “human/land interactions,” in objection to the dichotomization of human and nature. This human/land interplay is a critical nexus for issues of ecology, human justice, interspecies justice and therefore land use planning and the design of the built environment. I have several current research interests including: regional planning, bicycle transportation planning (the subject of my master’s thesis), the relationships between behavior and environment (the topic of my thesis research on bicycle transportation in Gothenburg, Sweden), visual elements of representational theory and environmental justice. I have used a combination of quantitative (e.g. GIS and statistical analysis) and qualitative (e.g. historical and visual) methods in past research and continue to employ that hybrid approach in my present work. My work has also combined visual methods with the more conventional academic medium of words. Most of the visual representations that I have incorporated into my academic writings are either photographs or diagrammatic sketches including: conceptual models, functional models and graphic renderings of place and space. Presently I am engaged in a new effort to work with and study film and video media. My work has been strongly informed by a Lefebvrean approach to understanding the production of space.


Yohan Min

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2022)
M.S. Engineering, Purdue University
B.S. Engineering, Ajou University

Dissertation: Clean Energy Justice: Clean Energy Access and Vulnerable Communities toward Just Energy Transition

Currently: Postdoctoral Scholar, Dartmouth College

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Ashish Nangia

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2008)
M.A. École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville, Paris, France (2003)
B.Arch. School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India (1999)

Dissertation: Re-locating modernism: Chandigarh, Le Corbusier and the global postcolonial

Research interests when at UW: My doctoral dissertation at the University of Washington lies within the architectural history canon that posits a multi-centered conception of architectural that conceptualizes modernity as a fragmented narrative Within this conceptual framework the dissertation analyses Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh by tracing/extending the roots of the city’s history into the 19th century, by positing alternate and equally valid modernisms that develop concurrently with Le Corbusier’s CIAM plan, and finally by chronicling the city’s leap “beyond” modernism into the 21st century. To this effect my theoretical investigation is grounded in scholarship as varied as the Subaltern studies project, Gayatri Spivak’s critiques of postcolonial thought, and Claude Lévi-Strauss’s structuralism, Roland Barthes and Joseph Campbell’s re-invention of modern mythologies.


Jeff Ottesen

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2019)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Brigham Young University (1991)
M.S. Civil Engineering, Texas A&M (1992)

Dissertation: CPM Schedule Density: A New Predictor for Productivity Loss

Research interests when at UW: Professional experience in civil engineering, planning, CPM scheduling, construction management and dispute resolution services. Research interests in advances in CPM scheduling and productivity analyses, and in construction law and contracts.


Paula Patterson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2009)
M.Arch., University of Washington (2003)
B.F.A. (photography), University of Utah (1992)

Dissertation: The Architecture of the Poetic Image: the visible and the invisible in the sacred architecture of Sigurd Lewerentz

Currently: Adjunct Faculty, Parsons School of Design; architect, Formactiv; founder, BKNYdesign

Research interests when at UW: My research examines the poetic image as found in the sacred architecture of Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz in relation to the late writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Lewerentz was born in 1885 and practiced architecture in Sweden from 1911 until his death in 1975. His work is largely comprised of cemeteries and funerary chapels and is most noted for two churches; St. Mark’s (1960) and St. Peter’s (1966), realized in the final years of his life. Together with Gunnar Asplund, he submitted the winning proposal for the 1914-1915 competition for a new cemetery to be built outside of Stockholm on the site of a former gravel quarry. In 1994, Skogskyrkogården, or Woodland Cemetery as it is has come to be known internationally, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lewerentz went on to complete some eighteen proposals for cemeteries throughout Sweden, nearly half of which were realized.

My dissertation is theoretically grounded in phenomenology, a movement within Continental Philosophy contemporary with Lewerentz’s work that was motivated by a desire to show that our experience of concrete phenomena lies at the center of our knowledge and understanding of the world. Its specific focus is the argument made by Merleau-Ponty in The Visible and the Invisible (1964) that meaning and ideas are given only through concrete phenomena. This runs counter to notions favored throughout the history of Western Philosophy that traditionally give eidos or ideas priority over phenomena. Lewerentz’s approach to architecture manifests a remarkable affinity for the ideas set forth by Merleau-Ponty and together their work offers a compelling body of evidence for the argument that imagination plays an essential role in the generation of meaning.


Julie Poncelet

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2013)
MSc.Pl. Urban Planning, University of Toronto (2001)
B.A. Human Geography & Urban Studies, University of British Columbia (1999)

Dissertation: A Community-Based Grassroots Organization in the South Bronx as a Catalyst for Youth Organizing and Activism: Analyzing the Dynamics of a Transformative Youth Program

Currently: Independent Evaluation & Learning Consultant Focused on Social Justice, Education, & Development; Lecturer, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Research interests when at UW: During my studies at the University of Toronto, I worked primarily on urban design issues and youth participatory planning processes, integrating the two in my current issues paper on Skateboard Park planning and designing. After completing my Masters in Urban Planning, I worked at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission as a policy planner in the Strategic Planning and Policy Division. At the Planning Commission, my work focused primarily on public open space, parks, and recreation. I was also involved with the School District of Philadelphia’s capital budget program.

My current interests remain focused on urban youth, participatory planning, and open public spaces. Specifically, I hope to explore the cultural conflicts that arise from the use, design, control, and identity of urban spaces. I am interested in the production, preservation, and meaning of public space as it relates to urban youth. Central to my current studies are the issues of behavior, marginality, regulations, and rights relative to public spaces. In my professional experiences as an Urban Planner I encountered few instances in which youth were actively sought to participate in the development or revitalization of public spaces. Most policy-makers seem to have a limited desire to understand the reasons for conflict and the meanings of space to youth. I want to better understand the spatial dimensions of cultural conflicts of youth and public spaces.


Lucky Pratama

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2023)
M.S. Construction Management, University of Washington (2015)
B.Engr., Andalas University, Indonesia (2012)

Dissertation: Immersive Virtual Reality Prototype for Evaluating 4D CAD Model

Currently: Assistant Professor, Technology and Construction Management, Missouri State University

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Jayde Lin Roberts

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2011)
M.A. China Studies, University of Washington (2004)
B.A. Architecture, UC Berkeley (1993)

Dissertation: Tracing the Ethos of the Sino-Burmese in the Urban Fabric of Yangon, Burma (Myanmar).

Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation Among the Sino-Burmese was published by the University of Washington Press in 2016.

Currently: Senior Lecturer, Architecture, University of New South Wales

Research interests when at UW: My Ph.D. research explored the locality/ies of identity in the translocal Chinese diaspora, focusing specifically on the Chinese-Burmese in Yangon (Rangoon) Chinatown, and in Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar. What is the relationship between the overseas Chinese sense of identity and their sense and construction of place?

As a Chinese-American who was born in Taiwan and grew up in Southern California, the confusion and potential of transnational and translocal interactions have been potent forces in my life. These forces not only affected me individually, compelling me to question my own identity, they are constantly manifesting themselves in the built environment. How and why do cities or districts take on new forms or acquire new identities? What are the forces behind these changes?

Before returning to school in 2002, I was a simultaneous and consecutive interpreter (Mandarin and English) in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and a facilitator for participatory and team building processes.


Barbara Rodriguez Droguett

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2019)
M.S. Landscape Architecture Urban Ecology, State University of New York (2011)
M.P.A., Syracuse University (2011)
B.Arch. Building Technology, Universidad de Chile

Dissertation: Embodied Carbon of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigerants (HVAC+R) Systems

Research interests when at UW: My research interests lie at the intersection between building technologies and industrial ecology. In particular, I am interested in the application of whole building life cycle assessment to assess embodied carbon in building systems. Additionally, I am interested in understanding how data science can contribute to enhancing design practice in the built environment.


Ozge Sade

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)
M.S. History of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University (2005)
B.Arch. Istanbul Technical University (2002)

Dissertation: A Fragmented Memory Project: Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums in Turkey, 1960–1980

Currently: Faculty, Interior Architecture, Cornish College of the Arts

Research interests when at UW: My general field of interest is the history and theory of modern architecture. In the Built Environment PhD program, I have been exploring new ways to understand modern architecture through interdisciplinary perspectives. Critical of the conventional historiographies of modern architecture that produced discourses based on the Western male architect as the heroic creator, I am developing ways to understand the built environment in relation to the complex processes of creation with multiple participants. Cultural criticism, feminism, and cosmopolitanism constitute the theoretical basis of my studies. In addition, I am interested in the links between the critique of modernity in the postwar period and the transnational conceptions of the contemporary construction scene.

My doctoral dissertation is an interdisciplinary project engaging in museum studies, cultural studies, and the history of the built environments. It focuses on the provincial museums in Turkey. I analyze these peripheral modern structures in relation to the identity discourse and the politics of remembrance. Instead of looking for the confirmation of dominant historical narratives on monumental central museums, I seek to explore the ‘hidden’ memories that were left out of modern historiographies by analyzing provincial museums.


Adnya Sarasmita

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2019)
M.S. Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa (2014)
Sarjana Teknik (Strata I) Arch., University of Brawijaya (2010)

Dissertation: Processes of Everyday Resilience: The Reassembling of Informal Street Vending in Urban Spaces of Malang, Indonesia

Currently: Assistant Planner, The Urban Collaborative

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Luming Shang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2019)
M.S. Construction Management, Columbia University (2014)
B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Jinan (2012)

Dissertation: Achieving Public Agency Goals in Public-Private Partnerships Using Innovative Payment Mechanisms

Research interests when at UW: I am interested in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and project financing. I conduct quantitative research using advanced data analytics and machine learning models. My research is currently focused on developing automated decision-making models for PPP projects; quantifying the impact of sustainability policy on commercial real estate; developing a natural language processing (NLP) program to extract data from project learned-lessons; and building an online knowledge-base.


JeongWook Son

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2011)
M.S. in Civil Engineering (Construction Management), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006)
M.S. in Architectural Engineering (Construction Management), Yonsei University, Korea (2004)
B.S. in Architectural Engineering, Yonsei University, Korea (1999)

Dissertation: An integrated model of evolution of project teams in large-scale construction projects

Currently: Assistant Professor, Architectural Engineering, Ewha Womans University, South Korea

Research interests when at UW: My primary research agenda relates to “understanding the impact of organizational dynamics on project performance from a complex system viewpoint.” In large-scale projects, no single organization has a complete knowledge of all processes and the success of the project rests in the effectiveness of teamwork. However, collaborative practices of project stakeholders during construction projects have not received much attention even though they have been found to have a substantial impact on project performance. In this regard, in my doctoral dissertation I have focused on understanding how organizational dynamics in large-scale construction project teams can affect project planning and control processes and ultimately project performance. I developed an agent-based simulation (ABS) of project teams which is powered by game theory, social network analysis (SNA), and human-behavior models.

I am also interested in developing ways to enhance construction education through information and communication technologies (ICT). Construction education has mostly relied on one-way transference of instructors’ knowledge to students through traditional media such as textbooks and lecture slides. However, practical knowledge could be more effectively acquired in experiential situations. ICT, such as virtual 3d video games, can help create and experience semi-experiential situations in classrooms. Accordingly, I developed a 3d video game, called Safety Inspector, where students train themselves for safety issues in a virtual construction site. Students who assume the roles of safety inspectors in the game explore a virtual site to identify potential hazards and learn from the contents of feedback created by the game as a result of students’ input.


Tyler S. Sprague

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2013)
M.S. Civil Engineering (Structural Emphasis), University of Washington (2006)
B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Berkeley (2003)

Dissertation: Expressive Structure: The Life and Work of Matthew Nowicki

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Washington

See Tyler Sprague’s faculty page at the Department of Architecture


Nan-Ching Tai

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2010)
M.Arch., University of Washington (2002)
B.S. in Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering, National Taiwan University (1996)

Dissertation: Role of Light in Real and Pictorial Spaces: A Computational Framework to Investigate Scene-Based Luminance Distributions and Their Impact on Depth Perception

Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Interaction Design, National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan

Research interests when at UW: After completing his master’s degree, Nan-Ching Tai practiced at local architecture firms and began to teach architectural graphics and design courses at UW Department of Architecture. He has a passion for freehand sketching and has been promoting sketching analytically as an effective native visual language tool to learn from the encountered built environment. He sees computer graphics as an advanced common visual language that can communicate an imaginary space with everyone involved in the design and construction process. He is committed to modularized digital technology to form a pipeline network that allows different modules to form suitable workflow for each particular design task. While working on his Ph.D., Tai developed a computational framework to generate a pictorial space that reflects the perceptual reality, and utilized it as an alternative environment to conduct perceptual study on space perception that is otherwise restricted from the physical environment. His research interest includes: High Dynamic Range Imagery, Lighting Simulation, Faithful Representation in Computer Graphics, and Space Perception in Real and Pictorial Spaces. He is currently a full-time assistant professor at Tamkang University.


James Thompson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment (2016)
M.Arch, University of Minnesota (2010)
B.A., Art and Pre-Architecture, Colby College (2006)

Dissertation: Becoming an Architect: Narratives of Architectural Education.

Currently: Lecturer in Teaching and Learning, Melbourne School of Design, Australia

Narratives of Architectural Education: From Student to Architect was published by Routledge in 2020.

Research interests: See his faculty page at the University of Melbourne.


Amber Trout

Ph.D. in the Built Environment (2014)
M.P.H., Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University
B.S. Microbiology, California State University, Long Beach

Dissertation: Neighborhood Networks and the Decision-Making Processes in a Distressed Social-Built Environment: A Case Study in Lake City (Seattle), Washington

Currently: Managing Associate, Community Science

Research interests when at UW: how neighborhoods can affect the individual’s psychosocial behavior and the use of smart growth to address built environment/social justice issues through community connectivity. See her profile page at Community Science.


Shannon K. Tyman

Ph.D., University of Washington (2023)
M.A. Environmental Studies, University of Oregon
B.A. Growth & Structure of Cities, Bryn Mawr College

Dissertation: Accessing The Alternative Food Movement: Considerations of Disability Justice in Seattle, WA

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)
M.Arch., University of Washington (2002)
B.S. in Architectural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2000)

Dissertation: Evaluating human visual preference and performance in an office environment using luminance-based metrics

Currently: Dean, College of Architecture, University of Nebraska

Research interests: see Dr. Van Den Wymelenberg’s page at the University of Nebraska.

Supasai Vongkulbhisal

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2022)
M.S. Arch. History/Theory, University of Washington (2016)
M.Arch. University of Texas (2012)
B.Arch. Silpakorn University (2008)

Dissertation: Than Samai in Modern Thai Architecture: Case Studies of Crypto-colonialism

Research interests when at UW: 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.


A. Meriwether Wilson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2009)
M.E.S. Coastal Resources and Anthropology,Yale University (1984)
B.A. Zoology & Botany Major; Minor Anthropology, Duke University (1981)

Dissertation: Environmental Change and Built Environments of the Marine Nearshore

Currently: Senior Lecturer in Marine Science and Policy, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh

Research interests when at UW: I pursued the Ph.D. in the Built Environment through the “Sustainable Systems and Prototypes” track. My research examines the influences of built environments on marine and coastal systems, and explores how human-created interventions can be ecologically positive rather than degenerative for long-term coastal-marine functioning. Examples include marine restoration opportunities that arise through the revitalization of urban waterfronts, and planning and design horizons to mitigate impacts of anticipated climate change in coastal-marine areas.

My interest in “built-environment” solutions as an avenue to enhance the functionality of marine ecosystems is an evolution from my career horizon of the last twenty years. I have worked as a coastal-marine ecologist, planner and policy strategist for various multi-national initiatives organizations (World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO, et al.) in over 30 countries, and remain an active member of the World Commission of Protected Areas. In spite of major strides in the marine conservation arena, most coastal and marine habitats are increasingly degraded and fragmented by human influences; therefore, it is urgent that we re-think and re-shape built environment paradigms to complement conservation efforts.

My course of study is collaborative between the College of Architecture, Urban Planning (BE) and the College of Oceanography / School of Marine Affairs, through which I pursued both the Ph.D. in the Built Environment and a Graduate Certificate in “Interdisciplinary and Policy Dimensions of the Earth Sciences.”


Shuang Wu

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2022)
M.S. Historic Preservation, University of Pennsylvania (2016)
B.Engr. Architectural Conservation, Tongji University (2013)

Dissertation: Assessing Resilience in the Spatial Patterns and Socio-ecological Functions of the Chengdu Plain

Research interests when at UW: 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.


Chiaoyen Yang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2014)
M.S. Building and Planning, National Taiwan University (2002)
B.A. Land Economics and Administration, National Chengchi University, (1998)

Dissertation: Cultural Resilience in Asian Heritage Preservation: the case of Lijiang (China) and Bagan (Burma)

Currently: Taipei, Taiwan

Research interests when at UW: cultural preservation and development in ethnic communities; community development, urban planning, environmental laws and policy, especially in Asian cities; community development studies; environmental protection and international network studies.


Ken Yocom

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2007)
M.L.A. Landscape Architecture, University of Washington (2002)
B.S. Vertebrate Zoology, Eastern Washington University (1996)

Dissertation: Building watershed narratives: two case studies of urban streams in Seattle, Washington

Currently: Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture, University of Washington

Research interests: See Ken Yocom’s faculty page at UW.


Zhenyu Zhang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2021)
M.S. Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chongqing University, China (2016)
B.Engr., Chongqing University, China (2013)

Dissertation: Participatory Ergonomics in Construction: Enabling Practice-to-Research-to-Practice via the 2SAFE Model

Autumn 2022: Assistant Professor, Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University

Research interests when at UW: 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.



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