Spatial Dynamics Lab - People

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Dieter F. Kogler is the co-founder and academic director of the UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab.  He is an Associate Prof. in Economic Geography at the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. His research focus is on the geography of innovation and evolutionary economic geography, with particular emphasis on knowledge production and diffusion, and processes related to technological change, innovation, and economic growth.  Dr. Kogler is an ERC Starter Grant Holder with the following project title: Technology Evolution in Regional Economies (TechEvo). This is a 5-year, €1.5m research project withthe objective to produce a series of economic indicators, models and tools which will enable firms and policy makers, across Europe, to make more informed and better location-based investment decisions to boost innovation and drive regional prosperity; see here for further details. His career path combines professional, education and research experience acquired in Europe, the United States, and Canada within a variety of areas pertaining to the spatial analysis of socio-economic phenomena.  He is an Editor of Regional Studies and an Editorial Board member of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, both of which are highly regarded top-tier peer-reviewed journals concerned with research on the spatial dimensions of contemporary socio-economicprocesses. Further, Dr. Kogler is also an editor of the Economic Geography book series published by Springer. Since 2014 he is a Board Member (Conference and Events Coordinator) of the Regional Studies Association (RSA), which serves as a global forum forcity and regional research, development and policy, as well as an Associate Editor for the RSA’s interdisciplinary open access journal, Regional Studies, Regional Science. In 2016, he spent a period as a Visiting Professor at the Centre for North South Economic Research(CRENoS) at the University of Cagliari and University of Sassari in Sardinia, Italy.

For further information regarding ongoing projects, collaborations, and a full list of publications, please see: ResearchGate

Co - Director

Francesco Pilla’s area of expertise is geospatial analysis and modelling of environmental dynamics, which involve the development of environmental pollution models (air, noise, water) and decision support tools using a GIS platform, in order to facilitate the interoperability of input data and research outcomes between the client/final user and the research team. His work focuses on understanding complex environmental phenomena in order to preempt the impacts resulting from interactions between the human population and the environment. His approach integrates models for environmental pollution with a GIS platform: this is used to assess and predict impacts from built-environment interventions which have the potential to provide population-wide effects. He uses a range of pervasive and community sensing applications as a means of calibration and validation of GIS models and decision support tools.  In the context of iSCAPE, Francesco is working on the monitoring and evaluation of our interventionsand on simulating their effects in terms of air pollution.

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Project Manager

Santa Stibe is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with strong international credentials and experience in strategic relationship building and partnership strengthening in cross-cultural andinter-disciplinary environments. Santa has worked across different industries and has managed anumber of international, academia-led projects enhancing public- private- people partnerships in such domains as e-tourism, mobile healthcare and wellbeing. Santa holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of Latvia. Being a performance-driven professional, Santa is eager to evaluate and interpret the “complete picture”, zooming out to broader perspectives to bring the details that matter into sharp focus.

In the context of iSCAPE, Santa, being a part of the Project Coordinator team, manages and coordinates the Consortium activities.

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Research Fellows

Dr. Harutyun Shahumyan is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at UCD. He holds an Honours Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics from Yerevan State University and a Ph.D. in Statistical Modelling from the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Harut has over 9 years of post-doctoral experience at UCD focused on urban modelling, model integration, GIS and data analysis. He was avisiting researcher at University of Cambridge and at New Zealand Landcare Research. Previously, healso worked as a GIS and Data Management expert in USAID, Emerging Markets Group, PAConsulting and Development Alternatives Inc., and as a Data Scientists at Criteo.In 2014, Harut was awarded an EU FP7 Marie Curie International Fellowship and moved to the National Center of Smart Growth at the University of Maryland for two years. Here his GeoSInPoproject aimed to achieve a thorough understanding of the dynamic processes involved in urban and environmental models and different approaches for their integration. Harut integrated land use,transport and emissions models for the Baltimore-Washington Region and land use and water quality models for the Greater Dublin Region. Harut has been recently awarded another Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship from EDGE COFUNDaction to implement his project on Big Data Driven Geo-Spatial Models Supporting Public Health(BigDataGeoSuPH). This 3-year fellowship is based at UCD and the SFI CONNECT Centre strengthened through industry collaborations with IBM. The BigDataGeoSuPH project aims to reduce asthma burden in Ireland through the machine learning algorithms and predictive modelling using data from city-wide air quality, weather, and traffic monitoring sensors as well as the crowd-sourced data from an asthma tracking mobile devices.  Harut has over 50 publications and his research interests are broad in scope but centre on the areas of GIScience, geospatial technologies, Spatial Decision Support Systems, Citizen Science, Smart Cities and Big Data.

Post-doctoral Research Fellows

Salem S. Gharbia is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Urban & Regional Planning Department at University College Dublin (UCD). Integrated environmental dynamic systems modelling using GIS platform and Machine Learning Techniques is his main field of interest. Salem is a civil engineer and has a master degree in water and environmental sciences, in addition to a postgraduate diploma in statistics. His PhD developed an integrated modelling platform (GEO-CWB) to address and quantify future water vulnerability in large catchments. He has an extensive background with over five years ofexperience in the fields of integrated environmental systems modelling, hydrology, air quality, statistics and mathematical modelling. Besides, his academic background, as part of his work career he involved in several international trans-boundary environmental projects.  In the context of iSCAPE, Salem, as part of his Post-doctoral Research Fellow, is working on the guidelines to promote passive methods for improving urban air quality under climate change conditions, in addition, to the process of applying, monitoring and evaluation of physical PCS interventions.

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PhD Candidates

Enrica E. Pinca is a PhD candidate in Geography at UCD. She graduated (Summa cum Laude in International Cooperation, and Development in the Faculty of Statistical Science at University of Bologna, Italy. Her research interests have been mainly focused on innovation dynamics and local development, as well as on statistical programming methodologies and data manipulation. Currently, her research is focused on knowledge creation and knowledge flows in EU. The aim is to assess how different typologies of knowledge flows influence regional economic evolution in Europe and what kind of relationship exists among regional characteristics and the effectiveness of such flows in favouring innovation.

Adam Whittle is a final year Ph.D. candidate in the School of Geography, University College Dublin.  His research interests are primarily as an evolutionary economic geographer.In particular, his research focuses on evolutionary connotations of knowledge creation anddiffusion, regional economic development, knowledge complexity, network analysis and datavisualisation techniques.  Before starting his Ph.D. he held an internship (9 months) as an economic policy analyst for Forfàs, now the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.  He currently holds two research scholarships. The first is a Ph.D. Teaching Assistantship Scholarship funded by the School of Geography, (Sep 2014 – Sep 2018). The second is a Government of Ireland Research Scholarship, in Science Policy and Innovation funded by Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland (Sep 2015 - Sep 2018). He has also spent time as a visiting research at the Department of Human Geography & Planning, Utrecht University (January 2017 – May 2017).

Arianna Valmassoi is a PhD student at the University College of Dublin, School of Architecture and Environmental Policy, with experience in atmospheric physics’ modelling and computer programming.  Arianna has organized, in secondary schools, speeches as science communicator, with as a focus the understanding of the climate system and the climate change.  Arianna has a Master’s degree in Earth Physics from the University of Bologna, with an award for the best 2015/2016 agrometeorological thesis. In the context of iSCAPE,  Arianna, being a PhDstudent, focuses on the scientific deliverables in the view of the climate and climate change, as well as helping with scientific programming.

Nadine Galle studied environmental sciences and biology at the University of Toronto and the National University of Singapore ( B.Sc. Honours ), before obtaining her Master’s degree in Earth Sciences ( cum laude )at the University of Amsterdam. Her interest in global issues and experience in communicating across cultures have since led her to work on sustainability projects on five continents. Her Ph.D. at University College Dublin focuses on measuring the effectiveness of various nature-based solutions and their place in the resilient,regenerative, and circular cities of the future. Currently, Nadine works as a consultant and lead educator at Metabolic .She set out as project manager of Metabolic Lab, the company's experimental showcase of applied circular urban development at De Ceuvel in Amsterdam. Beyond Metabolic Lab, she is actively involved with the infrastructure development in Buiksloterham, the world’s first circular neighbourhood and a globally-recognized urban living laboratory.

Bernardo Buarque is a first-year doctoral student working for the Spatial Dynamics Lab at the University College Dublin.  Interested in complex and interdisciplinary problems, he always sought to comprehend the multifaceted topic of economics from numerous perspectives. He has receiveda master's degree from the University of Amsterdam where he specialized in behavioral/experimental economics and game theory.  Likewise, he spent a semester at the University of Sussex where he attended modules at the Science Policy Research Unit, and during his undergraduate degree, he worked as a research assistant for the Office of Environmental Studies at the Fundacao Joaquim Nabuco (FUNDAJ) in Brazil. Bernardo is now working on the European Research Council project on Technology Evolution in Regional Economics (TechEvo). The primary focus of his research is to examine the determinants of technological innovation through an evolutionary game theory setup.

Fabrizio Fusillo is a PhD student in Economics in the Vilfredo Pareto Doctorate Program at Università degli studi di Torino and Collegio Carlo Alberto. He is currently a visiting PhD in the Spatial Dynamics Lab at University College Dublin. Fabrizio received his Master Degree in Corporate Finance and Financial Markets form the Università di Pisa and his Master of Arts in Economics and Complexity from the Collegio Carlo Alberto. His research activity mainly focuses on the use of network analysis instruments to analyze the generation of new technological knowledge and innovations, both at the firm and regional level. For his doctoral thesis, he is currently working on evaluating the impact of environmental policies on green technologies, through a dynamic network analysis of firm collaborations, and on the differential evolution patterns of green technologies in European Region.

Francesco Matacchiera is a PhD student at the University College of Dublin, School of Architecture and Environmental Policy, with experience in atmospheric physics and hydraulic modelling. Francesco has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Polytechnic of Bari and a Master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering from Polytechnic of Turin. Francesco occupied a part-time involvement in the Laboratory of Hydraulics, explaining the main processes of fluid mechanics to undergraduate students. Francesco cooperated with the University of Southampton and the Technical University of Denmark to carry on his MSc thesis in Atmospheric dispersion modelling. In the context of iSCAPE, Francesco focuses on the effect of passive methods for improving urban air quality under climate change conditions, analyzing the influence of Low Boundary Walls (LBW) on air quality concerning street and neighborhood scales, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

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Waleed is lecturer at Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, (TVTC) Saudi Arabia. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Building Technology from King Saud University and a Master of Science in Intelligent Buildings from University of Reading. In his master’s thesis he worked with an icon who called the Father of Intelligent Buildings, Professor Derek Clements-
      Currently Waleed is pursuing his PhD in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental policy at UCD. His research is an inquiry into strengthening building codes and standards in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the pursuit of a sustainability agenda. Waleed is interested in Islamic and traditional architecture, post-modern architecture and smart buildings with new technologies. Prior coming to Dublin he was an active member of the Coordinating Committee of the Saudi Council of Engineers.

In UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, Sheila is currently completing her PhD thesis which explores the determinants of travel behaviour for non-work journey purposes. She is particularly interested not only in the land-use transport interactions but also the role of attitudes, preferences and social norms in influencing daily travel patterns. Prior to undertaking her PhD studies she completed an MSc in Sustainable Development. This led to developing research interests in urban and regional planning and scenario analysis using the MOLAND dynamic land-use change model as part of the Urban Environment Project. Associated research projects have considered transport planning, drinking water quality management, urban biodiversity and energy efficiency.
She has many years experience as a research manager on national, and international projects working with partners in the EU, US and New Zealand in both pre and post award. She especially enjoys working in interdisciplinary contexts. Her PhD work is funded via the Earth and Natural Sciences PhD programme managed by UCD Earth Institute.

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