Current Research Team

Current Research Team


Dr. John E. Taylor


JT is the Frederick Law Olmsted Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Lab. He specializes in investigating engineering network dynamics of industrial and societal importance. His current research focuses on; (1) achieving sustained energy conservation by coupling energy use with occupant networks and examining inter-building network phenomena in cities, and (2) understanding and improving response times by affected human networks during extreme events in urban areas. His research extends from developing virtual and augmented reality applications to collect and visualize urban scale data, to developing real-time interventions to improve urban sustainability and resilience. JT enjoys hanging out with his daughters, traveling and photographing the world, reading, running, cycling, and collecting/creating art.


Dr. Neda Madi

City Infrastructure Analytics Director

Neda is research faculty in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech, and currently the City Infrastructure Analytics Director in the Network Dynamics Lab at Georgia Tech. She holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, where she studied the dynamic interrelationships between space-time fluctuations of human mobility and energy use in urban areas. Her primary research is in the area of city infrastructure systems with a focus on human-infrastructure system interactions. She primarily explores the complexities of evolving human-infrastructure interrelationships and their space-time fluctuations to quantify, explain, predict, and enhance urban dynamics towards sustainable urbanization.

Zhangding Liu

PhD Student

Zhangding is a Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in Artificial Intelligence in Civil Engineering from Tongji University and had an interdisciplinary study there. Passionate about merging AI with civil engineering, Zhangding’s core research areas encompass automation and intelligence in infrastructure systems, mobile sensing for smart cities, low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency, risk assessment, and resilience development. Outside of his academic pursuits, Zhangding enjoys playing basketball, eating delicious food, and exploring new places with friends.

Margot Paez

PhD Student

Margot Paez is a Ph.D. student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She received her master’s in Physics from Georgia Tech. Her research utilizes real-world data and modeling to characterize, quantify, and forecast the climate impacts of the energy-intensive cryptocurrency data center industry. In particular, she wishes to advance our understanding of the industry’s effects on broader decarbonization goals of electrical grids and methane mitigation. Margot spends her free time playing mandolin, drawing photo-realistic portraits, and serving Savage Take Downs (TM) on Twitter-X.

Xiyu Pan

PhD Student

Xiyu is a PhD student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. He received his BE degree in Construction Management at Chongqing University and MS degree in management at Tongji University. Xiyu’s research vision is to improve human well-being in buildings and cities. He is interested in utilizing the smart city digital twin, crowd simulation, optimization, and other quantitative methods to develop technical solutions to city problems. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his cat, Panda, drinking bubble tea, and trying nice restaurants.

Michael Thomas

PhD Student

Michael is a PhD student in the Computational Science and Engineering program focusing on Civil and Environmental Engineering. Michael completed a BS in Mathematics from Kennesaw State University and an MS in Biostatistics from Drexel University. Michael’s work has focused on collaborating with state and city governments to describe public health issues ranging from the health of populations with disabilities to disease surveillance. His primary research interests include leveraging quantitative methods and multiple data sources to characterize public health phenomena. When not scratching his head in front of a computer, Michael can be found running, eating popcorn, or starting short-lived book clubs.

Jiajia Xie

PhD Student

Jiajia is a PhD student in the Computational Science and Engineering program with a focus on network science and computational modeling. He received an MS in Computational Science and Engineering from the school of ISyE at Georgia Tech and a BS in Economics from Presbyterian College. His research focuses on development of smart city digital twin systems that ingest real time data and the associated analytics to improve urban sustainability and resilience. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, basketball, and trips for food.

Donald Gee

Masters Student

Donald Gee is a student in the Masters of Sustainability, Energy and Environmental Management program and a Stamps Presidential Scholar at Georgia Tech. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech in the Spring of 2022. His current research is focused on a Digital Twin-based Framework for Development of Schools as Smart & Connected Community Resilience Hubs. Outside of school he is also a musician and comedian.

Pareese Pathak

Masters Student

Pareese is a master’s student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. He completed his B.Tech degree in Civil Engineering from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur. Pareese strongly believes that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics could be the key to bridging the gap between future construction and the current state of the art. Currently, his research revolves around two areas: (1) Developing an Augmented Reality (AR) framework for Columbus River rescue management, and (2) Exploring Computer Vision and Deep Learning for autonomous systems. Apart from his academic pursuits, Pareese enjoys playing cricket and visiting new places.

Nidhi Sonar

Masters Student

Nidhi is an MS student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. She received her B.Tech degree in Civil Engineering from Sardar Patel College of Engineering, University of Mumbai. Nidhi’s research is focused on integrating a psychological perspective in the research design of smart city digital twins while investigating techniques to validate the findings of the project. Her goal is to reinforce the importance of psychology in the design and construction sphere that will enable further research to have a humanistic rationale. In her free time, she likes to Netflix and Chill, read and explore new places.

Yueming Zhu

Masters Student

Yueming is a master’s student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. She earned her BE degree in Automation with a minor in Business Administration at Xi’an Jiaotong University. Yueming is working on the Smart River Safety project in Columbus, GA; applying machine learning methods to improve real-life civil infrastructure systems. In her spare time, she likes to cook (and always almost burns the kitchen down).