• Current lab members

    PhD fellows

    Alec Biehl

    Researching active mobility

    I credit my decision to pursue a PhD in the domain of travel behavior analysis to two primary influences. First, it is the extension of my undergraduate education in mathematics and geography, which I sought to combine meaningfully in developing my career. Second, as the son of a civil engineer and early childhood educator, I have been shaped by my parents’ passions for transportation and teaching.

    Broadly speaking, my research interests are rooted in the notion that the evolution of transportation, both as a discipline and a practice, hinges on the successful adaptation of theoretical frameworks and statistical methods originating from psychology, sociology, and public health to align with societal demands. A concrete manifestation of this conceptual union is the emerging Mobility-as-a-Service phenomenon. Hence much of my current work focuses on the implementation of stage-based behavior change theory, namely the Transtheoretical Model, to investigate the determinants of engagement levels in active mobility; these include objective (e.g. gender, race, income) and subjective (identity, norms, environmental spatial ability) variables. I am also interested in the role of bike-sharing systems as a conduit of improved accessibility and equity for different neighborhoods and communities.

    Outside of my scholarly pursuits, I am an avid reader, with much of my attention given to the fantasy genre. My favorite novels include The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, and The Bone People by Keri Hulme. Additionally, one of my life pursuits is to visit as many of the world’s national parks as possible, as there is almost nothing as satisfying as a day cogitating about life while surrounded by nature’s wonders.

    Aymeric Punel

    Researching crowd logistics and user behavior

    Aymeric is a PhD student imported from France, who grew up in Normandie, next to Giverny, the village of Claude Monet.
    Aymeric's research is part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on developing intelligence for smart CROwdsourced Urban Delivery (CROUD) system, also known as crowd-shipping. Crowd-shipping is an innovative way of parcel delivery involving the crowd. It is based on the concept of matching customers willing to send a package with occasional drivers who accept to do a detour along their planned route to take and deliver the parcel. Aymeric's work focuses on people's behavior and acceptance toward using such a system. With Amanda, he developed a survey to understand crowd-shipper's motivation, as well as to to identify the factors of the system that drive consumer preferences and acceptance of crowd-shipping. Data from the survey allow them to derive discrete choice models, as well a to get insights on crowd-shipper's behavior characteristics and on individuals' personal motivations for using this system. Aymeric is also working with real data coming from a crowd-shipping company's database. Recent work includes the dynamic prediction of a package status by designing random forest models.
    Aymeric's areas of interests are data analytics, network science, social media, as well as travel demand modeling. At Northwestern, he is the founder and president of the Transportation Club, and was previously in the board of the Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council (GLAC), Graduate International Student Association (G-ISA), and McCormick Graduate Leadership Council (MGLC). Aymeric is passionate by the world of aviation and the airline industry. This passion is to link with his appetite for flying and traveling all around the world. His favorite places are Galapagos Islands, Norwegian Fjords, and Japan. He also likes going to EDM concerts and festivals, is a swimming addict, and cannot spend one week without eating sushi.
  • Former lab members

    Post-doctoral researcher

    Alireza Ermagun

    We wish Alireza the best in his new position!