• Current lab members

    PhD fellows

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    Maher Nizar Said

    Innovative Goods delivery solutions: Automation, Behavior Analysis

    For his dissertation Maher will study how innovative automated delivery technologies will be received in society. The overarching goal of his thesis work is to build choice modeling foundations for novel delivery technology adoption. Stake-holders at all layers of future supply chains will be called to interact with automated technologies to move goods from sender to receiver. Understanding the barriers and segment-differences in the path to acceptance is a critical first objective to lead the way for this transformation.


    Additionally, Maher has also been involved in the industry as a Transport Planner & Traffic Engineer, working on a variety of projects involving design and analysis of traffic signals, intersections, pedestrian pathways, highways, residential and commercial developments and others.


    Maher defended his PhD dissertation in May 2023 and will go on to work as a Data Scientist at Wisk.

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    Elisa Borowski

    Researching mobility resilience


    Elisa researches the impacts of crowdsourced mobility on the resilience of cities to natural hazards and disasters. Through culturally-tuned advancements in discrete choice modeling, the application of sociological theories, and consideration of emotional influences, she examines mobility decision-making during disruptive events. In doing so, she hopes to develop community-tailored resilience strategies not only for large-scale, sudden-onset disasters but also smaller-scale hazards compounded by the chronic stresses of cities and communities. She is interested in exploring mixed-methods approaches for data collection through surveys, ethnographies, and focus groups, analyzed along with large datasets using choice modeling, network analysis, and data analytics.


    Elisa is a recipient of the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. She was raised in New Mexico where she cultivated an academic foundation in structural engineering, evolutionary anthropology, and creative writing, in addition to a love of green chile and vast arid landscapes. She is a library-inhabiting, notebook-filling, puzzle-pondering board game enthusiast with a passion for stories and road trips. She dreams of pursuing a career as a lifelong researcher and writer, contributing to hazard and disaster research centers and United Nations agencies dedicated to disaster management.


    Elisa defended her thesis in december 2023 and will begin her new position as Assistant Professor at UC Irvine.

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    Jason Soria

    Ridesourcing and Sharing: Impacts and Policy Solutions

    The goal of Jason’s research is to understand the role that emerging micro-transit services and ride-hailing mobility platforms play in the overall transportation system to help decision-makers create better plans. These services, along with novel forms of delivery and continuous technological innovation, offers opportunities for cities to tackle congestion but also run the risk of producing unintended effects such as reducing active mobility and transit use, or excluding underserved users.


    Jason graduated in 2022 and currently works at Georgia Tech University.

  • Graduated (former) lab members

    PhD. Graduates

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    Aymeric Punel

    Researching crowd logistics and user behavior

    Aymeric joined our PhD program from France, where he grew up in Normandie, next to Giverny, the village of Claude Monet.

    Aymeric's research at NU was 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. Aymeric's work focused on acceptability and behavioral responses to crowd-sourced logistics systems. He used choice experiment as well as real data coming from a crowd-shipping company's operations. His recent work includes social network modelling, driver bidding strategies and 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 was 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.


    Aymeric currently works with the Boston Consulting Group as a Senior Data Analyst.

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    Alec Biehl

    Researching active mobility

    Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Alec investigates travel behavior change processes and market segmentation strategies regarding the adoption of active modes and emerging mobility services. The overall message of his research is that policy design should incorporate more psychological and sociological concepts—such as identity construction, normative influence, and lifestyle orientations—to more effectively address environmental and social sustainability in relation to transportation. Accordingly, one could say that he is interested in fostering connected and autonomous individuals, as opposed to vehicles, within the sharing economy, which has important quality-of-life ramifications for both physical and social communities.


    Outside of research, Alec serves on the executive boards of Northwestern’s Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council and the Social and Economic Factors of Transportation committee of the Transportation Research Board. His life motto is “never stop exploring,” which he practices through frequent visits to new coffee shops as well as natural areas for hiking excursions. Additionally, he is an avid fantasy and science fiction reader, with his personal library growing at a rate of 15 books per year.


    Alec held a position at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee as a Postdoctoral Researcher and currently works as a Senior Performance Analyst at MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority)

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    Alireza Ermagun -- former post-doc

    We wish Alireza the best in his new position.