Who We Are

Faculty and Staff

Subhro Guhathakurta, Director

Subhro Guhathakurta joined Georgia Tech in 2011 as the director of the Center for Geographic Information Systems, which is now the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization. He is the newly appointed chair of the School of City and Regional Planning, where he is also a professor. He was previously associate director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University (ASU) and among the founding faculty members of ASU’s School of Sustainability. Subhro was instrumental in developing the Urban Modeling and Simulation Lab in ASU’s College of Design.

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Tony Giarrusso, Associate Director

Tony Giarrusso is associate director of the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga. His teaching, research, and consulting activities focus on GIS-based planning solutions for land conservation, public health, alternative energy, coastal and marine resources, and environmental protection.

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Nickolas L. Faust, Resident Scholar and Advisory Board Member

Nickolas (Nick) Faust is the head of the Image Analysis and Visualization Branch Electro-Optics, Environment and Materials Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. He serves on a variety of scientific panels and committees. He was the co-chair of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)-Commission II Working Group on hardware and software aspects of GIS. He was elected to the Space Technology Hall of Fame (1993) for his pioneering efforts in helping create the ELAS image processing software.

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Ramachandra Sivakumar, Senior Research Engineer

Ramachandra Sivakumar (Siva) is a senior research engineer in the Center. He has more than 17 years of comprehensive experience in GIS and Information Technology. His expertise includes web-based GIS application design and development, network management, database management, and system administration. His recent projects include design and development of a GIS database for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, developing a GIS framework for MEAG Power’s Location Georgia group, and developing an enterprise GIS plan for the city of Albany, Ga.

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Zhaohua Wang, Senior Research Engineer

Zhaohua Wang received his Ph.D. from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1998. As a visiting scholar, he joined the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2001. He joined the Center as a research engineer II in 2007 and was promoted to a senior research engineer in 2011. During the past 10 years, he has been continuously conducting research and development in the fields of highway pavement management systems; highway pavement condition assessment using sensor technology; roadway asset inventory and management systems; and application of GIS/GPS and Information Technology for pavement rehabilitation and design.

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Gordon Zhang, Research Scientist

Gordon Zhang is a research scientist at the Center. He received his Ph.D. from Zhejiang University in 2013. His expertise is in landscape ecology, spatial hydrology and watershed systems, land use/cover changes and modeling, spatial optimization and decision support systems, geographic information sciences, environmental management and planning, and planning support web-application development.

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Miroslav Malesevic, Digital Designer

Miroslav Malesevic is a digital designer and a researcher at the IMAGINE (Interactive Media Architecture Group in Education) Lab at the Center and the College of Design. He graduated from the College of Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Belgrade, Serbia. Prior to joining the IMAGINE Lab, Miroslav was a 3D- and visual-effects artist working on various projects ranging from architectural visualization to movies.

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Noah Posner, Research Scientist

Noah Posner graduated from Georgia Tech in 2013 with degrees in industrial design and mechanical engineering. He currently works in the IMAGINE Lab. His expertise is in 3D modeling, visualization, and physical prototyping.

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Stephanie Merrick, Administrative Professional Senior

Stephanie Merrick provides administrative support to the director of the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization in the College of Design. She works with faculty, students, and human resources to streamline and continue to build on processes that support the research center. Her focus is on, though not limited to, budgeting for the center, hiring students, working with the visiting scholars, provide teaching assistance, travel and expense tracking, and event planning.

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Advisory Board

Mike Carnathan

A researcher with the Alanta Regional Commission, Mike Carnathan’s extensive background in geographic information systems at ARC and local government make him a key asset to the Center's metropolitan planning issues.

Eric Conklin

Eric Conklin is the assistant administrator for the Office of Transportation Data with the Georgia Department of Transportation. This office is focused on the development and integration of GIS centric data including data design, collection, authentication, analysis, and display of data in support of state and federal reporting and several of the agency’s asset management systems and public services. He has more than 27 years of practical professional GIS experience centered on transportation at the local and state levels, including development of the initial E-911 system for the City of Indianapolis and development of the linear referencing system for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

David DiBiase

Leader of Esri’s education outreach team and longstanding proponent of the professionalization of the GIS field, David DiBiase has more than 25 years of experience using geographic information systems in both academia and the private sector. David’s connections to Esri, the leading supplier of GIS software and applications, and education are well-suited to help us continue our development as leaders in GIS.

Sonny Emmert

Sonny Emmert works for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, where he has been for more than 10 years. He works within the Coastal Resources Division in the Coastal Management Program where he oversees the division’s geospatial applications, land conservation, and public access initiatives. Sonny has been involved with several projects over his tenure ranging from coastal hazards assessments to land conservation and green growth initiatives. He is also a part of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team where he pilots and handles post processing of the data.

Lilly Immergluck

Lilly Immergluck is a pediatrician, an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Pediatrics and the Director of the Pediatric Clinical Translational Research Core at the Clinical Research Center at Morehouse School of Medicine. She also is an adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University and is Research Director for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Associates in Atlanta. In 2015, she was awarded a five-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to apply geospatial statistical modeling to understand the impact of socio-environmental factors that affect the transmission and spread of community-associated antibiotic resistance infections in otherwise healthy children.

Billy Bachman
Director of Geospatial Services and a Senior Project Director at Westat

Tim Keane
Commissioner, Department of City Planning, Atlanta

Greg Levine
Co-Executive Director and Chief Program Officer of Trees Atlanta

Our Students

Our students are an invaluable asset to the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization. We routinely employ 10-20 undergraduate and graduate students per semester from a variety of colleges and schools across Georgia Tech, with the majority enrolled in the School of City and Regional Planning graduate program.  Students work on a variety of projects and perform a multitude of tasks ranging from software development to writing and editing journal articles to spatial modeling to image processing to serving as teaching assistants. These incredibly bright students are a vital part of the Center's ongoing success and we are fortunate to have them spend their time at Georgia Tech working for us

Ph.D. Students

Florina Dutt
Florina Dutt is a Ph.D. student in the School of City and Regional Planning. Her research interests are centered around smart cities, IoT (internet of things), human sensing environment, and participatory design approaches. She is currently working with  Subhro Guhathakurta and Mathew Swarts at the Center. Her current research projects are focused on Campus User Experience Modeling & Urban Data Modeling and Visualization.

Bonwoo Koo
Bonwoo Koo's research focuses on measuring various dimensions of the built environment and how those measurements relate to social equity and public health. He is particularly interested in using emerging technologies and data to fine-tune the measurements of built environment and its implications to the urban residents. He currently works as a research assistant with Dr. Nisha Botchwey and Dr. Subhro Guhathakurta.

Before joining the Ph.D. program, he worked at the Architecture and Urban Research Institute in South Korea. He holds a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning (Georgia Tech) and Landscape Architecture (Seoul National University), and a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.

Heonyeong Lee
Heonyeong Lee’s research interests lies in regional economic performance, and planning and policy for improving regional economic resilience. He is currently participating in an NSF funded project, Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Processes and System (RIPS) as a research assistant. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program, he worked at the Korea Environment Institute from 2013 to 2015 where he engaged in several studies on community development planning and policy evaluation. Heonyeong earned bachelor's (2011) and master's (2013) degrees in Urban Planning and Engineering from Yonsei University.

Yongsung Lee
Yongsung Lee's research focuses on the relationship between urban form and travel behavior, and its implications to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission. In his master's thesis, Yongsung wrote about the price elasticity of automobile gasoline and its variation depending on different urban forms and policies; all else being equal, the more compact urbanized areas are, the more sensitive to gasoline price their residents are. Recently, Yongsung is analyzing the impact of high energy price on urban form.

Before joining Georgia Tech, Yongsung worked as a research assistant at the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS) from 2008 to 2010. Yongsung earned a MUP (2012) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a M.E. in Architectural Planning (2008) and a B.S in Architecture (2003) from Seoul National University in South Korea.

Fereshteh Shahmiri
Fereshteh Shahmiri is a second-year Ph.D. student in Design Computing at Georgia Tech. She has an MS degree in Computational Design from Carnegie Mellon University and work experience in design and software companies such as Gensler, Bentley Systems and Autodesk. She specializes in user interface design, interaction design through sensory devices, electronics and robotic fabrication. As a hybrid designer, developer and prototype, she synthesizes the design, computer science and electronics to create novel interaction spaces, experiences and interfaces.

Kyungsoon Wang
Kyungsoon Wang’s research interests lie in the housing and real estate markets, community and economic development, neighborhood revitalization and stability, finance for housing and urban development, and geographic information system applications in planning research. Her dissertation explores the determinants of resilience of neighborhood housing in the context of metropolitan housing markets during and after the recent U.S. housing crisis. Wang has participated in research projects on housing, urban, and regional issues and policies in the United States and East Asia. Her research has resulted in publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national and international conferences. Her research on the impact of smart growth initiatives on home values was awarded a research grant by the Housing Community Development Division of the APA in 2010, and she was awarded the Korea Foundation Fellowship in 2011.

She holds a master's degree from the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech, a master's degree in urban planning and design from the Graduate School of Environment Studies at Seoul National University, and a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Urban Engineering at the University of Seoul.