Faculty Fellows are faculty and researchers at Virginia Tech who advance the Metropolitan Institute through their scholarship, research collaboration, and outreach effort. Fellows can draw on the resources of the Metropolitan Institute to advance their own research in the areas of urbanization, sustainability, transportation, community resilience, public policy, and policy informatics. The Metropolitan Institute values the time, commitment, and energy of its fellows towards making the Institute a truly inter-disciplinary collaborative platform.
Ralph Buehler, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Urban Affairs & Planning at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center. Most of his research has an international comparative perspective, contrasting transport and land-use policies, transport systems, and travel behavior in Western Europe and North America. His research interests include: (1) the influence of transport policy, land use, socio-demographics on travel behavior; (2) active travel and public health; and (3) public transport demand, supply, and financial efficiency. Learn more about Dr. Buehler here.
Margaret Cowell, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech in Alexandria. She received her Doctorate in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and previously worked as an economist at the Buffalo Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Dr. Cowell is a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation-funded research project, “Building Resilient Regions,” a national analysis of metropolitan resilience in the face of various challenges. She is also part of a team of researchers assessing the potential of the homeland security economy for community economic development and revitalization at the St. Elizabeths Hospital site in Southeast Washington, DC. Other recent research endeavors include several publications on deindustrializing regions across the United States, regional resilience, and polycentrism. Dr. Cowell’s research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, National Association of Counties, and the United States Economic Development Administration.
Matt Dull, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration & Policy. His research looks at the interplay between political institutions, public policies, and public administration. His scholarship on congressional oversight, agency appointees, program design, and administrative reform has been published in leading journals including Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Policy Studies Journal. His dissertation on performance measurement in the federal government was recognized with the 2008 American Political Science Association White Award for best dissertation in public administration. That project forms the basis of ongoing research on efforts to reform government by measuring its results. His research and outreach have been supported by the Dirksen Congressional Research Foundation, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, the Brookings Institution, Virginia Tech’s Institute for Society, Culture, and the Environment, the Rappahannock United Way, ACT for Alexandria, and the City of Alexandria, VA. Learn more about Dr. Dull here.
Ralph P. Hall, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. He holds a PhD in Technology, Management, and Policy from MIT and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Southampton and Civil and Environmental Engineering and Technology and Policy from MIT. Learn more about Dr. Hall here.
Derek S. Hyra, PhD is an Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on inner city economic development, with an emphasis on globalization, national housing policy, urban politics, affordable housing finance, neighborhood poverty, and race. Dr. Hyra is the author of The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville (University of Chicago Press 2008). He is currently working on his second book, which investigates the topics of race, class, and revitalization in Washington, DC’s Shaw/U-Street neighborhood. Dr. Hyra’s research has been showcased in both academic journals and popular media outlets, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, Chicago Public Radio, The New York Post, and The Washington Post. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, investigating the predictors and consequences of the subprime lending crisis, and at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he examined the community-level impact of national urban legislation, such as the Community Development Block Grant, the Empowerment Zones, and the HOPE VI program. A former resident fellow of Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Dr. Hyra has taught at the University of Chicago, Brown University, and the George Washington University. He is also a research affiliate of the National Poverty Center, an affiliated scholar of the Urban Institute, and a commissioner of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
Paul Knox, PhD is a University Distinguished Professor and currently serves as Senior Fellow for International Advancement, reporting directly to the university President. Between 1997 and 2006 he served as Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. In 2009 he served as Director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. He currently teaches courses on European Urbanization and Urbanism, and on Cities and Design. He is a member of the editorial board of seven international journals and has served as Co-Editor of Environment and Planning A (1991-2000), Co-Editor of the Journal of Urban Affairs, (1986-1991), and book review editor for Environment & Planning C: Government & Policy (1984-1991). He is a Trustee Emeritus of the Virginia Center for Architecture and a member of Virginia Tech’s Ut Prosim Society. Knox has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2008 Distinguished Scholarship Award of the Association of American Geographers, the Textbook Excellence Award for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Text and Academic Authors Association, for World Regions in Global Context: Peoples, Places, and Environments, with Sallie Marston and Diana Liverman in 2005; honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects, for services to the profession in 2000; the Textbook Excellence Award for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Text and Academic Authors Association, for Human Geography, with Sallie Marston in 1999; the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Service Award in 1999; and the Virginia Social Science Association Scholar Award “For Expanding Horizons of Knowledge in Geography” in 1998. His most recent books are Cities and Design (Routledge, 2010), Small Town Sustainability (Birkhäuser Verlag, 2009), and Metroburbia USA (Rutgers University Press, 2008). He is currently working on Palimpsests: Biographies of 50 City Districts (Actar/ Birkhäuser Verlag, 2012), an examination of landmark and exemplar districts of various kinds in Western cities, and on the analysis of a large data set on the changing social ecology of metropolitan regions in the United States.
Susan C. Piedmont-Palladino is an architect, a professor of architecture at Virginia Tech’s Washington/Alexandria Architecture Consortium (WAAC), and a curator at the National Building Museum. She takes literally the founding mission of the WAAC to use the city as a laboratory and regularly convenes her seminars in public rooms and spaces in Alexandria and Washington. She will be coordinating the new concentration in Urban Design program at the WAAC.
At the National Building Museum, she was the curator of the exhibition Green Community and had previously served as a guest curator for Tools of the Imagination: Drawing Tools and Technologies from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Her current project with the Museum is Intelligent Cities, a multi-faceted initiative funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to investigate the intersection of information technology and cities. The Intelligent Cities book was published in December 2011.
She is the author of three previous books, Devil’s Workshop: 25 Years of Jersey Devil Architecture, with Mark Alden Branch, and Tools of the Imagination, the companion book to the exhibition, both published by Princeton Architectural Press. With Tim Mennell she co-edited the companion book for Green Community, published by the American Planning Association. She lectures and writes frequently on sustainability, American urbanism, design-build, and architectural education.
Susan received her Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech and her Bachelor of Arts in the History of Art from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Before joining the faculty at the Washington/Alexandria Architecture Consortium, she taught at the University of Maryland and at the Catholic University of America.
John Randolph, PhD, is Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech, where he has been on the faculty since 1979. He has a PhD in civil engineering from Stanford University, and B.M.E. in mechanical engineering from Minnesota. Dr. Randolph was director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research from 1988-1995, head of the Urban Affairs and Planning department from 1995 to 2003, and director of the School of Public & International Affairs from 2003 to 2008. He has authored more than 50 articles and reports and two major textbooks, Environmental Land Use Planning and Management (2004, 2nd edition 2011) and Energy for Sustainability: Technology, Planning, Policy (with Gilbert Masters, 2008), both published by Island Press. He has researched community energy and environmental planning, and more recently climate mitigation and adaptation planning, for more than 30 years. Randolph received the national 2006 William R. and June Dale Prize for excellence in Urban and Regional Planning and the statewide Virginia Energy Award in 1992 for his energy research. His 1991 evaluation of the Virginia Weatherization Program led to major changes in residential energy efficiency retrofit protocol that are still in practice today. He has been principal or co-principal investigator on sponsored research totaling more than $2 million. He has been involved in the practice of community energy and climate action planning, including directing the greenhouse emissions inventory for the Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, the Blacksburg energy efficiency and climate action planning process, the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment and Sustainability Plan, and the New River Valley Regional Energy Plan. He serves on the advisory committee of the Virginia Municipal League’s Go Green Virginia program, the Science and Technical Advisory Committee of the Chesapeake Bay Program, and the Board of Directors of the Virginia Sustainable Building Network.
Thomas Sanchez earned his PhD in City Planning from Georgia Tech in 1996 and has since taught at Iowa State University, Portland State University, the University of Utah, before becoming professor and chair of the Urban Affairs and Planning program at Virginia Tech. Sanchez conducts research in the areas of transportation, environmental justice, technology, and the social aspects of planning and policy. Along with serving as chair Urban Affairs and Planning, he is editor of Housing Policy Debate and a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution. Read more…
Kris Wernstedt, PhD is an Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus in Alexandria. Prior to coming to Virginia Tech in August 2006, he spent 15 years as a Fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC that conducts research and policy analysis on environmental quality and natural resources. Wernstedt studies a variety of issues in environmental planning, management, and policy, with topical emphases on contaminated properties, water resources, and climate change and variability. His broad substantive interests include regulatory innovation, decision making under uncertainty, and institutional responses to risk. Research sponsors have included a range of foundations, think tanks, and federal agencies. He holds both a Ph.D. and a Master of Regional Planning in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University, as well as a Master of Science in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin.
Yang Zhang, PhD, received his doctoral degree in Urban and Regional Science from Texas A&M University. He is currently an assistant professor of urban planning at Virginia Tech. Dr. Zhang is interested in environmental planning, land use, and urbanization in China. In particular, his research looks at urban systems’ resilience to environmental hazards and natural disasters. He also has expertise in Geographic Information System (GIS) and planning support systems. His work has both domestic and international focuses. Dr. Zhang is a Next Generation Research Fellow in Hazards and Disasters, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. He is also a research fellow of the Peking University – Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Joint Center for Land Use and Urban Development. He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Virginia Sea Grant, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the Mid-America Earthquake Center. He has also been doing consulting projects for the Beijing Urban Planning Commission. He can be reached at email@example.com.