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Extreme Events Research Group

This research group focuses on research topics related to planning for, against, and despite of extreme events. Extreme events are characterized by having a strong and frequently unprecedented impact on large population groups. Extreme events include global sporting events, such as the Olympic Games or World Cups, natural hazards, hurricanes or pandemics, among many others. Most recently, we started exploring the impact artificial intelligence including self-driving vehicles and smart homes will have on cities. The group focuses on urban regions through strategic master planning, adaptation planning for climate change, transportation and urban planning/policy.

I am always seeking to advise, sometimes hire, highly motivated PhD, Master, or Bachelor students on topics related to extreme events and planning. No particular skill set is necessary. However, outstanding grades, very good mathematical skills, curiosity, creativity, and a logical mind characterize the students working with me. They have backgrounds in geography, economics, transportation, and urban planning. Please feel free to email me at (ekn@msu.edu) if you are interested in exploring opportunities for us to work together.

Currently working in the Extreme Events Research Group

Meng Cai

Meng is a PhD student in Planning, Design and Construction with a concentration on Urban and Regional Planning. Her research interests lie in the broad area of sustainable city development. She is working as a research assistant as part of the MDOT project on trip purpose and customer satisfaction. She received a master’s degree in Public Relations, and was a research assistant and program officer in China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

Brian Szczepanek

Brian is a graduate student working toward a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning. Brian’s area of interest pertains to mega-event responses.  He is interested in how federal, state, and local policies and resources with civic institutions contribute to successful or sub-optimal outcomes. Brian currently works for the Michigan Army National Guard.

Dana Dake

is a graduate student at MSU’s School of Planning, Design and Construction working towards a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration on Transportation. Dana currently works for Michigan Department of Transportation in the Environmental Services Section reviewing highway and bridge projects for compliance with NEPA. Her interest is in sustainable development, urban policy and resource management. Dana received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Sustainability from Michigan State University in 2016. She will be working as a research assistant as part of the MSU project on Autonomous Vehicles. 

Travis Decaminada

is a graduate student at MSU’s School of Planning Design and Construction, working toward a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning. Travis’ area of interest pertains to green infrastructure, and its use in mitigating damage from natural disasters.  In 2017 he received a B.S. in geography from Eastern Michigan University, and plans to graduate from MSU in 2019.