Who We Are

Faculty & Staff

Catherine Ross, Director

Catherine Ross is an internationally recognized expert on transportation systems planning, urban planning, and quality growth. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors and directs Georgia Tech’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development in the College of Design. She also serves as Harry West Professor and Advance Professor in the School of City and Regional Planning in the College, and in August 2018 was named a Regents Professor by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. She earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and completed post-doctorate work at the University of California, Berkeley. Her most recent book, Health Impact Assessment in the United States, was published in 2014.

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Tim Welch, Assistant Professor

Tim Welch is an assistant professor of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology. An expert in the field of transportation and land use policy, planning and forecasting and freight, he holds graduate degrees in law and urban planning. Welch is widely published, with a recent focus on issues related to transportation behavior, connectivity, equity, and environment.

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Arthi Rao, Research Scientist II

Arthi Rao is a research scientist II at the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development at Georgia Tech. She has had a consistent focus on Health and Place research throughout her career. She has an interdisciplinary doctorate in Urban Planning, Epidemiology, and GIS from Georgia Tech. Rao’s research interests focus on social determinants of health, healthcare access, healthy communities, and spatial/analytic methods. She collaborates with researchers at The Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, the American Cancer Society, and the American Planning Association as a subject matter expert on healthy communities’ research, area-level health determinants, and geospatial methods. She has published in journals on the topics of Health Impact Assessment (HIA), sustainability, walkability analysis, regional planning, and therapeutic landscapes.
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Angelika Braig, Administrative Manager

Angelika is the research administrative manager and assistant to the director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD). She manages day-to-day administrative operations of the Center; coordinates meetings and special events; provides supervision of financial accounting and reporting; administers budgets; and coordinates proposal preparation and submission. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. In 2015 she received the COA-ADVANCE staff award. 

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Master's Students

Laura Geronimo

Laura Geronimo, an Atlanta native, is pursuing a master's degree at the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Urban Studies from Wesleyan University (2011). She has spent the past five years in Puerto Rico where she became involved in initiatives to implement a Bike Share program in San Juan, and was subsequently recruited by a local consulting firm, Estudios Tecnicos, Inc. There she collaborated as a research assistant in the urban and environmental planning division, where she worked on a variety of projects including comprehensive transportation planning, natural resource management, and climate change adaptation planning. In her free time, Laura enjoys mountain biking, surfing, salsa dancing, and writing.

Ruth Pimentel

Ruth Pimentel is pursuing a master’s degree in city and regional planning at Georgia Tech, with a focus on environmental and health planning. Before beginning graduate studies, Pimentel worked for the Presidio Trust and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco, restoring habitat for rare and endangered plant species, and analyzing visitor use and engagement in national parkland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Harvard University.

Soo-Huey Yap

Soo-Huey Yap is pursuing a Master of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. Before moving to Atlanta, she was an elected member in the Penang State Legislative Assembly from 2013 to 2018. During her term as a State Legislator, she chaired the State Executive Subcommittee on Universal Accessibility and Subcommittee on Children with Special Needs. Yap was a member of the Penang Transport Council and also served actively on the Board of Directors for the Penang Women Development Corporation, the Penang Science Cluster, and the Penang Technology Centre. She is interested in public transport networks, multimodal transportation and transport infrastructure financing. Huey has a Bachelor of Science degree from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and was a researcher at the Burnet Institute for Public Health and Medical Research in Melbourne until 2010.

Ph.D. Students

Alyas Widita

Alyas Abibawa Widita’s research interests focus on understanding the influence of built environment on travel behavior. He is particularly interested to exploring this subject in cities in the developing world where the built environment characteristics are arguably different from cities in the industrialized world. Prior to beginning his Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech, he taught at his undergraduate alma matter, Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Iowa (2015) and a bachelor’s degree in architecture (2012). In his spare time, he enjoys running and exploring cities.

Chisun Yoo

Chisun Yoo is a Ph.D. student in the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. His research interest lies in various fields, including social influence of the built environment, sustainability, economic development, and urban history. He has bachelor’s (2014) and master’s degrees in urban planning from Hanyang University, Korea. Before joining the Ph.D. program, he worked at a government-affiliated research institute, Gyeonggi Research Institute in Korea.

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Phone: 404-894-2000