Instruction and Leadership Team
The instructors for the MEL in Urban Systems are renowned experts who have built strong connections and research partnerships with leading industry players.
Dr. Martino Tran
Dr. Martino Tran is assistant professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning, Faculty of Applied Science, and Director of the Urban Predictive Analytics Lab at UBC. He is also an instructor for the Master of Engineering Leadership in Urban Systems program. He is broadly interested in applying computational and data sciences for informing smart and sustainable urban policy and infrastructure investment strategies.
Konrad Siu is an Adjunct Professor in the Master of Engineering Leadership in Urban Systems program, with 40 years of strategic leadership experience in managing infrastructure. He recently retired from the City of Edmonton. Prior to his retirement, he was the Transformation Manager responsible for leading a departmental transformation and coordinating the establishment of a new Integrated Infrastructure Services department. He was Executive Director of a drainage tunnelling and open cut team for three years from 2012 to 2015 and was the Director of the Office of Infrastructure and Funding Strategy from 2000 to 2012. His expertise has led to the development of advanced asset management techniques, such as a risk-based infrastructure management system, that facilitates civic decision-making and the prioritization of infrastructure investment.
Jordi Honey-Rosés is an Assistant Professor at the School of Community and Regional Planning specialized in environmental policy, planning and management. He teaches URSY 510 Urban Systems and Society, a course that examines the societal context in which urban systems operate. He received his PhD in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to UBC he worked with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Mexico City and has been a consultant with the World Bank.
Dr. Alan Russell
Alan Russell is Professor Emeritus and former Head, Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and is the holder of a Chair in Computer Integrated Design and Construction. Dr. Russell’s current research and consulting activities include: public and private sector analysis of alternative procurement modes (DBB, DBF, P3, etc.) with a focus on risk management (identification, quantification, response); public sector comparator analysis (Value for Money); risk management by the public sector client; and design of client project management/oversight teams. The topics of strategy, data visualization, innovation assessment, project profiling for risk identification, and public sector financing mechanisms constitute the current focus of his research work.
Dr. Dana Vanier
Dr. Vanier is currently involved in both strategic and client research that assists organizations to manage sustainable urban infrastructure. His career experience has included the graphical visualization of heat loss, 3D computer graphics, computer aided design, integrated databases, automation of the National Building Code of Canada, and for the past 10 years, asset management. He was a researcher at NRC for 23 years, and has worked as a researcher with the Federal government of Canada for 25 years total.
The UBC Sauder Robert H. Lee Graduate School business instructors for the MEL in Urban Systems are renowned experts who lead the way in Canada and internationally in business and management research and knowledge dissemination.
Perry Atwal is a lecturer at UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School who has also worked as an assistant dean and executive director of Executive Education and executive director for the Centre for Healthcare Management. Perry has led several successful projects with extremely diverse participants from around the world and spanning industries that include health care, transportation and education. He is one of the most highly rated and award-winning teachers at UBC.
Justin is a lecturer at the UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School and Chair of the Sustainability and Ethics Group. He teaches extensively on sustainability, innovation and strategy, with a focus on graduate and executive learners. He has worked with big companies – like IKEA, Lyft, and Rolling Stone – to implement climate innovations. Justin serves as an advisor and board member to several technology starts-ups and First Nations in Canada. He graduated with a BA in International Relations and a PhD in Wood Science from the University of British Columbia.
Get to know the Urban Systems Co-Directors who are leading the program.
Dr. Stephanie E. Chang
Dr. Stephanie E. Chang is a UBC professor with a joint appointment in the School of Community and Regional Planning and the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. She held a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Disaster Management and Urban Sustainability from 2004 to 2013. Much of Dr. Chang’s work aims to bridge the gap between engineering, natural sciences and social sciences in addressing the complex issues of natural disasters.
Dr. Susan Nesbit
Before receiving a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of British Columbia for research on ink detachment mechanisms during paper recycling, Dr. Susan Nesbit obtained a B.A. in history and a B.A.Sc. in chemical engineering, and then worked as a research engineer studying novel methods of chlorine dioxide production for the pulp and paper industry. She is a leader in sustainability education and has designed several courses to introduce students to sustainability concepts via community service learning in an engineering context.