Urban Environment Research Group

Arizona State University




Zhihua Wang





Dr. Zhihua Wang joined Arizona State University in 2012, and is now an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment (SEBE). Dr. Wang obtained the B.Eng and M.Eng degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He obtained M.A. and Ph.D. in the Departmental of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. His Ph.D. dissertation titled Surface exchange of energy and water budgets in urban canopies, was advised by Prof. Elie Bou-Zeid and Prof. James Smith.

Prior to his appointment in ASU, Dr. Wang was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Wang works as a research project officer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Nanyang Technological University.


Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. dissertation: Surface exchange of energy and water budgets in urban canopies.



Xueli Yang



Xueli joined SEBE as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2019. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering at Tianjin Agricultural University, and Master's in Hydraulic Engineering at China Agricultural University. As a graduate student in China Agricultural University, she got the Scholarship from China Scholarship Council for study on Environmental Sciences at University of California, Riverside, where she conducted her research on modeling of soil water movement. She joined Urban Climate Research Group at ASU as a graduate research assistant in August 2019. Her Ph.D. research is mainly focused on data-driven analysis of urban climate and system-based modeling of urban environments.

Xueli loves outdoor sports like swimming, jogging, and hiking. She is a nature lover and she always finds relaxation and peace in nature. She enjoys classical music and literature in her spare time. Her dream is to travel around the world with good friends and families.


Curriculum Vitae



Yihang Wang



Yihang Wang joined the group in the fall of 2022 as a Ph.D. student. He obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Port, Channel, and Coastal Engineering at Tianjin University. During his Master's study, his research was mainly about the design of ecological revetment, which is about using vegetation to protect the coastal area from the waves. Now, his research is mainly focused on causality in the atmospheric system.

Meteorology is not only his research work but also a passion in his daily life. From a very young age, he has been paying attention to the weather and keeping a daily record of atmospheric conditions. Apart from this, the most important hobby is cooking, especially Thai cooking! He believes in the saying that cooking is the reason why we are called human beings. Pad Thai, Thai pineapple fried rice, Thai coconut pudding, and Thai pandan layer cake are his most frequently cooked Thai food!


Curriculum Vitae



Negar Rahmatollahi



Negar Rahmatollahi joined SEBE as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2023. In 2022, she had work experience with Knowledge Exchange for Resilience and Youth Mappers to do some GIS and remote sensing projects at ASU, where she conducted her research on extreme heat and urban heat islands. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Urbanism Engineering and Master's degree in Urban Design from Mazandaran, Iran. Her Ph.D. research is mainly focused on the multi-objective optimization of urban environmental system design using machine learning.

Negar loves jazz music, and she is good at playing Drums. Also, she is a very nature and animal lover and likes to spend her time in natural places and find her peace there. She is friendly and likes to see beautiful places with her loved ones, family, and friends.


Curriculum Vitae



Haoran Hou



Haoran Hou joined the Urban Environment Research Group as an exchange student in the spring of 2022. He holds a bachelor's degree in Geography from Xuchang University, and a Master's degree in Geographic Information Systems from Fujian Normal University. He pursued his doctoral degree in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he was fortunate to receive a scholarship to study abroad, bringing him to ASU.

Currently, Haoran's research focuses on urban ecological monitoring, with applications to urban planning. In addition to his academic interests, he enjoys participating in outdoor sports, such as swimming and hiking, which help to improve his physical strength and promote mental relaxation. He also has a passion for painting, as it allows him to bring his imagination to life.


Curriculum Vitae


Graduated Students:

Peiyuan Li

Ph.D., graduated in December 2021. Current post-doc researcher at UIUC


Ph.D. dissertation: Biogenic Impact of Urban Vegetation on Heat and Carbon Dynamics in the Built Environment


Chenghao Wang

Ph.D., graduated in December 2019. Current faculty member at the University of Oklahoma.

Ph.D. dissertation: Participatory Roles of Urban Trees in Regulating Environmental Quality

Ruby Upreti

M.S., graduated in July 2017.

M.S. thesis: Impact of land use land cover change on urban hydroclimate of Colorado river basin


Jiyun Song

Ph.D., graduated in December 2016. Current faculty member at the University of Hong Kong.

Ph.D. dissertation: Urban Microclimate Response to Landscape Changes via Land-Atmosphere Interactions


Jiachuan Yang

Ph.D., graduated in December 2016. Current faculty member at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Ph.D. dissertation: Urban Green Infrastructure: Modeling and Implications to Environmental Sustainability

M.S., graduated in December 2012.

M.S. thesis: Relative efficiency of surface energy budgets over different land covers

Previous Members & Visitors:

Prof. Fan Zhang

Dr. Fan Huang

Rachel von Gnechten

Visiting professor (2018-2019), Xinjiang University

Visiting Ph.D. student (2016-2017), Nanjing University

Undergraduate Honors thesis advisee (2016-2017)

Hannah Housenga

Undergraduate Honors thesis advisee (2014-2015), co-advised with Prof. Kaloush

Prof. Chengping Zhao

Visiting professor (2013-2014), Sichuan University

Xiaoxi Zhao

Visiting student (2014 Fall), China Three Gorges University

David Little

Summer undergraduate researcher (2012-2013)

Tina Pourshams-Manzouri

M.S. student (graduated 2013 spring), co-advised with Prof. Kamil Kaloush