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Tyler P

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)


Civil/environmental engineering, urban planning


Born and raised in New Jersey, I moved to California for college and haven't left since (unoriginal, I know). I am currently pursuing a PhD in city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, though I studied civil and environmental engineering for my bachelor's and master's degrees and have dabbled in a variety of topics within and across those fields. I am generally motivated by the many ways in which we can make the built environment more responsive and adaptive to human need to address pressing environmental and social issues. With that really broad sphere though, I am deeply passionate about ways to provide high quality affordable housing and improve the ways in which everyday citizens can inform urban development. In all my endeavors, I strive to support more evidence-based decision making and productive community engagement at the local level. Outside of work and study, I adore all things nature and all things friendship. The quiet sounds of hiking in a forest, the senseless inside jokes, the weird questions and conversations that can only come from too many hours spent on a long road trip or camping trip, the board game nights when someone gets too into character. These things give me life. I also love traveling, the loud peace of public transit, people watching, and writing -- these things often go hand in hand.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Different ways cities have adapted to COVID-19

In the countless ways that the pandemic has forced our lives to change, the small adaptations made by many cities around the world demonstrates innovations both new and old. The "parklets" to expand outdoor dining areas in front of restaurants and cafes, the signs and information posted around public spaces, the streets and areas used to stage (hopefully) socially distant protests, or even the small interior design and layout changes in retail space to accommodate workers and customers alike. Different places have adapted different strategies, and all of them may reveal something about the people who use (and don't use) these adapted spaces. And we can attempt to study them using very low-tech methods like interviews, surveys, and direct observation! Projects around this could learn a lot from a little, and be a great entry point for students interested in urban form and how humans interact with their environment in novel ways.

Innovative construction and design technology

Globally, many companies have found and adopted different strategies for bringing building construction *off-site*, where a substantial portion of materials are pre-built in a factory and simply assembled on the actual construction site. This is often analogized to approaching construction as if it is a LEGO set, Ikea furniture, or even an automobile being manufactured, and usually reduces the time and cost required to build things. A recent surge of companies adapting similar strategies in the U.S. has met with new ideas and tools to make this transition successful. Projects in this space could include case studies of individual companies (remotely or locally), and attempt to identify truly unique aspects of the many different evolving strategies to improve the construction industry.

Sustainable design and renewable energy systems

Renewable energy growth continues to be a pressing topic for establishing truly "sustainable" electricity to millions of households worldwide. As with most climate-related projects, there are different questions at different scales: how does a homeowner or renter adopt solar for their own residence, and why should they? How does a regional utility provider plan its future power generation to make sure they can provide enough electricity to meet demand, while also trying to expand renewables? What issues still persist with renewable energy options, and how can we mitigate those?

Affordable Housing and Urban Design

Many cities around the world are struggling to provide enough housing, at affordable enough levels, to accommodate everyone who wants to live there. While there are *many* reasons for this (and different cities might have different reasons entirely), there are also many questions and strategies for improving the situation. Projects could include policy studies (what policies help, hurt, and/or complicate housing development? Where does funding come from?) at the city, state, and/or federal level; housing market assessments (how much *should* be built, and where?); who is receiving housing assistance, why do they need it, and how much? Different projects look at different scales of the problem, but all offer critical insight as to how and why housing is so unaffordable.

Coding skills

Python, R

Teaching experience

I have tutored, taught classes, and otherwise mentored students since high school. This includes summer courses for introducing grade school children to basic engineering concepts and professions as well as university graduate level engineering and urban planning courses. I've also designed and taught courses on homeownership and purchasing for adults.



University of Southern California (USC)
BS Bachelor of Science (2016)
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Stanford University
MS Master of Science (2018)
Civil and Environmental Engineering: Sustainable Design and Construction
University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
City and Regional Planning

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