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Our People

Nicholas Lownes, PhD, PE

Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut

Dr. Lownes earned his PhD (2007) from the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.  In 2007, he joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut (UConn) in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  In 2010 he became director of the Center for Transportation and Livable Systems, the university transportation center at UConn.  Dr. Lownes was named an Eno Fellow in 2006, received the 2007 SWUTC Outstanding PhD Student of the year, and was honored with the 2009 C.R. Klewin, Inc. Excellence in Teaching Award.  He has authored or co-authored over sixty refereed articles and made over 100 presentations at conferences and technical meetings.  His research interests include public transportation systems and network modeling.


Dong-Guk Shin, PhD

Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut

Dr. Dong-Guk Shin is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Director for the Bioinformatics and Bio-Computing Institute of the University of Connecticut. Dr. Shin’s research specialties include transportation databases, data mining, database interoperability, knowledge discovery from databases, graphical user interface design, and bioinformatics. Dr. Shin has been leading a number of research projects related to Bioinformatics through funding from NIH, NSF and DOE. In 1999, Dr. Shin was the recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Chancellor’s Information Technology Award. Dr. Shin holds Ph.D. (1985) degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Jeffrey Osleeb, PhD


Professor & Department Head of Geography, University of Connecticut

Dr. Jeffrey Osleeb is the head of the Department of Geography at the University of Connecticut.  He holds an MA in Economics and a PhD in Geography from the Sate University of New York at Buffalo.  He has taught transportation courses at The Ohio State University, Boston University and the City University of New York where he held full time faculty positions.  Dr. Osleeb was one of the first researchers to employ Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in conjunction with Transit Planning with his paper “TRANPLAN: An Interactive Geographic Information System for the Design and Analysis of Urban Transit Systems.


Curtis J. Denton, MS


Graduate Research Assistant, University of Connecticut

Curtis J. Denton is pursuing his PhD in Geography at the University of Connecticut with a focus on GIS, transportation and health.  He earned a B.S. in Geography and a M.S. in Applied Geography from the University of North Texas with a focus on GIS and Health.  He has spent over a decade in the private and public sector using geospatial software, such as ESRI’s ArcGIS, to visualize and analyze data from global to localized geographies.  Curtis’s work in GIS has ranged from developing and managing GIS databases to online web-based maps to using GIS to evaluate healthcare access in Swaziland.  Currently he has been using geospatial techniques to develop web-based maps using ESRI’s ArcGIS and Google Map’s API.


Eric Jackson, PhD


Assistant Research Professor, Connecticut Transportation Institute

Dr. Jackson earned this PhD (2008) from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut.  He then joined the Connecticut Transportation Institute as research faculty.  In 2007 Dr. Jackson was named one of the University Transportation Centers’ Outstanding students of the year.  In 2012 Dr. Jackson founded the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center (CTSRC) at the University of Connecticut.  The CTSRC is tasked with collecting, organizing, storing and providing access to crash reports from every state and local law enforcement agency in the state.  His research interests involve innovation in data collection, storage and analysis, transportation safety, web-based analysis tools, and remote sensing and imagery.


Sha Mamun, PhD, EIT


Graduate Research Assistant, University of Connecticut

Sha Mamun is a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut. He completed his MS in Transportation and Urban Engineering in 2011 from the University of Connecticut. A majority of Sha’s research has been conducted under a project titled “Assessing and Quantifying Public Transportation Access”. His other research topics focus on public transit network design and multi-modal transportation system modeling.


Kelly Bertolaccini, PhD


Graduate Research Assistant, University of Connecticut

Kelly Bertolaccini is a PhD student at the University of Connecticut (UConn). She earned dual undergraduate degrees from UConn (BS Civil Engineering, BA English) in 2010 and recently defended her master’s thesis on measuring the equity of transit supply distribution. She has received a three year Eisenhower Fellowship to fund her PhD research on public transportation, economic development, and social equity.


Michael R. Howser, MLIS


Head of Digital Scholarship and Data Curation and Connecticut State Data Center Director, University of Connecticut Libraries

Michael R. Howser is the head of Digital Scholarship and Data Curation at the University of Connection Libraries and serves as the Director of the Connecticut State Data Center. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University and a B.A. in Geography from the University of Cincinnati. With a focus on developing datasets, services, and providing assistance with data and mapping projects, he has served as a GIS Librarian at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and as a GIS Librarian at the University of Connecticut Libraries. Michael has taught courses in Geography and Digital Media at the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, and the University of Connecticut. Michael’s current research is focused on developing archival data systems and infrastructure than enable linked open data within a digital preservation oriented system and is currently coordinating the development of the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA), Connecticut’s cultural heritage digital archive, developed as a partnership between the Connecticut State Library and the University of Connecticut Libraries.


Natalia Vorotyntseva, PhD

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Connecticut

Natalia Vorotyntseva is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Geography. She earned an undergraduate degree in Cartography from St. Petersburg State University, Russia. She received her master’s degree focusing on mapping spatially varying relationships in 2012. Natalia’s research interests include spatial data analysis, quantitative approaches to measure ethnic and racial disparities of population and visualization of geographic data.


Sina Kahrobaei, MS, GISP

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Connecticut

Sina Kahrobaei is a current MS student in Civil Engineering. He earned another MS degree in City and Regional Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has worked with the City of Arlington, Texas as a planning intern and with the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) as a transit/finance intern. His current research interests include Integrated Land Use-Transportation Modeling, Network Modeling, Optimization and Mathematical Modeling, and Transport Economics.


Pujan Joshi, MS

Research Associate, University of Connecticut

Mr. Joshi received his MS degree in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2010. He has years of experience in developing web user interfaces and databases for scientific Ad hoc queries and data visualization. Mr. Joshi has been leading the software developer team of t-HUB project since 2014 and is responsible for the overall software design, GIS interactions, access control and other various security issues. His research interests are workflow automation, interactive web interfaces and data visualization to facilitate meta-analysis in research.