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UTM Mobility Network presents 2024 Graduate Student Showcase

March 15, 2024

The University of Toronto Mississauga Mobility Network (UTM-MN) invites you to its 3rdGraduate Student Showcase. The showcase celebrates the achievements of the 2023-2024 Graduate Research Award and 2023 Summer Internship Award recipients and aims to inspire graduate students to engage with the UTM-MN.

Join us to learn about the latest mobility-related research and internship placements of six award-winning graduate students: Prateek Gandotra, Kerstyn Lutz, Scarlett Rakowska, Rhonda Solomon, Leila Uy, and Xingyu (Eric) Zhao.

Hear directly from the graduate students about their work.

Following the presentations, all are invited to take part in a Q & A, moderated by Dr. Emilia M. Bruck.


Introductory remarks

• Professor Eric Miller, Director, Mobility Network


Internship Award recipients

• Monitoring and Evaluation of Shared Micro-mobility System in Mississauga – Xingyu (Eric) Zhao

• Challenges for Public Transit Decarbonization in Canada – Can electrofuels play a role? – Prateek Gandotra

Research Award recipients

• Developing a School Walkability Index to Investigate Disparities in School Travel Environments – Kerstyn Lutz

• Mapping Health: A Geospatial Analysis of Urban Environments and Noncommunicable Diseases in Toronto, Ontario – Scarlett Rakowska

• Disability, Representation, and Transit Policy in Canadian Cities – Rhonda Solomon

• Human Mobility After Natural Disasters in the Context of Socioeconomic Factors – Leila Uy


• Dr. Emilia M. Bruck, Postdoctoral Fellow, UTM Mobility Network

Concluding remarks

• Professor Shauna Brail, Associate Director, UTM Mobility Network

Graduate Student Presenters

Prateek Gandotra, is a student enrolled in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management.He completed his internship with the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), a non-profit organization that works on advancing next-generation zero-carbon mobility and transportation solutions across Canada. Prateek supported CUTRIC’s Membership and Commercialization Program.

Kerstyn Lutz is a Ph.D. candidate at UTM in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, supervised by Professor Matthew Adams. Her research interests broadly focus on examining built environment exposures, as well as their impact on health and equity. Kerstyn's research for the Mobility Network aims to identify populations residing in built environments that do not support active school travel (AST), including walking and wheeling to and from school.

Scarlett Rakowska is a Ph.D. student supervised by Professor Matthew Adams in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at UTM. Her research interests include urban health, greenness, geospatial analysis, and health diseases. Scarlett’s research project for the Mobility Network focuses on associating health diseases with exposure (e.g., air pollution and traffic) and accessibility (e.g., park space and infrastructure) in Toronto neighbourhoods.

Rhonda Solomon is a PhD candidate supervised by Professor Ron Buliung in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment and UTM. Her research interests are ableist design and public infrastructure, with a specific focus on public toilet provision for children with disabilities. Rhonda’s research project for the Mobility Network centres on the provision of equitable transit access across diverse disability groups. 

Leila Uy is a M.Sc. student supervised by Professor Jue Wang in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at UTM. Her research interests include exploring the effect of climate change on human mobility, animal welfare, and civil infrastructures. Leila’s research project for the Mobility Network focuses on human mobility after natural disasters in the context of socioeconomic factors. 

Xingyu (Eric) Zhao, a student enrolled in the Master of Urban Innovation. For his internship, he joined the Transportation and Works Department of the City of Mississauga. Eric assisted the Transportation Planner of the Active Transportation team with the implementation phase of the Shared Micro-mobility Program in the city. His main focus was on developing the monitoring and evaluation framework for the upcoming program.


Eric Miller is Director, University of Toronto Mobility Network; Professor, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering; Research Director, Data Management Group; and Research Director, Travel Modelling Group. His research focuses on the areas of transportation modelling and sustainable urban design. Eric is a pioneer in the development and application of agent-based microsimulation model systems in large urban contexts.

Shauna Brail is Associate Director, UTM, Mobility Network; Associate Professor, Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga; and Senior Associate, Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. As an economic geographer and urban planner, her research focuses on the transformation of cities as a result of economic, social, and cultural change. Brail’s research encompasses studies of broad urban economic challenges and transformations associated with 21st century cities – including the impacts of COVID-19 on cities; the relationship between cities and the digital platform economy, with a particular emphasis on ride-hailing; and shifts in urban governance, policy and planning in connection to innovation and technological change.


Emilia M. Bruck is a Mobility Network Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI), University of Toronto Mississauga. She is an urban planning researcher whose areas of interest include shifts in urban policy, planning practice and spatial development related to emerging mobility technologies, e.g. automated vehicles. Emilia’s current research focuses on governance innovation related to platform-based mobility services.

About UTM-Mobility Network funding support for graduate student research

The University of Toronto Mississauga Mobility Network (UTM-MN) announced the thirdround of Graduate Student Research Awards in September 2023. The awards are designed to support University of Toronto Mississauga graduate students in research that contributes to the Mobility Network’s mission to support interdisciplinary mobility research that addresses equity and promotes resilient, sustainable and just urban growth and prosperity.

Winning proposals met the criteria of academic excellence, future research and professional promise, and support of Mobility Network’s mission.

This announcement originally posted by UTM-Mobility Network.

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