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Graduate Students

Will Barbour

William Barbour is a doctoral student in Civil Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He earned his M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his B.S. in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he graduated summa cum laude with distinction from the Chancellor’s Honors Program and the Haslam Scholars Program. William has work experience from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and CSX Transportation. He has also received graduate funding support from the Roadway Safety Institute and Federal Highway Administration.

William’s career and research interests focus on the application of novel and advanced computational techniques to transportation systems engineering; examples include big data analytics, machine learning, optimization, and artificial intelligence. He has applied these interests in the freight rail transportation domain through ongoing industry collaboration with Class I railroads, where improvements in network operations can lead to capacity and efficiency gains for the system. William’s other domain interests include pedestrian and cyclist accessibility, public transit planning, and transportation policy.

Please see William’s personal website:


Andrea Gardiner

Andrea Resch Gardiner, PE, is a doctoral student in Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University.  She received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from California Poly Technic State University, San Luis Obispo and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.  Before coming to Vanderbilt, Andrea worked in California, Colorado, and Tennessee for a variety of engineering consulting firms such as URS, TRC, ERM, and Tetra Tech.  She holds her Professional Civil Engineering License in CA, TN, AL, and GA.  Additionally, Andrea operated her own environmental consulting firm.  She currently works as an Environmental Consultant for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Solid Waste.

Andrea’s research interests include life cycle assessment (LCA) as related to waste management and freight operations and their role in decision making methodologies.  She is developing ways to assess the impact of systems on the environment to allow for better resource management, sustainability and resilience.

Leslie Gillespie-Marthaler

Leslie is originally from St. Louis, Missouri.  She graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1994 with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and served for five years as an active duty Army officer in the Adjutant General’s Corps.  She received a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2002, and a Professional Degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University in 2011.

From 2006-2011, she served as a senior civilian employee with the United States Army.  As a member of the Headquarters Army Staff, Leslie managed the Army’s Environmental Quality Technology program, developed and deployed the Installation Status Report for Natural Infrastructure (ISR-NI), developed and implemented the Environmental Cost Model (ECS), and served as the budget manager for the Army’s environmental programs.  As a member of the staff for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations and Environment, Leslie provided policy oversight for the Army’s environmental programs (compliance, conservation, pollution prevention, natural resources, cultural resources, and NEPA) and led the Army’s development of the Campaign Plan for Sustainability.  During this time, Leslie also served a detail as a senior program manager for the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Office, Office of the Federal Environmental Executive.  In that capacity, she led the Federal Government’s effort to develop Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction targets, publish Federal Guidance for GHG Accounting and Reporting, and led the Federal effort to develop and publish sustainability plans for 57 agencies.

From 2011-2012, Leslie served as a Senior Advisor to the EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development.  In that role, she developed multi-agency collaborations to demonstrate technologies in support of Net Zero energy, water, and waste strategies.  In addition, she provided oversight for EPA sustainability research and technology initiatives.  During this time, Leslie also served a detail as a senior analyst for the White House Office of Management and Budget.  In that capacity, Leslie provided oversight for the Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy Research Program, and Department of Energy participation in the White House Office of Science, Technology, and Policy Hydraulic Fracturing Research Strategy.

Leslie is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University.  Her research is focused on system-wide sustainability and resilience of communities.


Pam Hoover

Pam Hoover, P.E. is a doctoral student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Vanderbilt University.  She earned a B.S in Environmental Science and M.S. in Environmental and Water Resource Engineering from Vanderbilt.  In addition to being a part-time graduate student, Pam works for AquAeTer,  Inc., an environmental engineering firm.  Pam’s research has included an analysis of the CO2 emissions from paper and electronic document usage.  Her current research interest is in the development of resilient community systems.  In particular, her research involves assessing the relationship between weather, water quality, and water treatment processes to inform decision making by water treatment utility management.   Pam is a member of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Harmful Algal Bloom Working Group.


Yue Hu

Yue Hu is a doctoral student in Civil Engineering and the Institute for Software Integrated Systems at Vanderbilt University. She earned her M.S. in Systems Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in University of California at Berkeley. She earned her B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tongji University, China.

Yue’s research interest lies in transportation cyber physical systems and sustainable resilient infrastructure systems. Her work focus on the application of Machine Learning and Optimization techniques on transportation systems.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is a doctoral student in Environmental Engineering, Management, and Policy at Vanderbilt University, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program that integrates social and technical systems to address environmental challenges. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Paul was a business manager for the Decision Sciences team at Capital One Financial. He received his M.S. in Engineering Management from Duke University and graduated summa cum laude from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Paul’s research interests include climate change impacts on transportation networks, trends in U.S. agricultural yields, spatiotemporal relationships of extreme weather events, and risk management strategies for natural and manmade disasters. He is also an avid tennis player and heavily involved with the club team at Vanderbilt.

Andrew Stanford

Andrew Stanford is a doctoral student in Civil Engineering at Vanderbilt University.  He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute in May 2016.  Andrew’s research interests include Infrastructure Risk and Resilience, Multi-Modal Transportation Integration and Optimization and Transportation Policy research. Prior to Vanderbilt, Andrew conducted research on Dynamic Shear Key Deflection Responses, Ultra-Short Pulse Laser Telecommunications and the Insulin-Glucose Feedback System of Diabetics.

Prior to Vanderbilt, Andrew worked for the Virginia Department of Transportation as a Maintenance and Land Use Engineer in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  He was primarily focused on bringing new developments into the State network, maintaining current infrastructure and working with various stakeholders to facilitate project deliverables.  Andrew is currently part of the Kentucky National Guard serving as a Platoon Leader with the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Raphael Stern 

Raphael Stern is a PhD student in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Institute for Software Integrated Systems at Vanderbilt University. Raphael’s primary research interests include transportation cyber-physical systems and smart and resilient cities. In 2015 Raphael was a fellow at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Raphael’s awards include being named a three-time recipient of the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship, a 2014 Eno Fellow from the Eno Transportation Foundation, and a 2014 Data Science for Social Good Fellow from the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Foundation.


Jinzhu Yu

Jinzhu Yu is a doctoral student working with Dr. Hiba Baroud in the Department of Civil Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He received his BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from Tongji University, China in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

Jinzhu’s research interest lies in analyzing risk and resilience of critical infrastructures and he is currently working on hierarchical Bayesian kernel (HBK) techniques to assess the recoverability of infrastructure networks