Image by Darby Lee

Our Research Group

Our team, led by Dr. Pilkington, consists of Masters and Ph.D. graduate researchers primarily affiliated with UNC Charlotte's College of Engineering. 

We strive for trans-disciplinary thinking as well as real-world applications and implications to our research. Collaboration and cooperation with other departments and organizations is encouraged so that we may assess research problems holistically.

Our graduate researchers make ideas become reality, through vigorous analysis and modeling efforts . Following their degrees, graduates are interested in careers in both academia and industry. 

The Team

Dr. Stephanie F. Pilkington, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Originally from New Hampshire, Dr. Pilkington is a civil engineer by training, receiving her Ph.D. and M.S. from Colorado State University and B.S. from Virginia Tech, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has previously worked for the U.S. Air Force as an Environmental Restoration Program Manager (civilian). Her core research interests relate to meteorological natural hazards and how they affect communities. Her expertise is in community resilience to natural hazards and modeling hazard impact and recovery on a systems level. She has created multiple models using machine learning and artificial neural networks. Dr. Pilkington has also participated in damage surveys and is an avid storm chaser. 

Pauline Karanja

Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistant

Originally from Kenya, Pauline Karanja is a Ph.D. student in the Infrastructure and Environmental Systems (INES) program. She is broadly interested in natural disasters and their effect on communities. Her current research focuses on wind events with a specific interest in exploring the interaction between infrastructure, social, and economic metrics in community resilience to tornadoes through historical data analysis. She holds a B.S. with honors in Construction Management from Anglia Ruskin University, England, and an M.S. in Construction and Facilities Management from UNC Charlotte. Her work experience traverses working for engineering firms both in Kenya and England, and facilities management for commercial banks in Kenya. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked as a project manager in disaster recovery management in New Jersey, hence her passion for research in natural disasters and their effects on communities. 

Kumar Yelisetty

M.S. Graduate Research Assistant

Kumar is a full-stack Web Application Developer and Software Developer, currently pursuing his M.S. in Computer Science from University of North Carolina Charlotte. His primary focus and inspiration for his studies is Web Development and Machine Learning. Currently, he is working as a research assistant in creating a meteorological natural hazards’ prediction model, which utilizes machine learning and neural networks. In his free time, he studies human computer interface and the psychology of human computer interaction. He is both driven and self-motivated, and is constantly experimenting with new technologies and techniques. Kumar is proficient in JAVA, Python, HTML5, CSS/CSS3, LESS, SASS, XML, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, and SQL/MySQL/PostgreSQL/MongoDB. He is very passionate about Web Development, and strives to better himself as a developer, and the development community as a whole.

External Organizations

Dr. Pilkington greatly appreciates the influence of the multiple organizations she is associated with within the natural hazards and infrastructure disciplines, external to UNC Charlotte.  

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