Staff members on realTRIPS and the relevant projects

Chen Zhong is Associate Professor in Urban Analytics at CASA, UCL and PI on the realTRIPS project. Her research interests lie in spatial data analysis, machine learning, urban modelling, and data-driven methods for urban and transport planning. Her ongoing research focuses on urban mobility with strengths developed in three aspects: (i) the use of emerging human location data (e.g. mobile app data) and advanced spatial analysis and modelling methods (ii) addressing broad transport-related issues, e.g. evolution of urban spatial structure, socio-spatial inequalities, and accessibility to services through academic and industrial collaborations; and (iii) looking into various urban contexts, e.g. mega-city regions in China and cities with informal settlements in Global South, e.g. Kenya.

Nilufer Sari Aslam is a Research Fellow in urban mobility data who joined CASA, UCL through the realTRIPS project in 2023. Prior to this, she completed her MSc and PhD in Geographical Information Science (GIS) at UCL. She applies transferable methods/methodologies between cities using large-scale data sources, such as transport, mobile phone data, and social media data, with the help of heuristic and machine learning techniques in urban modelling. Her research focuses on urban mobility, spatial inequalities, and sustainable transportation for smart cities.

Cate Heine is a Research Fellow in urban mobility and inequality who joined CASA and the realTRIPS project in February 2024. Before joining CASA, Cate completed her PhD in Social & Engineering Systems at MIT, where she was a research assistant in the Senseable City Lab. Her research focuses on using large-scale human mobility datasets to study the impact of urban design choices on social mixing and experienced segregation in cities. More generally, she is interested in the relationship between the built environment, sustainable transportation, and equitable access to urban amenities.

PhD students on realTRIPS

Yikang Wang is a PhD student at CASA UCL. Prior to this, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in GIS from Wuhan University with honour, followed by an MSc in Computational Science at Imperial College. He is working on the analysis of human mobility in London. His PhD thesis is “Exploring the Impacts of Charging Zones on Human Mobility using Mobile Phone Location Data and a Causal Inference Approach”.

Wenlan Zhang is a PhD student at CASA UCL, started in March 2022. She has a background in environmental science and sustainable development. Her research interests lie in spatial data analysis, sustainable smart cities, and technology for development. Her PhD topic is data justice for development with a case study in Kenya.

Adham Enaya is a PhD student at CASA UCL, working on urban mobility and spatial interaction models. His thesis is “Improving the Performance of Deep Gravity Models in Predicting Urban Mobility in Geographic Areas with Limited Training Data through the Use of Urban Transfer Learning Techniques”.

Adam(Zhengzi) Zhou and is a PhD student at CASA UCL started in Jan 2024, working on unraveling the complexities of spatial segregation using mobility data. Some of his publications can be found here.

PhD students working on other relevant projects

Bowen Zhang is a final year PhD based at King’s College London, funded by K-CSC and co-supervised by Dr Zahra Shabrina and Dr Chen Zhong. He is working on a dissertation titled “Modelling Urban Clusters in Mega-city Region based on Human Mobility Pattern” using mobile phone data in the Great Bay Area. Bowen’s research has significantly contributed to the SIMETRI project. He is also a part-time Research Associate at the Alan Turing Institute.

Samuel Murphy, PhD student on inequality in emergency services at CASA UCL, primarily supervised by Dr Chen Zhong. The project is an ESRC funded and in collaboration with London Ambulance Services.


Carmen Cabrera-Arnau is a Lecturer in Geographic Data Science at the Department of Geography and Planning of the University of Liverpool。 She was a Research Fellow who joined CASA through the realTRIPS project (Sep 2021 - Sep 2022). Prior to this, she did the MSc in Complex Systems at King’s College London, followed by a PhD at UCL’s Department of Mathematics. With a background in Physics and Applied Mathematics, her current research focuses on geographic data analysis, mathematical modelling, statistics, human mobility and spatial inequalities.

Qili Gao is an Assistant Professor at the Shenzhen Audencia Financial Technology Institute. She was a Research Fellow at CASA UCL, working on the SIMETRI project and realTRIPS from March 2021 to Aug 2023. Her work focuses on spatial-temporal data mining, urban informatics, and analysis of human mobility and activity behaviours for urban and transport planning.

Advisory board members

Prof. Michael Batty Professor of Planning, CASA, UCL

Mr. Robin Morphet Honorary Professor, CASA, UCL

Dr. Mingshu Wang Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow (on data ethics issues)


Dr Zahratu Shabrina, Lecturer in Geographic Data Science, King’s College London.

Dr Wei Tu, Associate Professor, Shenzhen University

Prof Yang Yue Professor, Shenzhen University

Dr Faith Taylor Lecturer in Physical Geography Education, King’s College London

Dr Fuko Nakai Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Industrial Management Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology

Visiting scholars

Dr Yang Zhou Assistant Professor, Central China Normal University. Visiting scholar at CASA (2022-2023)

Xiaoyue Xing PhD student at Peking University. Visiting PhD student at CASA (02/2023 - 08/2023)

Mengqi Sun PhD student from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (05/2024 - 08/2024)

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