Director, Mansueto Institute
Luís M. A. Bettencourt is the Inaugural Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, as well as an External Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute. He was trained as a theoretical physicist and obtained his undergraduate degree from Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon, Portugal) in 1992, and his PhD from Imperial College (University of London, UK) in 1996 for research in statistical and high-energy physics models of the early Universe. He has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), Los Alamos National Laboratory (Director’s Fellow and Slansky Fellow) and at MIT (Center for Theoretical Physics). He has worked extensively on complex systems theory and on cities and urbanization, in particular. His research emphasizes the creation of new interdisciplinary synthesis to describe cities in quantitative and predictive ways, informed by classical theory from various disciplines and the growing availability of empirical data worldwide. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers and several edited books. His research has been featured in leading media venues, such as the New York Times, Nature, Wired, New Scientist, and the Smithsonian.
Urban Doctoral Fellows Coordinator
Stephen is Senior Research & Evaluation Scientist at Outlier Research and Evaluation at UChicago STEM. His work concentrates on community-based and systemic service responses for youth, education, and community development. Dr. Baker was project director of a multi-year implementation and outcome evaluation of the Community Partnership for Protecting Children Initiative. He also served as project director for the multi-year evaluation of the Children, Youth, and Families Initiative, a project for integrating developmental and specialized services in Chicago neighborhoods. His most recent work has focused on school-centered youth- and community-development and systemic quality improvement systems for afterschool programs. He has served as an instructor for undergraduate and graduate classes at the University of Chicago, including courses on the history of social welfare, data for management and analysis, and research and evaluation. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Social Services Administration at the University of Chicago.
Director, Urban Center for Computation and Data
Charlie Catlett is the founding director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, UrbanCCD, which brings social, physical, and computational scientists together with artists, architects, technologists, and policy makers to explore science-based approaches to opportunities and challenges related to the understanding, design, and sustainable operation of cities. To this end, UrbanCCD brings expertise, tools, and resources to bear from computational modeling, data analytics, and embedded systems. He is also a Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. From 2007 to 2011, Charlie was the Chief Information Officer at Argonne National Laboratory, and from 2004 to 2007 he was Director of the National Science Foundation’s TeraGrid initiative – a nationally distributed supercomputing facility involving fifteen universities and federal laboratories. Before joining the University of Chicago and Argonne in 2000, Charlie was Chief Technology Officer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Recognized in 2014 as one of Chicago’s “Tech 50” technology leaders by Crain’s Chicago Business, Charlie is a Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Event Specialist, Mansueto Institute
Aimee Giles is the Event Specialist for the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation. Prior to joining the Institute, Aimee was the Event and Travel Consultant for the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago for well over a decade. There she oversaw the Institute’s Events and Visitors Program. Aimee also has an extensive background in corporate event planning. She volunteers with several nationally recognized organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness), Purpose Over Pain and Strides for Peace. Aimee is the recipient of the Vessel of Strength Award for her dedication to assisting underserved communities. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University.
Project Assistant, Mansueto Institute
Heidi is an administrative professional with experience providing operational and project management support in a range of industries. Prior to her experience at the University of Chicago, Heidi served as the Operations Assistant at Krueck and Sexton Architects. She also worked for several years as a Gallery Office Assistant at the School of the Art Institute where she attended from 2011-2015. Heidi holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University. Off campus, she is dedicated to producing ceramics at Lillstreet Art Center.
Research Data Scientist, Mansueto Institute
Nico is a Research Data Scientist with the Mansueto Institute. He holds a multi-disciplinary background in data science and urban research with a strong interest in harnessing advances in data and machine learning, which he is now applying to gain deeper insights into the science behind cities. In the past, he worked at Civis Analytics as a Senior Data Scientist where he combined predictive modeling and survey research to provide actionable guidance to organizations in the technology, local government, and political spaces. Before moving to Chicago, he spent six years at the Brookings Institution as an Associate Fellow, publishing numerous reports on global trade and urban development patterns and engineering new data resources to fill gaps in public data. Nico holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Studies from Macalester College and a Master of Science in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota.
Content Specialist, Mansueto Institute
Elaine Meyer is a Content Specialist at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation where she communicates about the institute’s research, events, education, and other programming. Previously, she worked as a communication specialist focusing on public health at Columbia University School of Public Health and NYU Langone Health. She’s also worked as a journalist, reporting on work, technology, law and education; as an English teacher in France; and as a paralegal at the Federal Trade Commission. Elaine holds a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Northwestern University and grew up in the Chicago area.
Associate Director for Programs and Education, Mansueto Institute
As associate director for programs and education, Brian manages operations of the Mansueto Institute’s programs, including events, fellowships, and support services, and helps develop strategic programs and partnerships within and outside of the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the institute, Brian held roles both in industry and at the University of Chicago, managing social sector programming and lifelong learning for alumni in the Office of Alumni Relations and Development. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Colorado, a master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Anthropological Archaeology from the University of Chicago. His research focused on South Asian colonial urbanism, specifically the processes of abandonment and ruination associated with declining urban environments and the way these spaces come to be reimagined and repurposed by different social groups. He recently authored the book The City of Facades: Archaeology, History, and Urbanism in Velha Goa, published by Primus Books.