The Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania has announced the appointment of their 2023–2024 McHarg Fellow in the Department of Landscape Architecture and the elevation of three other postdoctoral researchers within the Department of Architecture and Department of City and Regional Planning.
The $75,000 McHarg Fellowship is awarded annually by the school’s Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology and recognizes emerging voices in landscape architecture and its related fields. This year’s fellow, Emma Mendel, comes to the Center with a research critical focus on the role water has in shaping the built environment. She was previously a lecturer at the University of Virginia, where her work through the Global South Humanities Lab earned recognition from the Graham Foundation. Mendel holds graduate degrees from Harvard GSD and the University of Toronto and previously studied for her BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design.
She is joined by Jamal Collins, the provost’s postdoctoral fellow in the Department of City and Regional Planning. The Philadelphia and recent Temple University PhD graduate native is currently working with Professor Lance Freeman around issues related to neighborhood change. His research introduces music venues as a key cog to urban policy and regional planning efforts. Collins also holds an MS degree from Oklahoma State University and has also earned a BS in economics from Morehouse College.
Additionally, both Maximilian Ororbia and Xiang Zhang were named as new postdoctoral fellows in the Department of Architecture. Ororbia, who is working with Assistant Professor Masoud Akbarzadeh through the Polyhedral Structures Lab, hopes to expand on his doctoral studies in civil engineering at Pennsylvania State University to develop a new structural engineering and architectural design decision-making and optimization processes. Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow in the school’s Thermal Architecture Lab, is focused on building energy and Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) simulation, as well as various green building rating systems for the industry.
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