Qi “Ryan” Wang

Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs



  • 433 SN
  • 617.373.7984

Research Focus

Urban and social resilience; geo-social networking; coupled, human-natural systems, natural disaster response and evacuation; urban computing


  • 2015 Virginia Tech, PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • 2012 Michigan State University, MS

Honors & Awards

  • 2023 College of Engineering Faculty Fellow
  • 2021 Best Paper Award Honorable Mention, ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering

Research Overview

Urban and social resilience; geo-social networking; coupled, human-natural systems, natural disaster response and evacuation; urban computing

Ryan Wang Lab

The lab’s research focuses on two interrelated areas: human movement under the influence of natural and manmade hazards, and mobility equality in big cities.

Ryan Wang Lab

Selected Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • Small, M., Torres, M., Akhavan, A., Wang, Q. (2021). Banks, Alternative Institutions, and the Spatial-Temporal Ecology of Racial Inequality. Nature Human Behaviour. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01153-1
  • Rahimi-Golkhandan, A., Garvin, M. J., & Wang, Q. (2021). Assessing the Impact of Transportation Diversity on Postdisaster Intraurban Mobility. Journal of Management in Engineering, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000872
  • Mirzaee, S., & Wang, Q. (2020). Urban Mobility and Resilience: Exploring Boston’s Urban Mobility Network Through Twitter Data. Applied Network Science, 5(75). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41109-020-00316-9
  • Zhang, H., Liu, X., Wang, Q., Zhang, W., & Gao, J. (2020). Co-Adaptation Enhances the Resilience of Mutualistic Networks. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 17(168). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2020.0236
  • Chen, Y., Wang, Q., & Ji, W. (2020). Rapid Assessment of Disaster Impacts on Highways Using Social Media. Journal of Management in Engineering, 36(5). https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000836
  • J. Du, Q. Zhu, Y. Shi, Q. Wang, Y. Lin, D. Zhao Cognition-Digital Twins (Cog-DT) for Personalized Information Systems of Smart Cities – A Proof of Concept, Journal of Engineering Management, 2020
  • Akhavan, N.E. Phillips, J. Du, J. Chen, B. Sadeghi, Q. Wang, Accessibility Inequality in Houston, IEEE Sensors Letters, 3(1), 2019
  • J. Du, Q. Wang, Q. Shi, Description-Experience Gap under Imperfect Information Information Continuum and Aggressive Cost Estimating in Capital Project, Journal of Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 2019
  • J. Chen, W. Wang, N. Li, Q. Wang, Linking Energy-Cyber-Physical System Through Human- Centric Occupancy Predication and Interpretation with Wi-Fi Probe-Based Ensemble Classifications, Applied Energy, 236, 2019, 55-69
  • N.E. Phillips, M. Small, R. Sampson, Q. Wang, The Social Integration of American Cities: Network Measures of Connectedness Based on Everyday Mobility across Neighborhoods, Sociological Methods & Research, 2019
  • J. Chen, Q. Wang, Z. Lin, X. Guo, Measuring the Cognitive Loads of Construction Safety Sign Designs During Selective and Sustained Attention, Safety Science, 105, 2018, 9-21


Sep 26, 2022

Impact Engines Spur Multidisciplinary Research Innovation to Solve Global Challenges

Northeastern University has selected its first cohort of Impact Engines to ignite measurable change in problem-solving, three of the five of which are led by engineering faculty.

Qi “Ryan” Wang

In the Media

Sep 07, 2022

Research Team Uses Math To Help Allocate Resources During Natural Disasters

CEE Associate Professor Qi Ryan Wang was featured in the EastMojo article “Research Team Uses Math To Help Allocate Resources During Natural Disasters.”

Qi Wang and Kelsey Pieper


Aug 25, 2022

Ensuring Safe Supply to Drinking Water

CEE Associate Professor Ryan Qi Wang, Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper, and CSSH Professor Daniel Aldrich, in collaboration with the University of Virginia, are leading a $750k NSF grant for “Dynamical Coupling of Physical and Social Infrastructures: Evaluating the Impacts of Social Capital on Access to Safe Well Water.”


Aug 22, 2022

Determining Human Movements After Large Scale Events

CEE Associate Professor Ryan Qi Wang, in collaboration with researchers from RPI and Columbia University, published the paper “A spatiotemporal decay model of human mobility when facing large-scale crises” in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Line of travelers.


Nov 22, 2021

Expect a Busy Thanksgiving Travel Week

CEE Assistant Professor Qi “Ryan” Wang has been studying mobility models to see how people move and predicts that travel during the Thanksgiving break will be that similar to pre-pandemic levels.

Qi Wang, Yanzhi Wang, and Amy Mueller


Sep 02, 2021

$1.5M NSF Award for Real-Time Mobile Air Quality Monitoring and Intervention

CEE Assistant Professor Qi Ryan Wang is leading a $1.5M NSF grant, in collaboration with ECE Assistant Professor Yanzhi Wang, CEE/MES Assistant Professor Amy Mueller, CAMD Associate Professor Brooke Foucault Welles, and Adrienne Katner from the LA State University Health Science Center, to work on “Toxic-Free Footprints to Improve Community Health against Respiratory Hazards.”

Qi “Ryan” Wang


Aug 25, 2021

Determining the Accuracy of Mobility Analysis Using Big Data

CEE Assistant Professor Ryan Wang, in collaboration with Cynthia Chen and Shuai Huang from the University of Washington, was awarded a $700K NSF grant for “A Whole-Community Effort to Understand Biases and Uncertainties in Using Emerging Big Data for Mobility Analysis.”


Apr 20, 2021

FY22 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 17 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY22 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 11 different projects.

In the Media

Jan 21, 2021

Living in Boston During COVID-19: Vaccination Planning and Hesitancy

In a newly released report from the Boston Area Research Initiative, the Center for Survey Research, and the Boston Public Health Commission, Assistant Professor Ryan Wang and a host of colleagues from Northeastern and other universities and organizations published the fifth installment of their research into the pandemic in the Boston area. That report, titled […]

illustration of mobile phone with covid on screen, faucet with covid in water, and covid in transportation as illustrated by railroad crossing sign


Sep 21, 2020

Civil and Environmental Engineering Solutions to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and its Industrial Advisory Board held a series of panel discussions entitled “Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) solutions addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

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