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Ning Ai

Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Ning Ai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a joint appointment at the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy. She is also an affiliated faculty in the Urban Transportation Center.

Dr. Ai’s research interests center on urban sustainability: specifically, policies and quantitative models that help reduce the environmental footprint of urban development while balancing socioeconomic goals. Her research involves multidisciplinary methods, including material flow analysis, spatial analysis, socioeconomic impact analysis, environmental economic valuation methods, statistical analysis, and system modeling. Her research contributions can be evidenced in peer-reviewed publications, national awards, invited lectures, and media appearances regionally and internationally in two primary research themes: (1) material and waste management; and (2) transportation and environment.

Currently, she serves as the Division Vice Chair of Sustainability and Resource Conservation Technical Council and Chair of the Resource Conservation Technical Coordinating Committee of the Air & Waste Management Association. She has worked for the World Bank, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., and the Georgia State Department of Natural Resources. She obtained her dual-bachelor degrees in Environmental Economics and Environmental Engineering from Renmin University and Tsinghua University, respectively, in China, Master’s degree in City Planning from MIT, and doctoral degree in City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech.