Graeme Troxell: "Drawn by Cornell’s fundamental dedication to, and support of, interdisciplinary research"

Graeme Troxell

Graeme Troxell is a systems doctoral candidate from Fort Collins, CO. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Colorado State University and now studies urban infrastructure systems under the guidance of  H. Oliver Gao, the Howard Simpson Professor of Engineering at Cornell.

What is your area of research, scholarship, or work and why is it important?
Generally speaking, I study the design and management of complex urban infrastructure systems. These systems are already under an incredible amount of strain from urban migration and insufficient upkeep or poor management. With the growing prevalence of extreme weather events and climate-driven migration, our infrastructure systems are not likely to fare well in the future without significant and fundamental changes to how they are designed, constructed and managed over time. Many of the challenges to improving urban infrastructure are financial, social and political, and my research looks for simple ways to address all three early in the design and planning stage.

What are the broader implications of this research, scholarship, or work?
Hopefully a more participatory and collaborative approach to urban design and renewal, and improved adaptability and resilience in fundamental public services.

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
I prefer to spend my free time in the mountains, climbing, hiking, and splitboarding with my wife and my dog.

Why did you choose Cornell?
I was drawn by Cornell’s fundamental dedication to, and support of, interdisciplinary research. This is a particular asset for the Systems Engineering program at Cornell and differentiates it from every other systems program in the country. It was an easy choice.

What is next for you?
I’ll be applying to academic positions soon, where I hope to teach and continue my research.

Do you have any advice for future or current graduate students?
Yes—go talk to everyone that might have a remote interest in, or insight into, your area of research. Cornell’s faculty are very supportive and responsive and (in my experience at least) have been more than happy to have a friendly chat.

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