Jade Leung

DPhil candidate in Geography and the Environment

Jade's research interests centre on the relationship between infrastructure and sustainable development, with a specific focus on developing methodologies for infrastructure planning and performance measurement that account for the complex interlinkages between infrastructure services and development outcomes. She works closely with the ITRC and UNOPS to bring these methodologies to the field. 

In the context of the Oxford Urbanists, Jade is particularly interested in engaging with the themes of sustainable infrastructure and its role in both the global sustainable development agenda as well as the political context of international development. She has a keen interest in urban development in the MENA region, as well as energy and climate related infrastructure challenges. 

Jade completed her undergraduate degree in environmental engineering at the University of Auckland before moving to the University of Cambridge to complete a Masters in Environmental Policy. She commenced her DPhil at the University of Oxford on the Rhodes scholarship in 2016. Beyond academia, Jade is active in the NGO and social enterprise spaces - she has co-founded two social enterprises and one not-for-profit in the past 5 years, and has held a number of senior positions within these sectors, notably including with Engineers Without Borders NZ through which she engaged heavily in infrastructure for sustainable development projects in the Pacific Islands. 


Biruk Terrefe

MPhil student Development studies

Biruk is an MPhil student in Oxford's Department of International Development and former Co-Chair of the Oxford Africa Conference.

His research focuses broadly on the politics of infrastructure with the resurgence of high-modernist thinking across parts of sub-Saharan Africa. More specifically, he is interested in the use of discursively constituted infrastructure as a tool to understand political dynamics in the Horn of Africa. Urbanist interests include the interplay between infrastructure and citizenship, infrastructure and the politics of exclusion, China’s infrastructure politics, and the growing phenomenon of ‘secondary’ cities in Africa.

Prior to Oxford, he spent 8 months at the World Health Organization in their strategic partnerships and resource mobilization unit as a Carlo-Schmid Fellow. Biruk has studied, worked and lived in Germany, Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, France, Denmark and the United Kingdom. He received a Bachelor's degree in economics and management from Jacobs University Bremen, including a semester at Sciences Po Paris.


Sigfried Eisenmeier

mphil student Development studies

Sigfried is currently investigating the impacts of on-demand ridesharing platforms on the labour conditions of the drivers in urban spaces. He is an MPhil student in Development Studies at the Oxford Department of International Development. His regional focus is on Latin America. 

He did his undergrad in Sociology, Politics and Economics in Friedrichshafen, Bogota and Berkeley.


Paul Healy

MSc student in economics for development

Paul is an M.Sc. student in Economics for Development at Oxford. His research focuses on urban economics in developing countries—particularly the ways in which transport systems and infrastructure projects can ameliorate or exacerbate spatial inequalities. Before Oxford, Paul worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. (where he served city and state government agencies across the U.S.) as well as an intern at WhereIsMyTransport, a transport startup in Cape Town. He received a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in Economics & Classics from Georgetown University in 2015.


Chinmay Rayarikar

MPhil student in Development Studies

Chinmay is interested in the intersection between urban spaces and technology, especially in cities of the global South. He has carried out research on various fields related to urbanism, including refugee integration in the United States, transit systems in China, and urban planning in Rwanda. His potential thesis topic will focus on urban development and South-South cooperation in East Africa.

Chinmay completed his undergraduate studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and was awarded a BA in International Studies and Urban Studies with honours.

Aaron Maniam (RInspire).jpg

Aaron Maniam

DPhil Candidate At the Blavatnik School of Government

Aaron Maniam is a Doctoral student at the Blavatnik School of Government, on a Clarendon Scholarship, where he works on digital government at both national and city levels. He previously worked for the government of Singapore, in roles including foreign policy; strategy and scenario planning; and overseeing policy on manufacturing, services and tourism. Given Singapore's status as a city, state, and island all at once, urban governance issues have critically underpinned his work. He was named a World Cities Summit Young Global Leader in 2014, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2013. He holds a BA and Masters in Public Policy from Oxford, an MA in International and Development Economics from Yale, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the promotion of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (FRSA). 


Ikuno Naka

DPhil candidate in International Development

Ikuno is a DPhil candidate at Oxford's Department of International Development (ODID) where her primary research focus is the financialization of India's real estate sector and its implications on the urban development of the country's emerging cities. Prior to Oxford, she worked in finance in Tokyo where her interests in real estate securitization began. She holds an MPhil degree from ODID and a bachelor's degree in International Relations and History from Wellesley College.




Nurul Amillin Hussain is a DPhil candidate at Oxford's Department of Geography and the Environment. She is also a Teaching Assistant at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Amillin's research interests include urban sustainability and renewable energy. Her current work aims to explore the use of solar energy in high-rise government housing estates. Previously, she worked as a sustainability consultant in Singapore, engaging with both the public and private sectors across the marine, oil and gas and agri-business industries. 

She earned her bachelors in Sociology from the Nanyang Technological University, where she was an NTU President Research Scholar, and her MPhil in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, where she was part of the Environmental Consulting Society. In her free time, Amillin enjoys creative writing. 


Alexandra  Panman

DPhil Candidate in International Development

Alexandra’s research is focused on urban poverty, housing, and land markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. She uses mixed methods, combining econometric analysis of survey data with qualitative fieldwork to explore patterns and processes that shape living conditions in urban areas.

Alexandra has worked for the World Bank and United Nations, including projects in Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Haiti) and Sub-Saharan Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya). She has experience developing, implementing, and evaluating urban development projects, as well as designing and fielding large-scale household surveys. She has BA in Modern History and Politics from Oxford University and an MA in Economics and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.


Rafael H M Pereira

DPhil Candidate in Geography and the Environment

Rafael is a researcher at the Brazilian Research Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) and a DPhil candidate in the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) at Oxford University. Rafael's doctoral research concentrates on questions of distributive justice and transportation equity. His dissertation focuses more specifically on the distributive aspects of how transport policies/investments shape socio-spatial inequalities in access to opportunities. The four-paper thesis is grounded on a theoretical discussion of leading contemporary philosophical theories of justice, mainly Rawls' egalitarianism and Capability Approaches. The methodology developed in the thesis contributes to accessibility measurement in multimodal transport networks by combining GTFS and big data. The research further develops three case studies that bring together research on network science and the political economy of infrastructure networks to discuss the equity implications of the transport legacies from sports mega-events in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and analyse of who benefited from the new transport developments in the city. 


Samuel Ruiz-Tagle

DPhil Candidate at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

Samuel is a doctoral student at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford. In his research project, Samuel explores the connection between law, space, and ideology, discovering how political and economic discourses, channelled through urban legal structures, impact the physical landscape of cities. 

Prior to coming to Oxford, Samuel graduated from Stanford Law School, where he competed a Masters of Laws in Environmental Law and Policy. He also holds a Diploma in Urban Planning from the Institute of Urban Studies UC and a Bachelor of Juridical and Social Sciences degree from the University of Chile.

Samuel began his career as a legal advisor to the General Secretariat of the Presidency of Chile and also worked for several years for an environmental and natural resources boutique law firm in Santiago. Likewise, he held positions as a teaching assistant and assistant professor for Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Environmental Law courses in different universities in Chile.

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-16 at 13.38.01.jpeg

Ignacio Perez Karich

DPhil Candidate in geography and the environment

Ignacio holds a Bachelor in Sociology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (2011) an MSc in Urban Development Planning from UCL-Development Planning Unit (2016) and now is a DPhil Student in Oxford at the Geography and the Environment department working under the supervision of Prof. Gillian Rose and Dr. Tim Schwanen. His research focuses in the relationship between science-policy and decision making in cities. Particularly, in his project he’s seeking to analyse how digital information penetrates in urban planning decisions in metropolitan areas.

Before starting his DPhil, he was the research director for TECHO (2011-2013), Latin-American NGO. There his work was focused on leading research teams mostly in large scale slum-mapping enumerations and assessing urban policies in several countries of the region. Then, he was appointed as associate at Instiglio ,leading their operations in Chile for a joint project with the Inter-American Development Bank, developing studies for the first Social Impact Bond in crime recidivism in Latin America. Before starting his DPhil in Oxford, he worked as researcher in the project ‘Smart City Leadership in Chile’ at UCL-STEaPP working in alliance with the UK-FCO and the Chilean Ministry of Housing and Urbanism and he was also a GTA for the Urban Economic Development MSc in UCL.

Aman Profile Picture.jpg

Aman Gupta

MPhil student in Development Studies

Aman has had varied and disparate research experience, approached through a political geography perspective. Some memorable projects have included street design solutions for street vendors, and investigating the flexibility of modernist architecture, in India. Aman’s primary methodological tools are interviews, participant observations and mapping. His professional experience ranges from finance to think tanks, from advocacy to research organisations; in India and the UK.

Aman is currently pursuing an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford. He is researching impact investment in the reconstruction of homes after hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and how competing interests play out in the materiality of the house.