Dr. Donghwan Gu is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) research scientist in
the Community Resilience Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Dr. Gu’s research lies in measuring the sustainability of urban areas by focusing on the
transition of the urban built environment and socioeconomic inequality.
Dr. Gu’s research at NIST primarily aims to support communities in measuring and enhancing
their ability to function after catastrophic disaster events. He conducts research in the
“Development of a First-Generation Community Resilience Assessment Methodology” project.
This work involves identifying and validating resilience indicators by developing theoretical
frameworks and quantitative analyses to understand the underlying factors and uncertainty
shaping community resilience.
In addition to the disaster research, Dr. Gu has conducted various urban studies. He studied
urban decline issues related to vacant land, tax delinquent, and property abandonment after the
housing market collapse in 2008. He focused on the mitigation and revitalization strategies for
the occurrence and proliferation of urban vacant land in distressed and neglected
neighborhoods. He also studied the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect in a regional context,
including aspects of sustainable building standards, landscape spatial patterns, and UHI
He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Civil, Urban, and Geosystem Engineering and a Master’s
degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Seoul National University in South Korea.
He earned a Master of Urban Planning and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Science from Texas
Van de Lindt, J.W., Peacock, W.G., Mitrani-Reiser, J., Rosenheim, N., Deniz, Derya., Dillard,
Maria., … Fung, Juan. (2020). Community Resilience-Focused Technical Investigation of the
2016 Lumberton, North Carolina Flood: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Natural Hazards Review .
Gu, D., Newman, G., Kim, J. H., Park, Y., & Lee, J. (2019). Neighborhood Decline and Mixed
Land Uses: Mitigating Housing Abandonment in Shrinking Cities. Land Use Policy , 83, 505-511.
Gu, D., Kim, H. Y., & Kim, H. (2015). LEED, its Efficacy in Regional Context: Finding a
Relationship between Regional Measurements and Urban Temperature. Energy and Buildings ,
86, 687-691. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2014.10.066