Kun Wang

Prof. Anming Zhang, Prof. Tae Oum
Killam Doctoral Scholarships

Research Topic

Analyzing International Civil Aviation Policy Liberalization; Optimal Marine Port Adaptation Investment for Disaster Resilience

Research Description

Some of my research investigates the impacts to liberalizing currently restrictive international aviation policies. I am modeling and empirically estimating how airlines respond to the creation of Single Aviation Market (SAM) in terms of competition in price, flight frequency, service quality and network configuration; Quantify the impact of SAM on the continental air passengers’ welfare. 
Another research focus is to investigate the marine ports’ optimal investment strategies on its adaptation projects dealing with the risk of sea level rise. The climate change brings increasing risk of catastrophe but under high degree of uncertainty. Thus it requires rigorous economics modeling, incorporating dynamic programing and game theory to analyze the marine ports’ disaster prevention to cope with the climate change resulting in disaster, but under uncertainty, and address the question of what level of investment in the prevention strategy is socially efficient.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

The most fantastic aspect of my graduate program is to learn from and to work with smart and critical fellow students. 

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The scenery is incredibly beautiful in Vancouver. The coastline, the water, the forest, and the mountains are just amazing.  In UBC, I found surprisingly rich academic resources, excellent faculty members who are always ready to help and guide me, and also genius peers who are always willing to collaborate and share knowledge.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

Sauder School of Business in UBC has the top scholars in the field of transportation economics and logistics management. This is the best university and research institute for me as an undergraduate and master graduate majoring in transport and logistics management. My master degree supervisor is also a Sauder PhD alumni, and his success as my role model motivates me to pursue my study here in UBC. 

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

First, Sauder School of Business publishes top transportation research with renowned top field scholars. The research-oriented emphasis here guarantees me to be well trained in doing high quality research. I am able to access to the rich research resources and attend high quality seminars. Second, UBC also has a strong economics department offers very comprehensive and rigorous courses to which I am enjoying to take and learn.


Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I always enjoy learning things deeply to understand underlying mechanism beneath the superficial phenomena. I found my great interest in economics and transportation management areas. Pursuing a PhD not only allows me to dedicate myself to learning but also to conducting research to contribute new understanding in this field. As well, I also enjoy teaching, and having a PhD enables me to pursue a faculty position after graduation. 

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

The biggest challenge confronting me is the slim job market demand on my research field. Thus, the availability of tenure-track opportunity is crucial to my future career. 

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

UBC’s research-oriented emphasis prepares and trains me to be a high-standard researcher. Thus when great opportunity comes, I should be competent enough to grab it. In addition, I am able to access to rich research resources and attend high quality seminars to build up broad connections in academia world.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Before my PhD study in UBC, I have completed my master degree also majoring in transport economics and logistics management. I have been involved in several research projects, and get some research publications in my master study. This helps me have better idea of areas to improve and what are my strength in the PhD study and research in UBC. 

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I am a big sport fan (basketball, table tennis, badminton, soccer); I also play some guitar but at an amateur level.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Should always leave 10%-20% working time available as a cushion. Never tie yourself up with too much committed work. Marginal time cost is unimaginably high with uncertainty. PhD students can always find things to fill in time, but when a good opportunity comes, you must have time slot available to grab it. Second, always have an open mind to collaborate with your peers on doing research. Your similar incentives and mutual inspiration always bring unexpected, and often valuable research outcomes.