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About me

I joined the Department of Property and Construction, University of Westminster in 2014.  Prior to that, I worked as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, Centre for Sustainable Development, Department of Engineering. I hold a PhD in Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment from Cambridge University Engineering Department, entitled “Future-Proofed Design of Low-Energy Housing Developments: Conceptual Framework and Case Studies from the UK and Sweden”. I also hold an MPhil in Technology Policy from Cambridge University, Judge Business School and I am trained as a mechanical engineering with a MEng (Distinction) in Mechanical Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Since June 2017, I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

I have extensive experience in multidisciplinary research projects and consultancy work in the areas of: informal settlements upgrading; climate change adaptation and urban regeneration; energy efficiency; low-carbon design and retrofitting strategies; building environmental assessment methods, including LCA and embodied carbon and the BIM framework. My research has provided me with a unique opportunity to communicate and disseminate findings to varied audiences, such as policy-makers (e.g. European Commission DG Research and Innovation, DECC, DCLG, DEFRA, DH, DFID, Environment Agency, NHS, South Africa’s National Treasury); local authorities (e.g. eThekwini municipality in Durban (South Africa), Cambridge City, Manchester City, Cornwall, Cardiff and Neath Port Talbot Councils), industry bodies (e.g. ARUP, RICS, BRE, Tata Colours, Core Cities), and international agencies (e.g. UN-Habitat, UNIDO, UNDP).

Teaching

I teach on a range of Level 4, 5 and 6 modules in the UG Construction Studies Programme in the areas of: Built Environment and Graduate Attributes; Construction Technology and Innovation; Project Management. I am supervising final-year undergraduate and post-graduate dissertations (approximately 12 projects per year) and I am inviting doctoral research students in my subject areas. 

I am a guest lecturer, supervisor and external examiner at the following MSt programmes: MSt Interdisciplinary Design in the Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture, University of Cambridge; MSt in Civil Engineering and MSt in Housing College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa. I am also co-supervising three doctoral students at the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at UKZN.

Research

My research focuses in the areas of: low carbon construction and urban regeneration; future-proofed design and whole lifecycle thinking; built environment collaboration and integration; and sustainability literacy and employability in HE Property and Construction curriculum design and assessment.

Academic Leadership and Management – Principal Investigator (PI) in two Research Grants:

A)  Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded research project under the Newton Fund Urban Transformations Programme entitled ‘Community-led Upgrading for Self-Reliance in South Africa: Integrated Construction and Environmental Management Systems in Informal Settlements’; Feb 2016 – Feb 2020; Budget: £500k; Website: www.isulabantu.org.

The overarching aim is to develop and test an integrated ‘Collaborative Environmental and Construction Management Toolkit’ to enhance community self-reliance in informal settlements in South Africa (SA). The research output is expected to be tested and scaled up in other South African cities, wider Africa and the Global South. This will offer opportunities for capacity building and skills upgrading that communities, local authorities, and the private sector need to developed further for effective bottom-up, participatory upgrading. Leading a multidisciplinary partnership with: University College London’s Department of Civil Environmental and Geomatic Engineering; the School of Built Environment and Development Studies and the Pollution Research Group at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, SA; and a long list of external collaborators, which involve: the eThekwini municipality in Durban; the SA Department of Human Settlements; uTshani Fund and FEDUP community organisation affiliated to the Shack/ Slum Dwellers International (SDI) Alliance; and, EcoLtd (sustainability consultancy focusing on international development and project formulation) who are aligning this project work with the experience and technical assistance currently offered by UNDP, UNIDO and UN-HABITAT. In October 2016, the project team organised an interactive side event at the United Nations Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador.

B)  Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship entitled ‘Building Urban Resilience for Self-Reliance in African Cities’; Mar 2016 – Mar 2020; Budget: £111k.

I am leading training and capacity building programme with the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban, SA. The overarching aim is to strengthen BEDS research excellence in the fields of: Low Cost Housing; Resilience and Self-Reliance in Urban Regeneration; Procurement; Project Management & Skills in Construction; and Whole Lifecycle Costing. 

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.