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About me

I am Principal Lecturer in Architecture and Environmental Design at the School of Architecture and Cities of the University of Westminster. I joined the University in September 2013 to set up and lead a MSc in Architecture and Environmental Design which has been running since Sep 2014. I have also written and taken to internal validation a BSc in Architecture and Environmental Design. Prior to 2013, I taught Environmental Design as a Senior Lecturer at the Architectural Association in the MSc and MArch courses in Sustainable Environmental Design. Previously, I was a Research Fellow at the Department of Built Environment, University of Nottingham (2005-10), working on several European funded research projects. My experience in environmental design consultancy included the role of Senior Sustainability Consultant at WSP Environmental and at Brian Ford & Associates (1998-2003). I completed my postgraduate studies in Environmental Design in the UK, with a MSc in ‘Architecture, Energy and Sustainability’ from London Metropolitan University (1999). I subsequently obtained a PhD degree from the Architectural Association on the application of passive evaporative cooling using porous ceramic in residential buildings (2002-2005). In 1998 I obtained a BSc and Diploma Certificate in Architecture from the University ‘Federico II’ of Naples, Italy. I am the co-author of The Architecture of Natural Cooling, published in 2019 by Routledge.

Teaching

I am the course leader of the MSc in Architecture and Environmental Design since September 2014. I am also a module leader for the technical and environmental studies module of the second year of the BSc Architecture and Environmental Design. Throughout my teaching career, I have taught a range of undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in Environmental Design. I was Senior Lecturer for the MSc/MArch Sustainable Environmental Design Course at the Architectural Association Graduate School, London (2007-2013) and previously (2004-06), part-time Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, Design and Environment Degree Course (Architectural Pathway). My teaching experience ranges from a wider holistic approach to sustainable environmental design to more advanced subjects, which cover the environmental engineering and energy aspects of building design and performance. Some of these are: Environmental Design, covering the principles of passive solar design and strategies of bioclimatic architecture (e.g. natural ventilation, enhanced thermal performance of building envelope, passive solar heating and cooling, day-lighting, solar control); Building Physics and Energy Foundations, covering fundamentals of heat exchange and energy balance of buildings; Quantitative and Qualitative Monitoring of buildings and systems performance, such as measurement of environmental and energy parameters, thermal comfort surveys and post occupancy evaluations; Building Energy Modelling and Dynamic Thermal Simulation, covering thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. I am specialised in building integrated Passive and Hybrid Downdraught Cooling systems (PHDC).

I am Director of studies of 4 PhD students in Environmental Design related subjects. I was Director of studies of a completed PhD on Towards nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Lebanon: bioclimatic design and experimental building strategies for energy demand reduction and a completed MPhil on Role of Window Design in Creating an Interplay between Energy Efficiency & Architectural Design. Previously, I have co-supervised with Dr Simos Yannas, three successfully completed PhD degrees from the Energy & Environment Programme, Architectural Association, London. The research topics were: i) Achieving suitable thermal performance in residential buildings in China, ii) Climate interactive building design in the Korean climate; iii) Transitional Spaces: the role of sheltered semi-outdoor spaces as microclimatic modifiers for school buildings in the UK. I have been External and Internal Examiner of several PhD students at Nottingham University, Cambridge University, the AA, London, and University of La Coruna in Spain.

Research

Current research interests

I have over 20 years of experience in environmental design research and consultancy. I have authored two key text books, technical reports and written over 40 papers which have been published in edited books and peer reviewed publications. I have editorial experience of journals and books and I have given numerous presentations at academic and professional international conferences. I am on the editorial board of the journals: Sustainability and TAD, and on the scientific and organising committee of several international symposia and conferences. I am very active in the international academic research community; I have initiated research collaborations with several major universities in the world and have led major EU funded research projects. I have collaborated with universities, architects and engineers in Europe, India, China and South America.

My research specialisation is in the field of environmental design, natural ventilation and passive cooling. Specifically, I have played a major role in developing methodologies for the quantification of the performance of passive cooling through porous ceramic and the post occupancy evaluation of buildings employing innovative natural cooling methods. In July 2019 my expertise was sought as an invited expert for the feasibility study of natural ventilation retrofit to the temporary House of Parliament in Whitehall, London. I am the co-author of the book on The Architecture of Natural Cooling, published by Routledge (2020). I am also an invited topic editor for the journal of Sustainability. I am guest currently editing the special issue on "Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation"

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/special_issues/architectural_education

Another area of my research specialisation relates to the quantification of the wider impact of environmental design strategies in heritage sites and also the mapping of their climatic applicability at regional and national scale. This work, carried out in collaboration with international visiting scholars, has been presented in articles and conference papers and has proved very influential, being cited in many international publications on geo-climatic studies.

I am currently co-investigator of a QHT funded cross-disciplinary research on links between the built environment and health and wellbeing. The relationship between outdoor air quality, vitamin D deficiency and the spread of Covid-19 is the subject of a seed-fund research project that I am conducting with colleagues from the department of Life Sciences and which is due for completion in July 2021.

Research group/centre

I am part of the Human Comfort Research group.

Research Appointments

I am an Associate member of the Passive Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) Committee;

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; Honorary Member of Italian Institute of Bio-Architecture (INBAR); Founder and Co-Chair of Women of Westminster Network (2019-20). I am a peer reviewer evaluator for the EPSRC, Syracuse University, NY, USA, the Architectural Science Review Journal, Wiley International, Routledge, Elsevier and MDPI.

Publications

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