To mark International Women’s Day in 2018 we are celebrating the achievements of just some of the academics working here at Brighton.
Our Women of Impact web feature demonstrates how our academic staff are achieving great things, working on the complex challenges facing society, educating and inspiring the next generation and making an impact in communities. The varied and diverse career journeys illustrate the huge range of talent that we welcome at the University of Brighton.
From civil engineering and construction read these profiles
Dr Heidi Burgess – Managing Flood Risk
Dr Heidi Burgess, a Chartered Civil Engineer, brings together different disciplines to reduce flood risk as climate changes is causing more people to be at risk from flood events.
Della Madgwick – A Passion for Housing
Della graduated from university with a degree in Civil Engineering and went on to forge a long career as a professional in the Built Environment. She has presented research at COBRA, the world’s leading annual construction building and real estate conference, and has recently been appointed as Chair of the Subject Area Review for the Built Environment at the University.
As part of International Women in Engineering Day 2017, Dr Mary Geary, research fellow in our school, shares her experience of a career in STEMM research and the support she received from the University of Brighton on returning to STEMM research after a career break.
Dr Geary travelled to Barcelona last month as part of an EU ‘Co-operation in Science and Technology’ initiative called the INTREPID training school. Here is her diary of the trip.
In the famous Catalan fairy story ‚‘The Water of Life‘, also known by its original name ‘El agua de la vida’, only the deliverance of the water of life, sourced from a magic spring in the hills, can save a family from being turned to stone by an evil giant. It is the daughter of the family who outsmarts the ogre and restores life with the water. The life of her own family, of her petrified neighbours and of her surroundings are all rejuvanated as the water she spills on the return from the mountain turns everything green and fecund and frees the people from the giant’s curse. That water is still seen as the very essence of Catalan life is clear throughout the urban fabric of its capital city.
Wedged between the Mediterranean Sea and the estuaries of the Llobregat and Besos rivers and with the Serra de Collserola mountain range as its backdrop, Barcelona is a water-centric city fiercely proud of its heritage. As the economic powerhouse of Catalonia, its historic wealth was built around its port, driving its shipping, mercantile, leather and textile industries. The evidence of that financial prowess – Barcelona’s architectural splendour – attracts millions of tourists every year. Power, water, wealth have historically connected together to forge a city of almost 2 million residents; whose population rises threefold every year with almost 6 million visitors per annum.
As one of those 6 million visitors I travelled to Barcelona in early February this year as part of an EU ‘Co-operation in Science and Technology’ initiative called the INTREPID training school. My fellow Sustainable Futures researchers and I were collaborating to work together in a four day workshop, sharing experiences and learning together how interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of undertaking sustainability research. Working across disciplines – we were a disparate group of ecologists, urban planners, civil engineers, environmental lawyers, social scientists amongst others –we discussed how it is possible to try to make connections amidst and outside of our own scientific perspectives to find holistic pragmatic solutions to urgent, real world problems. As a Research Fellow based in SET, understanding how communities understand, articulate and action changes in their local water environments is crucial. It helps me contextualise how macro influences are interpreted and responded to, and what steps and strategies policy makers and governance bodies need to undertake to make sustainability science comprehensible and relevant. Read More →
Head down to the seafront between 1-4pm on Saturday 29 July and celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) with Soapbox Science.
Soapbox Science hosts events across the UK and the world raising the profile of women in science – breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes about who a researcher is. And they are coming to Brighton for the first time this summer.
Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank in 2016.
Senior Lecturers Ms Della Madgwick and Dr Hannah Wood presented their research papers at COBRA in Toronto Canada before a global audience of Surveyors Project Managers and Construction experts from both academic institutions and Industry.
COBRA is the world leading conference in Construction, Building and Real Estate research held annually by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Three papers were presented: An exploratory Study of the Impact of Visual Representation on Perception of Energy Consumption in UK households– described how thermal imaging may contribute to energy savings Embedding Emerging Technology in Built Environment Educations – considered how the latest techniques such as laser scanning, drones and augmented technologies can be integrated into undergraduate programmes The Impact of Service Charges to Free-holders on New Estates– considered how a changing platform of tenure in new developments requires some thorough research to fully understand the implications to new home owners.
The papers were well received by delegates and as a result of round table discussions a group of academics from a number of Universities propose to make a bid to the RICS Research Trust for funding to develop the ideas discussed and write Best Practice Guidance.
There was much discussion about the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and its increasing impact on projects. In addition delegates were able to visit the George Brown College and tour the Angelo DelZotto School of Construction Management to view how Building Information is Modelling (BIM) is taught in their specialist BIM lab.
Research into how natural lighting can cut the need for electric lighting by 60 per cent has won a University of Brighton researcher a top award.
Traditional windows produce uneven distribution of daylight in rooms but the innovative daylighting system developed by Dr Arman Hashemi has brought significant improvements.
The research earned Dr Hashemi, Senior Lecturer in the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences, a Premier Award in the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) International Innovation & Research awards.
His paper reported on a research programme investigating retrofitted solutions to uneven distribution of daylight in office buildings. Judges said: “The paper provides a significant contribution to current knowledge relating to retrofitted solutions for daylight distribution in office buildings.”
Dr Hashemi, also received the Highly Commended award in Innovation Achiever’s category for his patent-pending product which can reduce heat-losses through windows by an average of 63 per cent. Judges said: “The Advanced Thermal Shutter System is an elegant piece of engineering … the judging panel was impressed by Dr Hashemi’s individual achievement in developing this innovation.”
Dr Hashemi, previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Cambridge, has worked on a range of award-winning architectural projects and have led or contributed to several research projects on sustainable housing, building performance evaluation, offsite construction and product design and development.