Students praise innovative university collaboration

Kartikeya Rajput, senior environmental engineer at ChapmanBDSP, met with Masters students for the final stage of a new initiative designed to help the next generation of engineers.

The Collaborative Thesis Project paired students at the University of Westminster with industry experts with the aim of creating innovative environmental solutions that bridge the gap between academia and industry

Kartikeya has been mentoring a student looking as the sustainable retrofit of The Kasbah of Algiers, a world heritage site, and another looking at the spatial mapping of environmental comfort.

The final designs were presented back to the group, which contained academics and industry experts, earlier this month and will be exhibited at the university in September.

Samy Firad (image below) who was looking at the Kasbah of Algiers project, said: ‘The challenge in designing a building in a world heritage city is to find the balance between tradition and innovation.

'The additional and much needed insight brought by my external mentor Kartikeya Rajput from Chapman BDSP added the feasibility to design decisions and in establishing the effectiveness of passive strategies.

'I am grateful for this opportunity to do my research in collaboration with Chapman BDSP. I can't think of a better opportunity for myself to be able to involve myself with such an influential practice in London.’

Salome Berechikidze, (image below) whose thesis topic was ‘comfort maps as a design tool’, added: ‘The collaboration with ChapmanBDSP had great significance. It helped me to look outside an academic point of view and examine my research object from professionals' perspective. 

'I'm grateful to ChapmanBDSP for the opportunity given. I'd also like to present my heartiest gratitude to Kartikeya Rajput. Without his teachings and guidance none of this knowledge would have been acquired.’

Kartikeya added: ‘It’s been a great initiative of inspiring students, expanding the environmental engineering realm and providing meaningful insight to our next generation of environmental consultants. It has been a fabulous year of mentoring, knowledge sharing and watching th students grow, all while aligning Industrial knowledge and academic exploration. Best of luck to all the students in the future.’

Dr Rosa Schiano-Phan, course leader of the MSc Architecture and Environmental Design course, added: ‘The diversity and depth of the topics is a credit to our hard working and highly motivated students, and to the successful collaboration between our academic staff and industry partners.

'The topics are on top of the current environmental agenda and they address the main challenges that our built environment is facing globally. It also shows how much it can be done when knowledge is transferred between academia and industry.’ 

Joining Kartikeya and the students were industry experts, Mariam Kapsali of Architype, Francesco Anselmo of Arup and Abul Mahdi of Article 25.

Academics, Dr Juan Vallejo, Dr Jon Goodbun, Mehrdad Borna, Benson Lau and Dr Nasser Golzari helped with the project.

The final thesis projects will be exhibited on September 14th at end of year exhibition of the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Students and industry experts after the final session.

Students praise innovative university collaboration