Sheffield alumna elected speaker of UAE Federal National Council

Last week (18 November 2015) Sheffield alumna Dr Amal Al Qubaisi (PhD Architecture 2001) made history by becoming the first woman in the Arab world to be elected as President and Speaker of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal National Council (FNC).

The Federal National Council is located in Abu Dhabi and is the federal authority formed to represent the general Emirati people of the UAE.

Dr Al Qubaisi has served with the FNC since 2006, when she was the first woman elected to the council. Since then she has continued her historic rise, becoming the first female deputy speaker, and in 2013 the first woman to chair a meeting of the council.

In the recent election Dr Al Qubaisi ran unopposed to become the Speaker. On accepting the role of President and Speaker Dr Al Qubaisi told Gulf News:

“I am honoured to be the first woman elected to be speaker of the FNC. This is a testament of the country’s support of its people to achieve political ability. I would like to dedicate this nomination to Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and the women of the UAE,”

On the news of Dr Al Qubaisi’s election Miles Stevenson, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations said:

“We are delighted to hear the news that Dr Al Qubaisi has been elected as speaker of the Federal National Council, and on the behalf of all at Sheffield I would like to pass on our congratulations. It is wonderful to see a Sheffield alumna receiving the respect of her peers, and achieving such a distinguished position.”

Professor Fionn Stevenson, Head of the Sheffield School of Architecture where Dr Al Qubaisi studied, added:

“I offer my sincere congratulations to our University of Sheffield School of Architecture alumna Dr Amal Al Qubaisi on becoming the first woman in the Arab world to be elected as President and Speaker of the UAE Federal National Council. Our School has a proud tradition of supporting women’s voices around the world and enabling our architecture graduates to make a difference.”

Dr Al Qubaisi completed a PhD in architecture at Sheffield in 2001, having studied for her Bachelors degree at UAE University. Prior to her political career Dr Al Qubaisi was a distinguished architect with a focus on preserving the architectural heritage of the UAE. She has been responsible for saving some of the country’s most historical sites, a number of which are now protected by national and international law. As a member of the FNC she plays a major role in the UAE, as well as being a leading advocate for women’s issues in the UAE.

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MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies eligible for Shared Commonwealth Scholarship

From the 20 November 2015 the University will be accepting applications for this year’s Shared Commonwealth Scholarship. We are pleased to announce that the MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies programme is an eligible course, with one award available to an international student from a Commonwealth developing country.

Each award offers:

  • A full tuition fee waiver
  • Maintenance for University accommodation and a monthly stipend
  • Flights to and from your home country

The award will be given to a student with a strong academic background beginning their postgraduate study at the University in September 2016. The closing date for applications is 11 March 2016 and all eligible offer holders will be emailed with information about how they can apply for the scholarship.

The MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies course builds on our commitment to social and environmental responsibility in the design and production of the built environment.

We are a recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design. This programme will inspire and enable students to pursue innovative research and design strategies for the built environment

Further details about the award and the list of Commonwealth countries that are eligible

MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies students taking part in materials visits

MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies students taking part in materials visits

PhD student chosen as finalist for Young Lighter of the Year

Zeynep Keskin has been selected as a finalist in the Society of Light and Lighting’s (SLL) Young Lighter of the Year competition. The four finalists will present their work at the LuxLive exhibition on 19 November with the winner announced during the LUX Awards that evening.

The competition is in its 21st year and provides ‘a high profile opportunity to help promote younger members of the lighting profession.’ Entries are open to those actively working in any aspect of the industry. The awards allow the young lighters to illustrate their knowledge and research on a lighting subject, hone their presentation skills, and raise their profile within the industry.

Zeynip’s PhD work is being supervised by Professor Steve Fotios and focuses on investigating the effect of daylight availability on seating preference in open-plan spaces

Further information

In the media: Satwinder Samra interviewed in The Statesman

The School’s Director of Future Practice, Satwinder Samra, had been interviewed by Indian publication The Statesman in an article titled ‘Course to build a dream up’.

In the article Satwinder talks about the MArch course at Sheffield, the School’s Live Projects initiative and how we are preparing students for practice.

“We motivate students to be astute, flexible, responsive and socially enterprising. This enables them to face the challenges of our times and also opens the door to what ‘Future Practice’ might be – a practice that can listen, evolve and advocate clients’ and users’ needs from the project while at the same time produce meritorious design.”

Full article

New publication to drive forward engagement between research and practice

‘Demystifying Architectural Research’ sets out a clear and compelling argument for how engagement with research can help an architect to win work, make a stronger case for fees and demonstrate the value of what they do to clients.

The Sheffield School of Architecture is committed to exploring Architecture Research Practice and this book was co-authored by former Head of School, Professor Flora Samuel. It guides readers through the basics of undertaking research in day-to-day practice and includes inspirational case studies, many from academics across the Sheffield School of Architecture. These illustrate how research is being used successfully by architects across the UK.

“This Sheffield-RIBA led document provides a series of clear and accessible narratives that demonstrate perspectives and contributions related to research in practice. The work exemplifies how, by distilling existing academic research, it can inform design and, equally impressive, how practice can inspire new research and design opportunities. The writing is eminently lucid and accessible, and provides an invaluable bridge between academic and practice-based research – the first of its kind.”

Koen Steemers, Professor of Sustainable Design – University of Cambridge

Authors ARP Anne Dye is Head of Technical Research at the RIBA, responsible for delivering the research agenda in alliance with the RIBA Research and Innovation Group.

Flora Samuel is an Architect and former Professor of Architecture and Head of School at the University of Sheffield. Her mission is supporting architectural practitioners in evidencing and communicating their value through research.

Further information about the publication.