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Bartlett Doctoral Conference examines the role of the built environment in sustainable development

11 July 2017

The School of Construction and Project Management hosted the inaugural Bartlett Doctoral Conference on 23 June 2017.

2017 Bartlett Doctoral Conference

The 2017 Bartlett Doctoral Conference was the first event to bring together PhD students from different schools and research institutes across The Bartlett to share and showcase doctoral research related to sustainable development.

Led by the School of Construction and Project Management’s Dr Alex Opoku, the conference examined how the built environment could play an important role into delivering the agenda of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.’

- UN Sustainable Development Goals

Dr Opoku argued that a sustainable built environment could highly influence the realisation of sustainable development for a number of the SDGs, including sustainable cities and communities, infrastructure and innovation, and affordable and clean energy.

To highlight the diverse approach to the sustainability agenda, the conference programme featured keynote talks both from external speakers and from within The Bartlett.

With over 40 years’ experience in major infrastructure, CPM Professor Peter Hansford gave a talk on Reducing carbon emissions in the Built Environment. Peter Hansford is the Chair of Construction and Infrastructure Policy at UCL.

Industry guest speaker Dr Zainab Dangana, Sustainability Research and Development Manager at Wates Smartspace, presented on Accelerating the uptake of innovative sustainable technologies to deliver low carbon buildings. Dr Zainab trained as an Architect and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Builders with a doctorate in sustainable construction management. 

In addition to hosting the event, Dr Alex Opoku also represented CPM at the conference with his talk Navigating through the bumpy PhD journey: expect the unexpected!

Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki, CPM Lecturer in Building Information Modelling and Management, spoke about Introducing and ensuring validation in your PhD project.

The presentation sessions were followed by a networking reception.

Follow up feedback from participants complimented the event on its well-organised programme and interactive approach.

“Exciting and interesting research/works from both academic and practice. The order of presentations worked very well, following through certain common themes and approaches. I think it would also be interesting to hear more about the keynote presentations on the PhD in relation to their past/current works on sustainability and/or the built environment."