Spotlight on Environmental Design and Engineering MSc graduate Antonia Vavanou
27 May 2020
Antonia Vavanou graduated from UCL IEDE’s Environmental Design and Engineering (EDE) MSc in 2019, here she shares her experience
Before starting the EDE MSc at UCL, Antonia studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens for five years where she developed an interest in energy-conscious design. After graduating she won several awards for participating in architecture competitions and worked as an Architect in architecture firms in Athens for three years.
On her decision to do the EDE MSc, Antonia said
“I have always been concerned with the effect of climate change on buildings and that is why I decided to further my education and study Environmental Design and Engineering at UCL.”
Whilst studying the programme Antonia developed her skills in the environmental and sustainability field and discovered her interest in Life Cycle Assessment. She said by working on diverse projects and liaising with people from different academic backgrounds the MSc helped her to become aware of the importance of communication in the collaborative decision-making process, a skill she has used in her new career.
Since graduating, alongside working on her EDE thesis publication in a scientific journal and continuing to connect with people in her field, Antonia has been working as a Sustainable Design Assistant at Hawkins Brown Architects in London.
Reflecting of her experience looking for a job, Antonia credits the EDE MSc with setting her apart from other candidates:
“Nowadays the job market is extremely competitive; however, having an MSc degree from UCL distinguishes you from other candidates and shows your ability to commit to an intense period of work. In my current role as a Sustainable Design Assistant I have been applying skills and specialised knowledge I gained from my master's degree, these include Embodied and Whole Life Carbon Analysis, Low Carbon Materials and Design Methodologies.”
Offering advice for future EDE MSc students to get the most out of their experience, she suggests:
“I would advise future students to get the most out of the degree by being pro-active, asking questions, managing their time and collaborating with their peers. Moreover, It would be great if they choose a dissertation topic that they are passionate about so it will be easier for them to maintain their motivation. This will also benefit their future career as it will give them greater understanding of an in-depth area of this course.”