UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage

Dr Alejandra Albuerne

Dr Alejandra Albuerne


Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
27th Mar 2017

Research summary

Dr Alejandra Albuerne is Lecturer in Sustainable Heritage at the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, UCL. She is an architectural engineer and construction historian specialized in traditional construction methods and heritage conservation. Alongside engineering, Alejandra has a background in history of architecture and construction, architectural design, urban resilience, international development, heritage management and participatory design processes.

Alejandra’s research is cross-disciplinary and addresses challenges in the historic built environment that require complex approaches combining engineering with cultural and social studies. Her engineering research covers traditional construction technology and study of heritage structures. She specialises in the mechanics of masonry constructions, with a particular interest in their seismic behaviour. Currently, Alejandra is working on two areas: the role of traditional construction methods in post-disaster recovery and reducing the barriers to reuse of existing buildings in European urban contexts. 

Alejandra is PI for the Royal Academy of Engineering project Towards Mobilising Intangible Heritage for Recovery and Resilience, in collaboration with international partners in Nepal, Turkey, Tunisia, Thailand and Iran.

Teaching summary

Alejandra is Assistant Course Director of the MSc Sustainable Heritage at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage.

Alejandra's teaching interests include traditional construction materials, mechanics of historic structures, architectural technology, construction history, sustainable development and architecture for development, conservation of architecture. 


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2019
University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2016
Unversidad Politecnica De Madrid
Other higher degree, Suficiencia Investigadora | 2008
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Engineering (Honours) | 2003


Alejandra was appointed Lecturer in Sustainable Heritage at the UCL  Institute for Sustainable Heritage in September 2017, where she is Assistant Course Director of the MSc Sustainable Heritage.

Alejandra has worked in the field of architecture for over 17 years, both in academia and in industry. She has spent 9 of these years in industry working for structural engineering and architectural firms in London and Madrid, such as Alan Baxter and Associates, Ecosistema Urbano and Arup. She has design experience in state-of-the-art new construction, as well as in conservation of historic landmarks. 

Alejandra has also worked in international development, collaborating with built environment and engineering charities, such as Engineers Without Borders and Architecture Sans Frontieres. In 2016 she spent an extended period in Nepal, working on the post-earthquake recovery of the Kathmandu Valley.

In academia Alejandra has worked with Professor Santiago Huerta on the mechanics of masonry structures at the School of Architecture of Madrid and in 2010 she obtained an EPSRC scholarship to do a PhD at Oxford Unviersity across Engineering Science and Archaeology, studying masonry vaulted structures in seismic areas.

Alejandra then spent two years as Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering Science at Oxford University and in March 2017 she joined UCL as research associate in EPICentre, part of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering.