ArchitectureAisha Abubakar

My Strathclyde story starts with a (very) mid-life-career change from Architecture and Construction practice, and public service in Nigeria to research. I had, in the course of my work then, noticed that certain urban inequalities are not effectively addressed and, started to ask questions for which I was not getting answers. As a research student with the Urban Design Studies Unit (UDSU) and under the supervision of Dr Ombretta Romice, I was not only able to explore answers to my questions, but also enhance my knowledge capacity, build up necessary skills and confidence in my work. Furthermore, to invest in novel ideas, and work towards practical outcomes to better inform urban development practice. My thesis examined aspects that contribute to ineffective management and growth of slums in Developing Regions and explored the potential to link their improvement to city prosperity. The outcome is a theory and applicable intervention framework – the Slum Prosperity Framework (SPF), which received good commendations during my viva.

My Strathclyde story does not end there, however. With the support of the department, I won an industry grant to continue work and testing of the SPF as a Post-Doc at the UDSU. A project that is further supported by my external examiner, Prof Nabeel Hamdi.

In addition to advancing my initiative, I get to make new research networks – the researchers’ group, wider academia, and end-user organisations – which is amazing. I am also utilising the opportunity to further enhance my research, organisational, personal, intellectual, and academic skills to support career development through the university’s researcher and academic development programmes.  

Overall, the Strathclyde and friendly Glaswegian community have set, for me, a home away from home making up for difficult times in research (they do happen) and even the blustery Glasgow weather.