Students 2015-2017

Alexandra Zmachynskaya

Belarus, Landscape Architecture Engineer

Alexandra is from Minsk, Belarus. She graduated from the Belarusian State Technological University with a degree in Landscape Architecture Engineering. As a student, she participated in the International Summer Academy, organised by the Sendzimir Foundation. The theme of were “Challenges of Sustainable Development in Poland.” She also took part in the workshop at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Cagliari, Italy, which focused on designing strategies for public space. Expanding her knowledge in the field of sustainable development caused her to write and defend her graduation thesis on monitoring the impact of urban environment on green areas in the city of Minsk. After graduation, Alexandra worked as an engineer at a state organization, responsible for the maintenance of urban green areas. Before joining Mundus Urbano, she worked as a Leading Forest Engineer at the Main Housing Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus. Alexandra is particularly interested in sustainable urban development and development economics. She expects that the Mundus Urbano programme will give her an insight into urban development from an international perspective and it will enable her to become a professional of the highest standards and integrity.

Carlos Andres Lopez Franco

Colombia, Architect and Photographer

Carlos began his professional studies in Audiovisual Media at the University Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, where he made his emphasis on documentary photography. In 2009 he began his studies in Architecture at the National University of Colombia, where he earned a degree in Architecture with an emphasis on Planning. He currently works as an Editorial Coordinator of the scientific journal Bitacora Urbano / Territorial of the Research Institute Habitat, City and Territory of the National University of Colombia. Moreover, he also has had the opportunity to work with different national and international NGOs as an assistant and collaborator in projects including people displaced by violence, improving the quality of life of indigenous communities, and urban agriculture to low-income neighborhoods.

Boshra Khoshnevis

Iran, Architect

Boshra was born in Iran and graduated from Shariaty Technical College of Tehran with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Her final bachelor’s thesis was a design of an intergenerational day care center in Tehran. Her experience as an intern in a restoration project for a 200-year old house in Kashan, The Iranian House, increased her interest in the possibility of changing society’s attitude toward its culture and heritage. Before joining Mundus Urbano, she co-authored two articles in connection to architecture and human behaviour while she was working for the “Architecture and Culture” magazine in Tehran. She believes studying urban development would expand her outlook and let her observe the connection between social issues and construction on a larger level. Her research interests include: socially sustainable urban development and human-oriented urban transitions.

Sneha Malani

India, Architect

Sneha comes from Pune in India with a background in architecture. She enjoys working hands-on, illustrating and designing collaboratively and contextually. She is part of a team that started “The Kahani Project,” a not-for-profit organization, which makes stories accessible especially to visually-impaired children. After her bachelors, she dabbled in earth construction techniques through workshops and an apprenticeship with her mentor Didi Contractor. Sneha was introduced to urban issues while working with a waste picker’s co-operative called ‘Swach’ in Pune. Through the MU program, she wants to fill the gaps in her understanding of the connections between the built and the unbuilt, find out her potential areas of intervention and equip herself with tools to design and apply local, vernacular construction techniques, focusing on rehabilitation post disasters.

Mohammad Zamroni

Indonesia, Information System

Mohammad was born in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. He graduated from STMIK “AMIKOM” Yogyakarta with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems. He worked at the Ministry of Transportation from 2010 until 2017. He also worked for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, one of the departments which focused on aviation. One of the programs of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is to build airports across the country. The development of an airport is usually followed by the development of the city where the airport exists. Without proper development planning, the development of the city will endanger the aviation activity (e.g. high-rise buildings inside flight safety zones), and on the other side, the airport activity will burden the city (eg. creating traffic jams, uncontrolled land-use change, environmental degradation, etc). Urban and regional development is considered as one of the sciences that has to be obtained by planners in the Ministry of Transportation, to help to create a better transportation system in Indonesia and to develop the city or region where the airport existed. Mundus Urbano provides the studying condition where students can learn and exchange good examples and ideas to develop an ideal city, which one of its components is transportation. Mohammad hopes that the knowledge that he will receive in this program will contribute to create a better condition for his country in the area of transportation.

Ellen Ashenden

New Zealand, Architecture and Urban Design

Ellen has a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture (Professional) from the University of Auckland. She has experience in private architecture practice, local government, and multi-disciplinary consultancy, working on projects covering architecture/public space design and implementation, master planning, spatial planning, design review, strategy and policy. She is interested in urban issues including social housing, residential density and typologies, land use/transport integration, infrastructure and development processes. She has volunteered at several organisations on architecture/urban planning projects. In 2015, Ellen worked in the architecture communications consultancy AA Projects, on the ‘Urban Living’ exhibition that presented future residential strategies for Berlin, Germany. Her current research is looking at applying alternative urban development models to the New Zealand context, the relationship between financing models and spatial design, and the architect’s role in the development process.

Federico Rota

Italy, Architect

Federico is from Bergamo, a small and relatively quiet city in the north of Italy. After pursuing his Bachelor in Architecture Science at the Politecnico of Milan in 2010, he pursued his first year of Master’s studies at the Technische Universität Berlin; then back to Milan to complete the second year. He soon received a scholarship to go back to Berlin to do part of his final master thesis there. In 2013 he obtained the Master’s degree in Architectural Design. He is now a registered architect in Italy, working mainly for the private sector, both in cooperation with some offices and for private clients. Since 2011, he runs with other architects an association based in Berlin called Reclaiming Heritage. They deal with reconstruction projects after natural disasters, with a specific focus on reusing construction materials. They have carried on built and research works in Chile, Haiti and Italy. The interest he has in such contexts is one of the main reasons why he decided to join the MU programme. He possesses an interest in the unknown and learning new perspectives, especially when it comes to exploring natural environments and traveling.

Bondan Satrio

Indonesia, Economist

Bondan graduated from Islamic University of Indonesia with a major in Economics. He worked in the Directorate General of Water Resources of the Ministry of Public Works in Indonesia. While there, Bondan focused on water resources management such as planning, infrastructure, maintenance and also the communication and coordination with stakeholders. Since he worked in the country with many disasters, he realized that half of disasters in Indonesia are because of land use mismanagement. He is really interested in disaster risk management and land use planning. Bondan wishes to gain more knowledge and valuable experience in an international atmosphere though his studies at MU and to eventually pass along the ethos to other people.

Khatun E Zannat

Bangladesh, Urban Planner

Zannat is from Bangladesh. She completed her graduation in the field of Urban Planning in 2012. After graduation, she started her professional career as a Junior Planner in a project entitled “Integrated Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Planning for Local Government Institutions,” funded by UNICEF and UKAID. She also experience as a volunteer in a Tobacco control program. Then, she started working as a lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology in 2013. Her special interest is in transportation planning and urban development. Her aim is to develop a career as a researcher in the field of urban development.

Bereket Neguse Sium

Eritrea, Public Administration and International Relations

Born in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, Bereket completed his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Public Administration and minor in International Relations from the University of Asmara-Eritrea. He worked as an operations administrator at the National Insurance Corporation of Eritrea and later on as head of Planning and Budgeting at Hamelmalo Agricultural College – Eritrea. Though Bereket’s initial interest in urban development dated back to his undergraduate studies, his travels to cities in Africa, the Middle East and Asia has widened his comprehension and curiosity on current urbanisation issues. This has fueled his interest in the field. To accomplish his long-awaited career goals and enrich himself with the necessary skill and experience, Bereket joined Mundus Urbano.

Lucia Samayoa Figueroa

Guatemala, Economics and International Studies

Lucia was born in Guatemala, but moved away at the age of 6. She lived in Quito, Tegucigalpa and Escazú before moving to Chicago to study a B.A. in Economics and International Studies at Loyola University. During her studies in Chicago and a semester abroad in Barcelona, she became interested in urban issues. However after completing her bachelor’s degree, she moved back to Guatemala where she worked doing research on rural and agricultural issues, statistics on foreign trade, and English-Spanish translations. As of a few years ago, she became interested in working on urban issues, specifically in urban economics. She came to Mundus Urbano to tie her academic and professional background to this new path. She hopes to use her personal, academic and professional experience in different countries to contribute to better urban development in Guatemala and other developing countries around the world.

Patrícia Schappo

Brazil, Architect, Urbanist & Human Geographer

Patrícia Schappo is from Florianópolis, Brazil. She pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). After working for the private sector in different fields of architecture and project development, Patrícia pursued a Master’s degree in Human Geography in The Netherlands. She also obtained a specialisation in Urban and Cultural Geography at Radboud University in August 2015. Besides her working experience in the private sector, Patrícia was engaged in different topics of research during her studies. The themes included Universal Design and more recently, integration of different social groups in the city’s public spaces. The last theme was addressed through an internship at the Municipality of The Hague and a case study over integration in the Hague Market, the biggest open street market of the Netherlands. Besides professional and academic work, Patrícia was engaged for over ten years in voluntary work and activities in low-income communities in the south of Brazil.

Karam al Hamo

Syria, Civil Engineer

Karam was born in Hama, Syria. He studied civil engineering, first in Homs, then in Damascus, where he resided after graduation before coming to Germany. He volunteered with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, working with IDPs in refugee shelters in Damascus. He joined the UWC Syria National Committee, part of the UWC movement and is still an active volunteer. He also volunteers with the Syrian Researchers Initiative that aims to create a gate to science for the Arab audience. He already finished one year at his master of “Urban Agglomerations” at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and will return for the next semester to write his thesis. The current situation in Syria inspired him to pursue work with vulnerable people in the country.

Wenes Widiyani

Indonesia, Landscape Architect

Wenes is from Indonesia. He graduated from Bogor Agricultural University with a major in Landscape Architecture and minor in Management of Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Services. Since she graduated in 2011, Wenes worked for a private consultation company in a Landscape Architecture team. She has experience practicing in landscape design and landscape master planning for several settings including the planning of an open space and streetscape design guidelines. Before joining Mundus Urbano, she worked as an assistant project coordinator in Bali. Her interest in the public realm, urban design, society, and environment led her passion for pursuing higher education in Mundus Urbano. She expects that she can get a better understanding, knowledge of various perspectives from other students and lectures, regarding urban development and international cooperation.

Bunga Wigati

Indonesia, Civil Engineer

Bunga was born and raised in Bojonegoro, East Java, Indonesia. She graduated from Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology Surabaya with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2009. Afterwards Bunga worked as a government officer in the Directorate General of Human Settlements, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, based in Jakarta. Since 2010, she has been involved in the national community of empowerment programme which focuses poverty alleviation for urban areas (known as PNPM urban). This program coveres almost 11,000 wards/villages in all provinces of Indonesia. With Mundus Urbano, Bunga’s is especially interested in urban and regional development, particularly in disaster risk management, and housing and settlements issues.

Justine Gaillard

France, Geographer & Urban Planner

Justine was born in Grenoble, France. After she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Land Settlement in Grenoble in 2015, Justine decided to continue her studies with the Urbano Mundus Master programme. Her links with the world of work are its internships and workshops, always in an international framework: an internship in France in a private urban planning office, another in Quebec City (Canada) in a designer’s and architect’s office, and in a workshop in Cottbus and Berlin (Germany) about shrinking and growing cities. The international aspect is something that she is looking forward to exploring and is important in enlarging her knowledge.

Monica Maria Edralin

Philippines, Urban and Regional Planner

Monica Edralin is a researcher from the Philippines. She obtained a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines and a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies from Ateneo de Manila University. She has been working in the field of disaster risk management, land-use planning, and environmental management for the last 7 years. Her most recent engagement was with the German Development Cooperation for the Typhoon Yolanda efforts on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into land-use planning. Her research interests include: cost-benefit analysis of disaster risk management alternatives, ecosystem values, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, probabilistic risk analysis, knowledge co-production, and participatory appraisal tools for disaster risk reduction.

Susan Laurie

USA, Bachelor of Arts

Susan Laurie is from Indiana in the United States. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Culture. Letting indecisiveness get the best of her, she also earned a minor in Public & Environmental Affairs, Telecommunications and Anthropology. She studied the environmental impacts of globalisation in Hanoi, Vietnam for one summer and interned with the Department of Development with the City of West Lafayette for two summers. During this time, she was highly involved in community projects and planning management. After graduating, she became the Director of Events/Wedding Specialist at an event and catering company. After over a year in this position, she decided to make a drastic change and move to Munich, Germany for one year. This experience confirmed her desire to pursue a graduate degree abroad. Before beginning Mundus Urbano, Susan spent 5 months teaching English in Chengdu, China. She is most interested in social and cultural aspects of planning, the distribution of resources, and the compromise that must exist to fulfill the needs of both the majority and minority.

Sofia Robbe Bender

Brazil, Architect

Sofia was born in São Paulo, Brazil and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism at the São Paulo University (FAU-USP). Besides Brazil, she lived in a small town in the Czech Republic and Berlin. She has three years of professional experience in the public sector, having worked for the São Paulo City’s Department of the Environment – Parks and Green Areas Division (SVMA-DEPAVE). As project coordinator of the East Zone Team, she faced several challenges dealing with urban management and development: poverty, crime, shortage of green areas, limited culture of conservation and preservation of public spaces, and political interference. She is in interested in sustainable urban development.