Edinburgh Research Explorer
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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Specific areas are stability and design of Iron-age brochs; design and conservation of Gothic vaults; dissemination of good conservation practice in neoclassical buildings (Edinburgh, Greece). Broader topics can deal the technology and culture of historic construction systems; historic masonry repairs.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Engineering, University of Edinburgh
Structural behaviour of historic masonry cross vaults
Master of Research, University of Rome "La Sapienza"
Structural behaviour and conservation of Burgos Cathedral, Spain
Master of Engineering, University of Patras
Masonry construction

Professional Qualifications

Chartered Engineer, TEE

Biography

I am a lecturer in architectural technology and conservation in ESALA and the joint programme of Structural Engineering with the School of Engineering, and previously I taught structural technology and architectural conservation studios at the University of Nottingham. I have contributed as a guest lecturer in various PG programmes across Europe and I work with various European colleagues on research projects in common areas of conservation technology and construction history.

I am interested in the positive role of architecture in society and communities, and specifically, as an engineer, in technology’s contribution. I see therefore in my research the historic perspective as a way of measuring such impact and feed the contemporary debate, providing more options to designers. Conservation also needs measures of the significance of historic architecture and my research on technological developments explores how positive contributions were made by achieving strength efficiently and through a balance of “ars” and “scientia”. This also informs my investigation on structural conservation techniques and my work to disseminate such values through teaching and engagement with professional and social communities.

I have explored these areas through research, collaborative or sole projects that lead to publications in technical journals or feed into training workshops, within academia or communities.  I have combined my views on the use and design potential of structural technology in heritage in my book “Structural design in building conservation”, which I have used as a companion of my conservation technology and construction history teaching. I always seek learning applications of my research into workshops, experiments, fieldwork and model-making experiences for my students.

My research is multi-disciplinary as I aim to bring new insight to problems of other specialisms by combining engineering analysis, conservation theory and project-based enquiry approaches from my experience in an Architecture teaching environment. My main tools are structural analysis (experimental and numerical), architectural analysis through modelling, assessment of historical and cultural evolution processes.

Research Interests

My research aims to make knowledge of the technical characteristics of the following historical building types meaningful to designers and the public, as they are framed within the processes of change that have affected their structural and architectural integrity or their ability to inform new architecture. In this context, I chose to explore structures that were generated by technical advancement and complex cultural interactions, which eventually defined new forms and materiality. Further studies in the periphery of these areas where technology was transferred outside its regular dominion (Scotland, Greece) have revealed important variations and the resilience of the typology.

- Technology and architecture of medieval vaulting systems in Britain: I am exploring the performance and safety of cross vaults through experimental and numerical analysis, which has established firmly the failure patterns of quadripartite vaults. A current strand is the construction characteristics and structural design of stone barrel vaults built to roof churches in Scotland from the late medieval period until the early 18th century. I also work with European colleagues on the strengthening of cross vaults with FRP and their evaluation under seismic loads (experimental assessment at the University of Bristol, SEBESMOVA3D project)

- Transfer of gothic masonry vaulting technology to Greece in the case of Saint Sophia in Andravida, an emblematic implementation of the system in a culturally alien territory

- Design, technology and stability of iron-age brochs in northern Scotland is a pioneering engineering and architectural project. Its multiple activities include engineering models of various scales to understand global or local strength and stability; architectural models to test reconstruction hypotheses (proportions, internal layout, roof forms); community project to build a new broch in Spittal Quarry, architectural evaluation of Clachtoll broch, under excavation and restoration by AOC Archaeology.

- Dissemination of good practice in the conservation of neoclassical stonework in Edinburgh. Various physical models were created to improve the understanding of the performance of key structural elements in the conservation of Edinburgh’s neoclassical buildings, like openings, chimneys, balustraded parapets and cornices, in collaboration with the Edinburgh City Council and Edinburgh World Heritage. My engagement with various professional forums have allowed me to make meaningful connections with the mechanisms of repair and maintenance in the city and its agents, demonstrating the equal importance of their technology and management and making useful links to similar problems in other European cities.

 

Websites

Qualifications

Registered engineer (TEE, Greece)

Graduate engineer (ICE, IStructE)

Teaching

Technology & Environment 2B– Building Fabric (ARCH08027) 2009-present: organiser and tutor of a core course for the UG programme. The course has a strong focus in building fabric (structures, foundations, building envelope). The learning environment combines lectures and design focused in the sizing of a timber frame and building envelopes.

Conservation Technology course (AREA11017), MSc in Architectural Conservation http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/19-20/dpt/cxarea11017.htm . Course organiser and tutor in modern structures conservation, repairs and interventions. The course offers a broad overview of the main historic material systems, their pathology and conservation and benefits from the lectures of experienced practitioners and site visits. 

Culture and performance in the history of construction (Construction History) (ARCH11195), elective course for the MSc in Architectural Conservation as 20 credits  http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/19-20/dpt/cxarch11195.htm and the MEng in Civil/ Structural Engineering as 10 credits “bridge” course (ARCH10023); I discuss historic development thematically than chronologically and promote learning through modelling historical construction processes. 

 

Research outputs

  1. Andreas Dracopoulos and Ergoliptiki, and the introduction of reinforced concrete in Greece

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  2. Oria Kastro on Kythnos: analysis of the built remains

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Research activities & awards

  1. Brochs: the amazing drystone towers of Iron-Age Scotland

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. The Collapse of Holyrood Abbey Church in 1768

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  3. Proceedings of the ICE - Engineering History and Heritage (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

View all (12) »

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