Meet our team

Wafa AL-Ghatam

The Chair, Research Assistant

Wafa AL-Ghatam studies the principles and constraints that govern the gen- eration of built form and its social, cultural and economical functions. Her work includes the development methods and measures for the analysis of built space at the scale of buildings and urban areas. Her research ex- plores the socio-economic implications of urban fabric of the villages ab- sorbed by cities in Bahrain; Manama and Muharraq; using Space Syntax meth- odology. She is an expert in space syntax analysis and methodology. She worked for Space Syntax Limited in London and as a representative in Bah- rain, on a range of projects within the UK and abroad including strategic planning of Jeddah city in Saudi Arabia, Doha urban Knowledge Economic planning. She worked as a research associate for a project on architecture and urbanism at the Technical University of Munich Germany (TUM). Her expe- rience spans from East to the West, from architectural to urban projects. She has taught at Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT), Boston USA, Bos- ton University (BU), Boston USA, the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA), London UK, and the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL, London UK.

Ola Saad Znad

Research Assistant

Ola Saad is a graduate Architect, working as a research assistant after receiving her bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Bahrain. In 2015, she worked on a range of architectural projects as an intern in Arab Architects. Honoring her Iraqi roots, Ola has designed an urban pedestrian bridge in Baghdad, as her final year project. Her design approach proposed a different reality in Iraq, where architecture and urban structures are active promoters to positive human interaction and coexistence. As a result, her project won the graduate students project award, followed by the publication of her thesis titled: ``Urban Bridge of Baghdad: Whispers behind the barriers.” Ola derives her concepts and ideas from her reflections on the complex relationship between contemporary architecture and society and injects this philosophy in her contribution to research.

Salma Hadi

Research Assistant

Salma Abdelhadi is a graduate Architect, currently graduated from working as a research assistant after finishing a bachelor degree in Architecture from the University of Bahrain. Driven by her passion towards community engagement, Salma joined team ``Limitless`` for two prolific years, where she led a group of young volunteer engineers and architects to design and rebuild dwellings for low-income families in Bahrain. In her projects, she builds on philosophical grounds from the modernist and deconstructivist schools of thought. Her designs are often loaded with bold statements centered around the community, to celebrate the powerful ways architecture and people affect one another. As a firm believer in interdisciplinary research, Salma combines her interests in social behavior, urban spaces and sustainability to contribute towards the urban and housing research projects at the UHL.

Dr Lucía Gómez-Robles

Senior Research Assistant

Dr. Lucía Gómez-Robles (D.Phil., University of Granada, Spain) took degrees in Architecture (University of Granada, Spain) and Art History (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain). She holds a masters degree in Restoration (Roma Tre, Rome, Italy) and a post-grade specialization degree in conservation of historic structures at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain). Lucía has worked as an independent consultant for public and private institutions in survey, documentation, conservation and restoration projects in different national and international contexts. She also lectured at different universities and international heritage institutions.
From 2013 to 2016, she was assigned deputy director of documentation and communication at the national coordination for the conservation of the cultural heritage, National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico. Currently, she is the site director for the south section of the pearling path project at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA); and the project director at the NGO DIADRASIS, where they conduct interdisciplinary research on archaeological and architectural conservation.

Ioannis P. Katramadakis

Senior Research Assistant

Ioannis P. Katramadakis is a faculty member at University of Bahrain with more than 30 years in practice working on multiple projects in architectural design and construction, with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. He holds a masters degree in architectural engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Throughout his academic career, he lectured in private technical institutes and design schools, covering a range of topics under divisions of interior design, conservation of artworks and graphic design. He spoke at numerous conferences in architecture, with topics related to green building construction and heritage conservation in Greece, Cyprus, and the GCC.
Ioannis compliments his expertise with analysis and applies it in his research to study renewable energies, bioclimatic architecture and environmental performance of buildings and urban spaces.

Jaffar Al Haddad

Research Technician

Jaffar Alhaddad is a research technician and a final year Architecture student at the University of Bahrain. His devotion to valuing the social aspect of architecture is visible in a recurring theme that he adopts in his designs, artwork, and writings: tracing the sense of place through the richness of the human experience. As a persistent creative, Jaffar combines his passion for collage photography and writing in his blog, the home of his original project that he calls: ``the urban journey,`` a common thread that connects all his creative works. His latest work is a collaborative installation titled: ``Bahrain Pavilion,`` where he led a design team of high school participants as part of the Youth City 2018 summer program. Within five consecutive weeks with his team, Jaffar curated a hands-on training program to teach non-architects the basics of the craft. He proved that with passion and persistence meaningful spaces and experiences could materialize.

Merve Karas

Research Assistant

Merve Karas is an Architect by profession, currently teaching multiple courses of architecture in the University of Bahrain. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Karadeniz Technical University, and a Master of Architecture in Architectural Design from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London. Before joining UOB in 2017, Merve was the design director in HM Architects, handling high profile projects in architecture and urban renewal in Turkey. While pursuing her Master's degree, she became interested in the research on virtual architecture and surreal spaces. In her research, she analyzes human behavior, the relationship with objects and memories recorded throughout the relationship. By focusing on the psychological dimensions and their effect on space, she investigates the human creation of memories and explores the possibility to consider ‘memories’ as surreal spaces.

Ghadeer Alkhenaizi

Research Assistant

Ghadeer Alkhenaizi is an architect in Madaen urban and civil engineering, and part-time teaching and research assistant in the University of Bahrain. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Bahrain, she practiced in Madaen and SSH engineering, both in the field of architecture and urban planning, in preparation to continue her higher education. In 2016, she received the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her Masters of Science in Architecture- Sustainable Design track, in the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her deep interest in understanding the social dimension of sustainability, intertwined with the co-dwelling culture in the context of the Bahraini housing sector, led to developing her master's thesis titled: ``Exploring Architectural Implications on Social Sustainability: The case of extended family dwellings in contemporary Bahraini households.`` Throughout her work, research and activities, she explores new venues of sustainability by expanding and challenging her knowledge of human-environmental relations, while reflecting on how the growth of communities is a strong determinant for sustainable development.

Sara Hassani

Research Assistant

Sarah Hassani is an Architect at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) and is part of the architectural preservation team working in the development of the Pearling Path Project in Muharraq city. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Bahrain and was a board member of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). In her final year, she was a part of an art exhibition titled: ``The village in the city,`` where she worked on two street mapping artworks for six villages in Bahrain. Since joining BACA in 2017, Sarah has been involved in an array of tasks for the Pearl Path Project, where fieldwork and design analysis compliment one another. The following year, she also worked on the logistics coordination team of the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, and in the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities hosted the World Heritage Young Professionals Forum 2018 under the theme of ‘Protecting Heritage in an Ever-Changing World. Sarah's work in preserving Bahrain's heritage and sharing it with the world grew her interest in heritage and anthropology. Together, these intertwined fields make her contribution to urban research valuable as it adds layers of architectural history to understanding Bahrain's urban fabric.