Dr Gehan Selim

Dr Gehan Selim


Dr Gehan Selim is an Associate Professor in Architecture and Urbanism and Fellow of The Senator George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice (2016/17). She obtained a PhD in Architecture from the University of Sheffield and held permanent posts in several international schools of Architecture in the Middle East and the UK. Dr Selim’s architectural practice experience includes designing a wide range of urban housing and educational projects, exhibitions and schools. She has over 23 years of experience in teaching, developing and delivering courses in architecture and urban design at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She serves on the editorial board and scientific committee of several international journals and conferences. Dr Selim is an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and an Associate Member of the Higher Education Academy (HE).

Dr Selim's teaching aims to develop sufficient integration between the design studios and architectural representation. She supervises a growing number of Postgraduate Dissertations (MArch, MSc & PhD) exploring themes of urban division, contested spaces and new global trends that shape the architectural practice. Gehan is widely committed to providing balanced experiences in learning by promoting a variety of teaching approaches, such as peer learning and reflection. She is interested in encouraging students to be critical of their education, build confidence and self-motivation, which should enable Architecture students' full engagement in a healthy teaching and learning environment.


  • Director of Postgraduate Studies (Progression)
  • Co-Deputy Leader: 'Cities & Infrastructure' Research group
  • Member of the Research and Innovation Committee

Research interests

Dr Selim’s research impact is internationally recognised for its originality and interdisciplinary methods bridging between people, buildings and the city.  Her current research focuses on the socio-spatial aspects of urban design and research fields in liberation politics, resilient cities and geographies of conflict looking particularly at how memory informs post-conflict societies in their everyday practices. She also developed and leads the Architecture and Urbanism group, Chair of the City (Re)shaped multi-disciplinary Conference and Guest Editor

Dr Selim recieved several GCRF awards on Preservation of Cultural Heritage. She was also the Co-I of the interdisciplinary AHRC/PaCCS award 'Revolt in the Sqaure' invistagting the changing socio-spatial practices and dynamics of urban squares in rebellion cities across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  Her research impact continues to inform policy makers and NGOs working with local community groups. This impact appeared in several policy documents through community-led research organisations in the Middle East. 

She has been invited as a guest speaker and Panel Chair at international conferences and public lectures and has a substantial record of quality publications in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She is the book author of ‘Unfinished Places: The Politics of Urban Remaking (Routledge, 2017), and co-author of 'Architecture, Space and Memory of Resurrection in Northern Ireland Shareness in a Divided Nation (Routledge, 2019)  

Recent Grants & Awards

AHRC - Arts & Humanities Research Council (GCRF), Principal Investigator. 'The Living Museum of Umm Qais: Sustainable preservation, analysis and virtual reconstruction of Gadara's ancient site and village'. Total value £250.000 (Start date: Feb 2019, 24 months) https://bit.ly/2UHdf9p

Research England Fund, Principle Investigator. ‘(Re)Contextualizing Contested Heritage: Building Capacity & Designing Participatory Approaches to Preserve Cultural Heritage by the Youth’. Toal value £79.000 (start date: Nov 2019, 9months).

British Academy (GCRF), Co-Investigator. ‘Preserving the Disappearing Cultural Heritage of Post-War Mosul, Iraq: Valuing Diversity in the Urban Recovery of Mosul’s Old Districts’. Total value £300.000 (start date: Nov 2019, 21months) https://bit.ly/2uFbyCd

AHRC - Arts & Humanities Research Council (GCRF), Co-Investigator. 'LABYRINTH: Conservation, Analysis and Virtual Reconstruction of Archaeological Site of Hawara Pyramid and Labyrinth'. Total value £330K.(Start date: November 2018, 36 months) https://bit.ly/2T1vIgn

AHRC - Arts & Humanities Research Council (GCRF), Co-Investigator. 'Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan' (Start date: Feb 2019, 24 months) https://bit.ly/2EHyGCp

Completed Projects:

AHRC - Arts & Humanities Research Council (PaCCS / GCRF), Co-Investigator. 'Revolt in the 'Square': Spatial Modelling of Urban Stability: New insights and approaches for preventing conflict and violence': Total value £100.000. (18 months, completed 2018)
Website: RIS & GtR, PaCCS

AHRC - Arts & Humanities Research Council (GCRF), Co-Investigator. 'Belle Epoque Cairo Museum Itineraries’. Total Value: £79,882 (completed, 2017)
Website:  http://becami.com

EPSRC/Newton Fund, 'Low Carbon Footprint Precast Concrete Products for an Energy Efficient Built Environment', Co-Investigator. Total Value £910.000 (Selim CoI: £85000) - http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=102721

RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), Co-Investigator. ‘Big Data Analytics: A New Revolution in UK Facilities Management’: £9998 (completed, 2017)

EPSRC Global Challenges Workshop, Principal Investigator. Value £29.850 (completed, 2017).

British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), Principal Investigator. 'Spatial Narratives of Revolt: Public Performance During Anti-Nuclear Protests in Tokyo’: £2000. (Completed Oct 2015).

Japan Foundation London, Principal Investigator. ‘Democracy spatial practices in public spaces’, Travel Fund: £500 (Completed Oct 2013).


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture (University of Sheffield)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PCHE) (University of Sheffield)
  • MSc in Architecture
  • BSc Architectural Engineering

Professional memberships

  • Fellow: The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security & Justice
  • Member: The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Associate: HE Academy, Higher Education Academy
  • Chartered Architect: EES, Egyptian Engineers Syndicate
  • Chartered Architect: ESA, Egyptian Society of Architects
  • Member: The Memory Studies Association
  • Member: AHRA (Architectural Humanities Research Association)

Student education

Professional  (Review & Editorial)

UKIERI  Academic peer reviewer: UK India Education & Research Initiative , 2018.

Arts & Humanities Research Council AHRC: Member of Scrutiny Panel, Northern Bridge Doctoral Training, UK, 2016/18.

Editorial Board, International Journal on Civil Engineering & Urban Planning, 2014 – present.

Editorial Board, Athens Journal of Architecture, 2016 – present.

Member of Advisory Board Sessions, The International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments 2018 &2020.

Reviewer, Cities; Journal of Architecture, City & Environment; Journal of Public Spaces; Journal of Human Rights Analysis; Children Geographies; Geoforum, 2016. 


Current PhD supervision:

Reem AlBarakat: The political influence of the cyber experience on sustaining the individual's efficiency within physical public spaces, start date 2016. 

Meng Li: Cultural Heritage Protection: Innovative tools and methods, start date 2018.

Abdulrahman Kadi: The urban ecosystem and it is impact on developing the pilgrimage journey, start date 2020. 


Khairi Abdulla: Analysis of Barriers and Success Factors Affecting the Use of Walkability in Public Open spaces Tripoli, Libya (2020)

Rosaleen Hickey: Constructing "Shared space" in the ethno-nationally divided city: A study of the role of architecture and urban planning in the development of "Shared space" in Belfast and Nicosia (2017)

Research groups and institutes

  • Materials and Structures
  • Cities and Infrastructure
  • Energy and Sustainable Buildings
  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/291-cultural-heritage-protection:-innovative-tools-and-methods">Cultural Heritage Protection: Innovative tools and methods</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/916-modernity-&amp;-gender-spaces:-analyzing-spatial-systems-and-designs-of-public-buildings-and-spaces-with-reference-to-gender-equality">Modernity &amp; Gender Spaces: Analyzing spatial systems and designs of public buildings and spaces with reference to gender equality</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/917-spatial-and-temporal-practices-as-means-of-inter-community-engagement-in-divided-cities">Spatial and Temporal Practices as Means of Inter-community Engagement in Divided Cities</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/915-the-architecture-of-democracy,-power-and-performance-in-neoliberal-societies">The Architecture of Democracy, Power and Performance in Neoliberal Societies</a></li>