Dr Gehan Selim

Dr Gehan Selim


Dr Gehan Selim is an Associate Professor in Architecture and Urbanism and Deputy Director at Leeds Social Sciences Institute at the University of Leeds.  She was 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 25 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 cultural heritage and digital applications, segeragation and 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.


  • Deputy Director at Leeds Social Sciences Institute
  • Director of Postgraduate Studies (Progression)
  • Member of the Research and Innovation Committee

Research interests

Dr Selim’s has consolidated an international and interdisciplinary resaerch, scholarship and empirical methodologies in Architectural Humanities, Post-Conflict urbanism and Digital Heritage to bridge people, buildings, and the city. She has received the Women of Achievement Awards 2021, highlighting the significant contributions and impact the women have made across the University and beyond. She is CoI on the Newton Prize 2020 Award winning project ‘Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan – OPOF’: An international project using local heritage and archaeology to support sustainable development. 

Her current research focuses on Architecture and Digital Heritage methodologies 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 the founder and lead the Architecture and Urbanism group, Chaired the City (Re)shaped multi-disciplinary Conference and Guest Editor

Dr Selim received several GCRF awards on Preservation of Cultural Heritage funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy and Research England. She is the PI of The Living Museum of Umm Qais and Creative Economies Through Youth- led Arts and Craft in Jordan (CEARC) projects in Jordan. She is also PI of the ‘(Re)Contextualisng Contested Heritage  – ReConHeritage Project in partnership with academics and youth people from Kosovo, Lebanon and Iraq to mount interdisciplinary approaches and using arts and humanities research to respond to a critical global challenge of the continuous destruction of cultural heritage in conflict regions. She is CoI on Heritage Borders of Engagement Network [ENGAGE] that aims to mobilizing cultural heritage for building partnerships and institutions for sustainable and inclusive peace in three hubs: The Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

Dr Selim is regularly invited as a guest speaker and Panel Chair at numerous international conferences and public lectures. She has a substantial record of quality publications in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She is the 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).   

Active Grants & Awards

Principal Investigator, Creative Economies Through Youth- led Arts and Craft in Jordan (CEARC). (Arts & Humanities Research Council: £150K). 

Principal Investigator, 'The Living Museum of Umm Qais: Sustainable preservation, analysis and virtual reconstruction of Gadara's ancient site and village'. (Arts & Humanities Research Council: £250K). PDRA: Dr Andrew Holland (Research Fellow in Architectural Heritage and VR Modelling). 

Principle Investigator, ‘(Re)Contextualizing Contested Heritage [ReConHeritage]: Building Capacity & Designing Participatory Approaches to Preserve Cultural Heritage by the Youth – Phase one’. (Research England Fund: £80K). PDRA: Dr Andrew Holland (Research Fellow in Architectural Heritage and VR Modelling) & Mr. Thomas Moreno Cooper (Computer Science and web designer).

Principle Investigator, ‘(Re)Contextualizing Contested Heritage: Building Capacity & Designing Participatory Approaches to Preserve Cultural Heritage by the Youth – Phase two’. (Arts & Humanities Research Council: £250K). 

Co-Investigator, ‘ENGAGE Network: Building Humanitarian Heritage Partnership & Knowledge Exchange Framework for Displaced Communities in India and Iraq’. (Arts & Humanities Research Council: £200K).

Co-Investigator, ‘Preserving the Disappearing Cultural Heritage of Post-War Mosul, Iraq: Valuing Diversity in the Urban Recovery of Mosul’s Old Districts’. (British Academy: £300K). PDRA: Dr Dean Qaddumi (Research Fellow in Architecture). 

Co-Investigator, 'LABYRINTH: Conservation, Analysis and Virtual Reconstruction of Archaeological Site of Hawara Pyramid and Labyrinth'. (Arts & Humanities Research Council: £330K).

Co-Investigator. ‘Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan’ [OPOF]. (Arts & Humanities Research Council: £250K). PDRA: Dr Dean Qaddumi (Research Fellow in Architecture). 

Co-Investigator. ‘Using scenography to understand the experience of urban space. Sadler Seminar Series (Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute).

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' ( £100K, 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. 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’: £9.998, 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 2015.

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

Current PhD students

Reem AlBarakatThe spatial-temporal production of public space within the context of demonstration: Mapping the unrest collective practices of Beirut Central District. Watch here about Reem’s  experience

Meng LiReshaping memory and identity of tomb keepers in China: A case study of tomb keepers’ descendants of the imperial tombs of Qing dynasty. Watch and Read more about Meng’s testimony & experience.

Abdulrahman KadiThe urban ecosystem and it is impact on developing the pilgrimage journey. 

Heng Song: An investigation on new tool based methodologies used in regeneration of heritage sites in China.

Erna Zharani: Housing Identity in Malaysia Context : How society and culture impact architecture.

Karen Arzate Quintanilla: The interaction between architecture, pedagogy and environment: a transdisciplinary approach towards new designs for educational infrastructure.


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


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

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy

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>