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Retrofit Meets: University Estates

Thu 2 May 2024, 6-7.30pm

Retrofit Meets is an in person series of panel events bringing together experts in the built environment. These are held in the seminar suites of the Building Centre. Organised thematically, panellists will discuss their latest research and completed or on going projects, some of which are displayed in the Retrofit 24 exhibition. These discussions will present the aims, challenges and outcomes of each project. The event format will also allow for dialogue between the panellists offering our attendees new insights into retrofit. We encourage audience participation during the Q&A portion of the evening and look forward to meeting you there.  

Chaired by Aylin Orbasli, a professor of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, this panel explores the retrofit of university buildings.

These buildings accommodate thousands of people and need to fulfil various functions from; providing office space, teaching rooms, study spaces as well as socialising areas such as; collaborative work spaces and hospitality. Experts from Panasonic - working closely with Finn Geotherm-  Eckersley O’Callaghan and Hawkins\Brown- who retrofitted the University of West London, London South Bank University and The Bartlett School of Architecture respectively- will detail how they initially approached the brief and how they achieved their outcomes.


  • Aylin Orbasli (Professor- Oxford Brookes University)
  • Duncan Walters (Director; Structural Engineering- Eckersley O'Callaghan)
  • Emily Charalambous (National Key Account Manager- Panasonic Heating and Cooling UK)
  • Tom Noonan (Partner- Hawkins\Brown)
  • Guy Ransom (Commercial Director- Finn Geotherm)

Aylin Orbasli is a researcher and teacher focused on the historic built environment, including adaptive reuse and heritage management. Aylin is co-founder and former subject coordinator of MA International Architectural Regeneration and Development. She teaches theoretical modules, supervises Masters and PhD level research degrees and she is the deputy director of the Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme.

Duncan joined Eckersley O'Callaghan's structural engineering team in 2014. He is known for his conceptual design expertise, award- winning sketching skills and effective communication with architects and clients. Recently, he has focused on leveraging digital design tools for structural efficiency and sustainability, such as the Smart Massing Tool (SMT), rapid prototyping tool and promoting sustainability through the 'EOC ECO2' plugin tool for Revit.

Emily covers all Public Sector projects including Social Housing and NHS/MOD projects. Emily plays an active role in helping Public Sector organisations to reach their Net-Zero targets, whilst also providing high quality building stock. Her current work includes breakthrough research projects with leading universities and delivering numerous retrofit projects across the UK such as the University of West London.

Tom leads a studio at Hawkins\Brown, working across a range of projects and sectors and has been instrumental in delivering award-winning projects. He has led several education projects for UCL including the complex remodelling of 22 Gordon Street for The Bartlett School of Architecture and the Department of Engineering, and a new facility for UCL at Here East. He is currently working on exciting new projects in the Life Sciences sector. 

Guy is passionate about heat pump technology, entering the sector after exploring the replacement of his own boiler back in 2009, which introduced him to David Alston, his now business partner. He has more than 20 years’ experience of finance and senior management, joining the industry following a background at Aviva, CitiCapital and Johnson Controls.



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