What were your main reasons for choosing to undertake postgraduate research at University of Liverpool?
Firstly, the Architecture department has a good reputation in the UK and the university is well ranked globally. Secondly, I am originally from Mexico, so living and studying in an English speaking country is a plus for my career and a very enriching experience at a personal level. Finally but not least important, the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT by its Spanish initials) has an agreement with the University of Liverpool that made the application process smoother.
Can you summarise your postgraduate research in a few sentences?
It is now widely acknowledged that global temperatures are rising due to human induced climate change and that this trend will continue until the end of the century. This means that in the forthcoming decades, building’s energy demand for cooling will increase, however, energy is growing scarce and expensive and its indiscriminate use contributes to further exacerbate global warming.
According to demographic projections, Mexican cities will experience a very important urban growth at least until 2050 and most of the housing demand will concentrate in the social housing sector for low income families who are very sensitive to energy price variations. My research explores the potential of locally appropriated bioclimatic design, natural ventilation, and local construction materials as a low cost strategy for providing thermal comfort for the social housing sector at present time and up to 2080 (climate change scenarios).
What support have you recieved from the Liverpool Doctoral College?
I have taken part in a number of LDC workshops; most recently the ‘ViVa survivor’ which provided guidance for a successful ViVa. I have also have taken part in many other training workshops, as UoL provides a wide range of opportunities for PGR students skills development.
How do you believe postgraduate research will help your career prospects?
I believe that my PhD will help boost my employability in a wide range of areas, from academic to consultancy and the private sector. A research degree is a tool that can enable you to pursue your own goals and interests.
What advice would you give to anyone considering undertaking a PhD?
Love your subject, it is like a long term relationship with ups and downs, so you really need to keep yourself motivated through the 3-4 years process and it is easier when you love what you do. Equally important is to be open to meet people from other cultural backgrounds as some of them will become your friends and your support network and will contribute to make the most out of the experience. It is my personal belief that the PhD is a process in which it is as important to grow intellectually as it is to do so individually, in that sense, it can be a very rich experience!