MU Students 2012-2014

Sarfaraz Gani Adnan, Bangladesh

Urban and Regional Planning 
With a bachelor's degree on Urban and Regional Planning from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka (2009), I have worked as a town planner with a consulting firm in the preparation of master plans, and as a research assistant in an international project at the department of Urban and Regional Planning of the university where he graduated. Later I joined the department of Urban and Regional Planning of the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, as a faculty member. In Mundus Urbano I am looking forward to extending my knowledge on urban development, especially in the context of developing countries.

Mahmoud Ahmed Amer, Egypt

Environmental and Sustainable Architecture
I was born and raised in Cairo, the largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. I got my bachelor's degree on Environmental and Sustainable Architecture. I have worked for almost four years in private firms as an architect and interior designer. During this period, I took part in international competitions and projects on site, while attending as well different workshops and courses on project management, networking, ecological and sustainable architecture. I am planning to take a further step to a professional international experience in the field of urban development, which connects theoretical to practical knowledge.

Jasmin Attia, Sudan

I was born in Khartoum into a German-Sudanese extended family. After graduation from Khartoum university with a B.Sc. in Architecture, I worked at the Ministry of Planning and various architecture companies, where I gained valuable professional experience. My wish to qualify further led to the enrollment at the master course Urban Agglomerations at the FH Frankfurt, where I studied for two very interesting semesters. Then I was offered the chance to do my 3rd semester at the Mundus Urbano master course at TU-Darmstadt, a time which I greatly enjoyed, as I met very devoted and motivated co-students and an excellent team of professors and tutors, to all of whom I am very thankful indeed. It was such a great experience!

Mariama Bah, Republic of the Gambia

Development Studies
Mariama completed a bachelor's degree on Development Studies with a minor in Sociology in Gambia, then proceeded to complete a diploma in Thai and Southeast Asian Studies, in Chiangmai, Thailand. She has worked as a development planner at the Gambian Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, in charge of designing the National Development Plan  (PAGE – Program for Accelerated Growth and Employment – 2012-2015). She was also a consultant for ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) in the assessment of the Millenium Development Goals progress in Gambia, and for CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) in the sector of budget support to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana.

Ethan Brown, USA

Planning and Environmental Policy
I grew up in a farming valley just north of Seattle, Washington. After graduating from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Planning and Environmental Policy, as well as a degree in Spanish literature, I spent a year teaching English to rural secondary students in northern Spain. I returned to the USA (and to my degree field), working to sustainably manage commercial fisheries in the western Pacific Ocean. Four years analyzing the environmental impacts of fishing regulations from a desk proved too detached from concrete solutions for me, then I decided to join Mundus Urbano, to return to my interest in the possible coexistence of the urban and the ecological, both in nations with and without monetary wealth.

Wai Ling Cheah, Malaysia

Growing up in a multicultural country has contributed to my identity and desire to explore other cultures in different parts of the world. I lived in Australia to carry out my bachelor's studies on Architectural Studies (Barch), at the University of New South Wales. Later on, I developed my career exploring more building techniques  and working for a developing company, which exposed me to a multidisciplinary structure and made me understand the reality of economics and marketing in running and planning a project. As an architect, I embrace the culture which people bring to the space, to transform it into a scene.

Barsha Chitrakar, Nepal

I was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. After completing my bachelor's studies in Architecture, I worked for two years in an architectural firm, then I became a lecturer in the Architecture Department of the Nepal Engineering College. Amazed by the architectural heritage of Kathmandu Valley, I have always had an interest in understanding the traditional urban planning skills and learning innovative urban development strategies, and this is why I applied for Mundus Urbano. It feels great to learn, dream and be a part of such a rich multicultural milieu here.

Cristiane Comim, Brazil

Architecture and Urban Planning
I grew up in Curitiba and carried out my undergraduate studies in Florianópolis , at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). For three years, I worked as a student researcher for the Laboratory of Urban Planning at UFSC, with a scholarship provided by the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). During this period I participated in two research projects in the South of Brazil:  the regional planning of the Araranguá River basin, and the availability of public services in low-income urban settlements in Florianópolis. My experience is thus focused on urban and regional spaces, industrial space, watersheds and low-income settlements analysis, besides working with private architecture firms in Curitiba.

Irene Dejuan, Uruguay

Anthropology + Communications
I was born in Montevideo, where I have lived my entire life. For this reason, Mundus Urbano really constitutes a bright international experience for me, both from professional and personal points of view. I hold a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and a master's degree in Communication, with emphasis on Reception and Culture. My work experience has comprised both qualitative social research and development projects, but my ultimate goal is to be a development professional. The Mundus Urbano programme offers me the opportunity of acquiring the skills to intervene in the urban space, and hopefully fulfil my dream of becoming a real agent of change.

Anaïs-Marie De Keijser, Burundi/Belgium

Architectural Engineering
Born in a family with international roots (Burundian mother and Belgian father), I was since an early age submerged in different cultures. From the Kalahari Desert, via the green hills of Central Africa to the capital of Europe, I have seen and experienced a lot of different city structures. This experience, in combination with the knowledge received during my studies as an Architectural Engineer, made me realize the impact these different structures have on people’s ways of life. This Master in International Cooperation and Urban Development is a start of the realization of a lifelong dream. This dream, as cliché as it might seem, is to make the world a better place. And I truly believe this course is aiming the right direction.

Eléonore Francois, France

International Law
I was born in the south of France in 1988. I studied French, English and American Law at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Defense. During my studies I served internships in various international organizations and started a business, designing and making clothes with a friend. After graduating, I have worked for two years for an industrial company specialized in building materials, where I was dedicated to a project to change the group into a learning organization.

Ilgvars Jansons, Latvia

Environmental Science + Spatial Planning
I was born  in a small town at Baltic sea – Liep?ja, while the wind of change was blowing in Europe. Wind gusts were strong and long lasting, so I developed interest in the world around me and did my BA in Environmental Science at the University of Latvia. Afterwards, just like the majority of the world, cities got me and I studied Urban Planning in three different countries (Latvia, The Netherlands and Palestine), shaping my interest in interaction between physical environment and humans. Finally the wind of change has blown me here at MU...

Sylvia Kateule Mambwe, Zambia

Development Finance + Urban and Regional Planning

I am passionate about Africa and have a keen interest in issues concerning its development. My life ambition is to reach the top of academic excellence and have a fulfilling career whilst contributing positively to the development of my country. My main motivation to join Mundus Urbano is the programme's interdisciplinary and appealing curriculum. This will enable me to further enhance my knowledge in other areas of development, i.e. urban management, international cooperation and development economics. I find the programme to be detailed and well tailored to my professional requirements.

Camila Marquetti, Brazil

I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, the city that embraced my heart and soul. In 2008, I obtained my bachelor's degree in Law, from Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). After graduating, I worked as a legal consultant in multinational companies of the energy sector. Having had my studies and work experience under a pluralistic point of view, I developed my interest in urban issues, especially in the social area. The Mundus Urbano programme gives me the opportunity to strengthen my capacity in dealing with the constantly evolving and contemporary urban challenges in developing countries.

Silvia Alejandra Montoya Jaramillo, Colombia

Civil Engineering
I was born in Medellin, Colombia's second largest city, located in the department of Antioquia. After graduating in 2007 as a civil engineer from the National University of Colombia, I worked for about two years at a construction and engineering company, involved with road and housing projects. Then, I was the secretary of planning and public works for a small municipality of Antioquia, where I worked on the ressettlement of families living in areas under risk, on the design of a landfill in partnership with Ministry of Environment, and also on the formulation of development and sectorial plans of the town.

Laura Stephanie Moran, El Salvador

Architecture + Environmental and Municipal Management Tools
I was born and raised in San Salvador, where I obtained a  bachelor's degree in Architecture  and a post graduate specialization on Environmental and Municipal Management Tools, both from Universidad José Simeón Cañas. Having worked as a project designer for local architecture firms, I participated in housing, institutional, commercial and urban projects. To follow my interest in urban planning, I then decided to move to Canada, where I completed a Diploma in GIS and Urban Planning at Fanshawe College, Ontario. The program has broadened my knowledge of planning practices, site analysis, urban design and different computer applications. I believe that participating in Mundus Urbano will allow me to build a career in socially responsible fields that contribute to finding long term solutions for pressing planning issues.

Itzel Saida Obregon Prescott, Mexico

I come from San Miguel de Allende and hold a BA in Architecture from ITESM (Monterrey's Institute of Technology, 2010). As a student, I had the opportunity to join exchange study programs in France and Canada. I have working experience in architecture, landscape architecture, construction, restoration and geotechnical engineering. I am very interested in urban development, particularly in developing countries. My goal is to obtain international and interdisciplinary experience to make a significant difference to tackle the existing challenges in fast growing cities of the world today. 

Sisavan Phimmasan, Lao PDR

Urban Environmental Planning
I was born in Savannakhet, the second developing city of the country, and then moved to Vientiane Capital to pursue my academic education at the National University of Laos, where I obtained a bachelor's degree in urban environmental planning (2008) and a Bachelor of Arts (2010). My goal is to work for the public sector and to be a professor in rural and urban development. I have worked as teaching assistant at the Faculty of Architecture for three years, while I had the opportunity to join projects dealing with remote area development and slum improvement issues. Therefore, in Mundus Urbano I look forward to deepening my knowledge in development theory and enhance practical skills in a multicultural context.

Burak Piskin, Turkey

Business Administration
Born in Denizli, Southern Aegean Region, Burak graduated in 2010 from Izmir University of Economics, where he studied International Trade and Finance alongside his major. He has working experience in the retail, NGO and regional development sectors. Place marketing, local products, urban transformation and transportation are his favourite topics. He also has a keen interest in international development projects and aims at developing his career in the field. By the time he completes the Mundus Urbano programme, he will define himself as a "development specialist”.

Apoorva Abhishek Rathod, India

Architecture +  Sustainable Development
Apoorva Abhishek has worked with adobe and rammed earth construction in Dharamshala and Spiti Valley in the Himalayas. She was also involved in developing a Green City Assessment tool kit for the Asian Development Bank.

Elena Reyes, Mexico

I grew up in the periphery of Mexico City, where I lived until I obtained my bachelor's degree in Architecture from Monterrey Tech (ITESM). Afterwards, I moved to the city of Monterrey, where I obtained a master's degree in Sustainable Development of the City, also from ITESM. I have worked for the cement and concrete industry in projects related to sustainable construction and materials. I also had the opportunity to give a couple of courses on the same topic in the University of Monterrey (UDEM) and CEDIM, also in Monterrey. With a special interest in self-built housing, as well as in planning and urban development in developing countries, I found in the Mundus Urbano programme and its interdisciplinary environment a great opportunity to further develop my career.

Fabiano Sambatti, Brazil

Fabiano has worked in gold mines in the Amazon and as a mud logger to drilling companies offshore and onshore. Later on, he started to plan the remediation for contaminated land by gas stations, and did environment assessments for the construction of a port on a mangrove area, as well as for areas under risk of oil spills. Then, he worked in a engineering company for road construction in the Brazilian coast, and in the rehabilitation of areas in the center of São Paulo. He was a visiting student at TU-Darmstadt, with the Mundus Urbano 2012-2014 first winter semester, and is currently finishing the Urban Agglomeration Master Course in Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main.

Leona Schmidt-Roßleben, Germany

Sociology + Political Science
Leona grew up mainly in Germany and feels home in Berlin, where she studied Social Sciences at Humboldt-University. Throughout her studies, she focused on urban topics, covering a broad spectrum from urban governance and socio-spatial differentiation to gentrification. This focus was accompanied by another strong interest in issues of migration. Living in a culturally diverse neighborhood, she was exposed to and interested in the links between cities and migration. She began looking for possibilities of how to tackle some of the urban challenges in both her professional and private life. Mundus Urbano offers her a great opportunity to deepen and further explore this connection between theory and practice.

Miha Slekovec, Slovenia

Landscape Architecture
Born in 1984 in Koper, Slovenia, Miha has spent most of his life between Mediterranean and Central Europe. He has worked in a landscape architecture office for five years, on projects of different scales, from large urban planning and design to private plots. He is very interested in a holistic approach towards planning and would like to study more about planning cycles, and is pleased to see that Mundus Urbano is providing just that. In his free time, he likes sailing and enjoys following technological and environmental trends. More information can be found on his website.

Anshika Suri, India


Originally from New Delhi, I got my Bachelor in Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture, in Gurgaon. I am also a trained Indian classical Kathak dancer. I have worked on two conservation projects with INTACH, India's leading conservation firm, and with redesign work for the Ramakrishna Mission. In addition, I was a consultant architect for Kothari Associates Pvt. Ltd, one of the oldest and leading architecture firms of the country, on projects ranging from schools and farmhouses to hotel and office interiors. My main interest lies in studying development-induced displacement and temporary shelter design, based on transitional settlements and slum upgrading, two major urban challenges that emerging India faces right now.

Ulyana Vynyarchuk, Ukraine

International Relations
I was lucky to be born in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Lviv, Ukraine, where I earned a Masters Degree in International Relations from the National Ivan Franko University and first started my career as a public servant. For the last five years my competencies within the City Council of Lviv were tightly related to promotion of international activities and technical supervision of international projects, including the European Football Championships 2012 in Lviv, which took many years of thorough preparation, and triggered urban development in the city. My favorite project was implemented in cooperation with International Intervision Institute and the city of Vienna, and was aimed at strategy development to brand the stadium legacy area with a specific identity. Inter alia, I am alumna of High Level Exchange Program by German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Summer Academy on Eastern Partnership and Good Governance by Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg, FutureLabEurope, by the European Policy Centre.

Sauvanithi Yupho, Thailand

Urban Architecture
I was born and grew up in Bangkok, where I also obtained my degree in Urban Architecture from the Chulalongkorn University. For two years, I have worked as an urban designer in CMCL, a consulting firm that provides services for both private sector and government department. I have also worked as  a researcher assistant at Research Unit on SPAtial City and Environment.