MU Students 2015-2017

Ellen Ashenden

Architecture and Urban Design

Ellen has a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture (Professional) from the University of Auckland. She has experience in private architecture practice, local government, and multi-disciplinary consultancy, working on projects covering architecture/public space design and implementation, master planning, spatial planning, design review, strategy and policy. She is interested in urban issues including social housing, residential density and typologies, landuse/transport integration, infrastructure and development processes. She has volunteered at several organisations on architecture/urban planning projects. In 2015, Ellen worked in the architecture communications consultancy AA Projects, on the ‘Urban Living’ exhibition that presented future residential strategies for Berlin, Germany. Her current research is looking at applying alternative urban development models to the New Zealand context, the relationship between financing models and spatial design, and the Architect’s role in the development process.

Mohammad Zamroni, Indonesia

Information System

Mohammad was born in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. He graduated from STMIK “AMIKOM” Yogyakarta with a bachelor degree in information system. He workes in Ministry of Transportation since 2010 until now. He also worked for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, one of the departments which focused on the aviation. One of the programs of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is to build airports across the country. The development of an airport is usually followed by the development of the city where the airport existed. Without proper development planning, the development of the city will endanger the aviation activity (high rise buildings inside Flight Safety Zone),  and on the other side, the airport activity will burden the city (creating traffic jam, uncontrolled land use change, environmental degradation, etc). Urban and regional development is considered as one of the science that has to be obtained by the planners in the Ministry of Transportation to help to create a better transportation system in Indonesia and to develop the city or region where the airport existed. Mundus Urbano with an International Cooperation and an Urban Development program provides the studying condition where the students can learn and exchange good examples and ideas to develop an ideal city, which one of its components is transportation. Mohammad hopes that the knowledge he will receive in this program, will contribute to create a better condition for his country through transportation aspect.

Sneha Malani, India


Sneha comes from Pune in India, with a background in architecture. She enjoys working hands-on, illustrating and designing collaboratively and contextually.  She is part of a team that started ‘The Kahani Project’; a not-for-profit organization, which makes stories accessible especially to visually impaired children. After her bachelors, she dabbled in earth construction techniques through workshops and an apprenticeship with her mentor Didi Contractor.
Sneha was introduced to urban issues while working with a waste picker’s co-operative called ‘Swach’ in Pune. Through the MU program, she wants to fill the gaps in her understanding of the connections between the built and the unbuilt, find out her potential areas of intervention and equip herself with tools to design and apply local, vernacular construction techniques focusing on rehabilitation post disasters.

Boshra Khoshnevis, Iran


Boshra was born in Iran and graduated from Shariaty Technical College of Tehran with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Her final bachelor’s thesis was a design of an intergenerational day care center in Tehran. Her experience as an intern in a restoration project for a 200-year old house in Kashan, The Iranian House, increased her interest in the possibility of changing society’s attitude toward its culture and heritage. Before joining Mundus Urbano, she co-authored two articles in connection to architecture and human behaviour while she was working for the “Architecture and Culture” magazine in Tehran.  She believes studying Urban Development would expand her outlook and let her observe the connection between social issues and construction on a larger level. Her research interests include: Socially sustainable urban development, and Human oriented urban transitions.

Carlos Andres Lopez Franco, Colombia

Architect and Photographer

Carlos began his professional studies in Audiovisual media at the University Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, where he made his emphasis on documentary photography. In 2009 he began his studies in architecture at the National University of Colombia, where he earned a degree in Architecture with emphasis on Planning.
He currently works as Editorial Coordinator of the scientific journal Bitacora Urbano / Territorial of the Research Institute Habitat, City and Territory of the National University of Colombia. Moreover, he also has had the opportunity to work with different national and international NGOs as an assistant and collaborator in projects including people displaced by violence, improving the quality of life of indigenous communities and urban agriculture to low-income neighborhoods.

Alexandra Zmachynskaya, Belarus

Landscape Architecture Engineer

Alexandra is from Minsk, Belarus, she graduated from Belarusian State Technological University with a diploma of Landscape Architecture Engineer. As a student she participated in the international Summer Academy organised by the Sendzimir Foundation “Challenges of Sustainable Development in Poland” as well as she took part in the workshop at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Cagliari, Italy, focused on designing the strategy for the public space. Expanding her knowledge in the field of sustainable development caused her to write and defend the graduation thesis on monitoring of the impact of urban environment on green areas in the city of Minsk. After graduation, Alexandra worked as an engineer at a state organization responsible for the maintenance of urban green areas. Before joining Mundus Urbano she was working as a Leading Forest Engineer at the Main Housing Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus. Alexandra is particularly interested in sustainable urban development and development economics. She expects that Mundus Urbano programme will give her an insight into urban development from an international perspective and it will enable her to become a professional of the highest standards and integrity.

Federico Rota, Italy


Federico is from Bergamo, a small and relatively quiet city in the north of Italy. After pursuing his bachelor in Architecture Science at the Politecnico of Milan in 2010, he left for studying the first year of Master at the Technische Universität Berlin; back to Milan to complete the second year, he soon received a scholarship to go back to Berlin to do part of his final master thesis there; in 2013 he obtained the Master degree in Architectural Design. He is now a registered architect in Italy, working mainly for the private sector, both in cooperation with some offices and for private clients. Since 2011 he is running with other architects an association based in Berlin called Reclaiming Heritage. They deal with reconstruction projects after natural disasters, with a specific focus on reusing construction materials; they have carried on built and research works in Chile, Haiti and Italy. The interest he has in such contexts is one of the main reasons why he decided to join the MU program.
He is interested in most of the things he doesn’t know yet, especially when it comes to exploring natural environment and traveling.

Bondan Satrio, Indonesia


Bondan graduated from Islamic University of Indonesia with a major in Economy. He has been working in the Directorate General of Water Resources of the Ministry of Public Works in Indonesia.
In his work, Bondan focused on water resources management such as planning, infrastructure, maintenance and also the communication and coordination with stakeholders. Since he worked in the country with many disasters and he realized that half of disasters in Indonesia are because of misuse in Land use, he is really interested in disaster risk management and land use.
Bondan wishes to gain more knowledge and valuable experience in an international atmosphere though is studies at MU, and to have at the same time the possibility to share it with other people.

Khatun E Zannat, Bangladesh

Urban Planner

Zannat is from Bangladesh. She has completed her graduation in the field of Urban Planning in 2012. After her graduation, she has started her professional career as a Junior Planner in a project entitled “Integrated Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Planning for Local Government Institutions”, funded by UNICEF and UKAID. She also has experience to work as a volunteer in a Tobacco control program. Then, she has started working as a lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology in 2013. Her special interest is in transportation planning and urban development.  Her aim is to develop a carreer as a researcher in the field of urban development.

Bereket Neguse Sium, Eritrea

Public Administration and International Relations

Born in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, Bereket completed his Bachelor of Arts majoring in Public Administration and minor in International Relations from the University of Asmara-Eritrea. He worked as operations administrator at the National Insurance Corporation of Eritrea and later on as head of Planning and Budgeting at Hamelmalo Agricultural College - Eritrea. Though Bereket's initial interest in urban development, dated back to his undergraduate studies, his travels to cities, in Africa, Middle East and Asia has widened his comprehension, curiosity on current urbanization issues, and this has fueled his interest in the field. To accomplish his long awaited career goals and enrich himself with the necessary skill and experience, Bereket joined Mundus Urbano.

Lucia Samayoa Figueroa, Guatemala

Economics and International Studies

Lucia was born in Guatemala but moved away at the age of 6 and lived in Quito, Tegucigalpa and Escazú before moving to Chicago to study a B.A. in Economics and International Studies at Loyola University. During her studies in Chicago and a semester abroad in Barcelona she became interested in urban issues. However, after completing her bachelor’s, she moved back to Guatemala where she worked doing research on rural and agricultural issue, statistics on foreign trade, and English-Spanish translations. As of a couple of years ago, she has been interested in working on urban issues and, specifically, urban economics. She has come to Mundus Urbano to tie her academic and professional background to this new path and hopes to use her personal, academic and professional experience in different countries to contribute to a better urban development in Guatemala and other developing countries around the world.

Patrícia Schappo, Brazil

Architect, Urbanist & Human Geographer

Patrícia Schappo is from Florianópolis, Brazil. She pursued her Bachelor degree in Architecture and Urban Planning at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). After working for the private sector in different fields of architecture projects development, Patrícia pursued a Master in Human Geography in The Netherlands. The degree, with specialisation in Urban and Cultural Geography, was obtained at Radboud University in August 2015. Besides the working experience in the private sector, Patrícia was engaged in different topics of research during her studies. The themes include Universal Design and, more recently, Integration of different social groups in city’s public spaces. The last theme was addressed through an internship at the Municipality of The Hague and a case study over Integration in The Hague Market, the biggest open street market of the Netherlands. Besides professional and academic work, Patrícia has been engaged for over ten years in voluntary work activities in low income communities in the south of Brazil.

Karam al Hamo, Syria

Civil Engineer

Karam was born in Hama, Syria. He studied civil engineering, first in Homs, then in Damascus, where he resided after graduation before coming to Germany. He volunteered with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, working with IDPs in refugee shelters in Damascus. He joined the UWC Syria National Committee, part of the UWC movment, and still is a volunteer there. He is also volunteering with the Syrian Researchers Initiative that aims at creating a gate to science for the Arab audience. He already finished one year at his master of "Urban Agglomerations" at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and will return there next semester to write his thesis. The current situation in Syria inspired him and still does to work with vulnerable people in Syria and outside of it.

Wenes Widiyani, Indonesia

Landscape Architect

Wenes is from Indonesia, graduated from Bogor Agricultural University with a major in Landscape Architecture and minor in Management of Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Service. Since she graduated in 2011, Wenes worked for a private consultation company in the Landscape Architecture team. She has experience practicing in landscape design and landscape master planning for several settings including planning an open space and streetscape design guidelines. Before joining Mundus Urbano, she worked as an assistant project coordinator in Bali. Her interest in public realm, urban design, society, and environment led her passion for pursuing higher education in Mundus Urbano. She expects from her studies at Mundus Urbano, that she can get a better understanding, knowledge and various perspectives from other students and lectures, in the interaction along the study about urban development and international cooperation.

Bunga Wigati, Indonesia

Civil Engineer

Bunga was born and raised in Bojonegoro, East Java, Indonesia. She graduated from Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology Surabaya with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering in 2009. Afterwards Bunga worked as a government officer in the Directorate General of Human Settlements, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, based in Jakarta. Since 2010, she is involved in the national community of empowerment programme which focuses poverty alleviation for urban areas (known as PNPM urban). This program coveres almost 11,000 wards/villages in all provinces in Indonesia. Experiencing this programme, brought Bunga's interest to urban and regional development, particularly in disaster risk management, also housing and settlements issues.

Justine Gaillard, France

Geographer & Urban Planner

Justine was born in Grenoble, France. After she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Geography and land settlement in Grenoble in 2015, Justine decided to continue her studies with the Urbano Mundus Master programme.
Her links with the world of work are its internships and workshop always in an international framework: an internship in France in private urban planners office, an other in Quebec QC (Canada) in a designers and architects office, a workshop in Cottbus and Berlin (Germany) about shrinking and growing cities. The international aspect is something that she is looking for and is important to her to enlarge their knowledge.

Monica Maria Edralin, Philippines

Urban and Regional Planner

Monica Edralin is a researcher from the Philippines. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines and  Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies from the Ateneo de Manila University. She has been working in the field of disaster risk management, land use planning, and environmental management for the last 7 years. Her most recent engagement was with the German Development Cooperation for the Typhoon Yolanda effort on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into land use planning. Her research interests include: cost-benefit analysis of disaster risk management alternatives, ecosystem values, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, probabilistic risk analysis, knowledge co-production, and participatory appraisal tools for disaster risk reduction.

Susan Laurie, USA

Bachelor of Arts

Susan Laurie, from Indiana in the United States, graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Culture. Letting indecisiveness get the best of her, she also earned minors in Public & Environmental Affairs, Telecommunications and Anthropology. She studied the environmental impacts of globalization in Hanoi, Vietnam for one summer and interned with the Department of Development with the City of West Lafayette for two. During this time she was highly involved in community projects and planning management. After graduating, she became the Director of Events/Wedding Specialist at an event and catering company. After over a year in this position, she decided to make a drastic change and move to Munich, Germany for one year. This experience confirmed her desire to pursue a graduate degree abroad. Before beginning Mundus Urbano Susan spent 5 months teaching English to children in Chengdu, China. She is most interested in social and cultural aspects of planning, the distribution of resources and the compromise that must exist to fulfill the needs of both the majority and minority.

Sofia Robbe Bender, Brazil


Sofia was born in São Paulo, Brazil and graduated as a Bachelor in Architecture and Urbanism at the São Paulo University (FAU-USP). Besides Brazil, she has lived in a small town in Czech Republic and Berlin. She has three years of professional experience in the public sector, having worked for the São Paulo City’s Department of the Environment - Parks and Green Areas Division (SVMA-DEPAVE). As project coordinator of the East Zone Team, she faced several challenges dealing with urban management and development: poverty, crime, shortage of green areas, limited culture of conservation and preservation of public spaces, and political interference. She is in interested in sustainable urban development.