PhD Completions


Dr. Gayan Wedawatta

Gayan WedawattaGayan's PhD research investigates resilience and adaptation of construction Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to Extreme Weather Events (EWEs). EWEs, including flooding and heavy snowfall, have created a significant impact on the UK business community over the years. Intensity and frequency of such weather extremes are expected to further increase in the future, especially due to the impacts of climate change. SMEs are considered as highly vulnerability to the effects of EWEs, when compared with their larger counterparts. Given that SME contribution is critical for the successful operation of local communities and economies, improving SME resilience against the effects of EWEs has become an issue which warrants considerable attention. Investigation of the business response to EWEs has long been neglected when compared with studies on the residential sector, and only a very few studies have looked at SME response to EWEs specifically.

SMEs constitute more than 99% of businesses in the UK construction industry and generate more than half of the employment and turnover. Therefore SME participation is critical for the successful operation of the construction industry. Given that many large construction projects involve a large number of SME participants, delivery of a successful project is dependent upon the involvement of these SMEs. EWEs are capable of creating disruptions to the activities of the construction sector, not only via their direct physical effects but also via disruptions to the supply chain of the industry. As the risk of EWEs is increasing, there is a growing need for preparing the construction sector SMEs and their supply chain partners to face the challenges created by EWEs. It is important that SMEs are prepared not only to minimise the negative consequences, but also to exploit the positive consequences presented by EWEs. However, not many studies have been undertaken to study how the construction organisations manage and respond to EWEs. Gayan’s PhD research is developed to address this gap in the knowledge, identifying the growing need for improving the resilience of construction SMEs to the effects of EWEs.

Gayan is a Quantity Surveying graduate and worked as a lecturer in the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka prior to the start of his PhD studies. 

Gayan is currently a lecturer at Aston University and his publications can be viewed here. He can be contacted at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Dr. Omran Elgrari


 The thesis looked into improving manpower capability through technology transfer within the context of the Libyan Government’s privatisation and foreign investor attraction programmes. The research investigated the factors that are of critical importance in improving manpower capability with specific reference to its ability to address the prevailing housing shortage in Libya. Therefore, a conceptual model for a potential tripartite approach between the Government, Libyan Private House Building (LPHB) companies and foreign companies was articulated within this research. The interrelationships between the parties and how their joint approaches could, potentially, result in the improvement of manpower capability in the housing industry were hypothesized and tested by adopting the multiple case study approach. The proposed integrated framework adopted in the research offered a targeted approach to achieve a stepped change in achieving both a quantitative and qualitative growth in the housing sector in Libya.  



Dr. Liliane Schofield

Lilian Schofield

Community housing development and the role development nongovernmental organisations (DNGOs) play in this is Lilian Madubuko Schofield’s PhD research.  Lilian is a PhD graduate in the School of the Built Environment and her research focuses on the interactions between development stakeholders and marginalised communities to build self-sustaining capacity in marginalised communities in Nigeria.  Lilian’s research is of importance and relevance to such developing countries and is very much on the agenda of development institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.  Through her research Lilian is hoping to contribute to community development in marginalised communities in Nigeria. 

Lilian’s PhD research on its own is a big enough initiative, but she is also part of the researching team on a Leadership Foundation for Higher Education Project entitled, Leading Culturally Diverse Communities in Higher Education (LCDC).  The LCDC project’s research question is: How can universities develop appropriate policies and cultures to successfully engage with culturally diverse communities internally and externally?

Lilian enjoys travelling, meeting people, swimming and reading.

If you would like to know more about Lilian’s PhD contact her at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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