Dr Zainab Dangana
Dr Zainab Dangana

A recently qualified PhD researcher is building her dreams into reality with a national construction company after becoming Plymouth University’s first Post-Doctoral graduate to benefit from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) under the government-led business innovation initiative.

Dr Zainab Dangana, who has achieved a distinction in construction management from Plymouth University, and has a decade of experience as an architect in the construction industry in the United States, India, Nigeria and the UK, is now using the findings of her research from her recently completed PhD, to implement sustainable technologies to deliver low carbon buildings.

After completing her PhD with the support of the £1 billion turnover business, Wates Group, who contract for the government and public sectors, education, commercial and residential, Zainab is delighted to be offered the chance to continue working with the group where she will take her research to the next step. She said: 

“Wates are one of the leaders in their field and I’ll be working alongside the teams in their Smartspace business to help achieve targets set by the government to reduce carbon emissions in non-domestic buildings. This will realise tangible results for Wates and our clients. In the past as an architect I have had limited opportunity to make an impact. But with the MSc and PhD from Plymouth University, I hope to be able to make a difference to the society in which we live.”
Part-funded by the government, a KTP involves the formation of a partnership between a company, an academic institution and a recently qualified graduate, facilitating the transfer of knowledge to embed new capability within an organisation. The partnership has received £146,701 to fund this two year project - sourcing innovative sustainable technologies to deliver low carbon buildings – with Wates.

Steve Spilsbury, Business Director, Wates Smartspace, said:

“We welcome extending our partnership with Plymouth University through this KTP. This is an important project that will provide our customers with value adding technologies whilst differentiating us from our competition and supporting our core values to improve the communities and environment in which we work.” 

Zainab will continue to receive academic support from Professor Steve Goodhew, from the School of Architecture, Design and Environment, and Professor Shaofeng Liu, from the Plymouth Graduate School of Management, as well as Mandy Bowden, Specialist Advisor on KTPs at Plymouth University. Mandy said:

“KTPs have all round benefits, creating real opportunities for graduates, helping businesses grow and facilitating new research and teaching methods for the education provider.”
Plymouth University is celebrating more than 35 years delivering KTPs in this 40th anniversary year of the national initiative.