2. May 2023 | Magazine:

The impact of war on the environment in Ukraine Yevheniia Berchul receives a DAAD PhD scholarship

Since September 2022, the Ukrainian architect Yevheniia Berchul has been researching at the ISU – Insitute for Sustainable Urbanism at TU Braunschweig, supported by a fellowship from the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU). With a PhD scholarship from the DAAD, her further research stay is now also secured.

Yevheniia Berchul is delighted about the DAAD doctoral scholarship. Picture credits: Yevheniia Berchul/TU Braunschweig

“The entire team of ISU is so overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude that Yevheniia, through this important funding of DAAD will be able to continue her research at ISU by which she will contribute to the sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine!”, says a delighted Institute Head Professor Vanessa Miriam Carlow.

Yevheniia Berchul gained a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in urban planning from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. With the help of the special programme for young Ukrainian scientists of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), she has already been able to develop and  advance her PhD project Environmental degradation of devastated Ukrainian territories: The potential of participatory environmental monitoring and analysis of conflict-affected areas as a complementary approach to sustainable post-war reconstruction”. Furthermore, she has participated in various research projects of the SpACE Lab at ISU.

The role of post-digital participation

Here she focuses on the sustainable transformation of urban spaces. “With my project I want to examine current technological developments as a way to investigate the environmental degradation caused by war or armed conflicts. In particular, I want to explore the role of participatory approaches, including data collection or others, that help to assist research methods and their contribution to sustainable reconstruction in Ukraine”, explains Yevheniia Berchul. “This considers technological developments and sociopolitical shifts that have emerged as a public-response system and provide new opportunities for transforming interdisciplinary research and architectural discourse in a reconstruction-context.”

The doctoral project of the Ukrainian architect complements the research at the ISU. “Since there is a wide range of expertise at ISU concerning post digital participation as well as urban research in light of available or emerging new digital technologies, Yevheniia Berchul asked me to serve as her PhD supervisor, which I am happy and honoured to be”, says Professor Vanessa Miriam Carlow. The urgency and relevance of Yevheniia’s topic speaks for itself. We all at ISU have been supporting Yevheniia in her pursue for a Phd project since she arrived at ISU. Personally, I am sad that this is a topic that needs research, but at ISU we are happy to provide Yevheniia with an environment where the wide range of her talents and interests can flourish.”