Professor Elena Marco

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About me

Professor Elena Marco is Pro Vice-chancellor and Head of College of Arts, Technology and Environment at the University of the West of England (UWE). Elena is internationally recognised as a strategic and transformational leader in teaching and learning, known for her continued commitment to student success, as well as for her positive influence on colleagues. She is committed to equity for all and takes particular interest in the advancement of women and Black, Asian global majority groups in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Elena has worked in Higher Education since 2002, having started her career as architect in Bath, following her studies at the University PolitĂ©cnica de Cataluña. She also leads the sustainability portfolio for the University where she chairs the Sustainability Executive Committee ensuring that sustainability considerations are embedded across the University's teaching, research, campus operations and civic engagement work. In 2024, she also become part of the UWE Board of Governors, responsible for setting the strategic direction, vision and ethos of the University, overseeing its financial performance and holding the executive accountable for the educational and research performance of the organisation.

Externally, she is significantly influencing the transformation of Built and Natural Environment professions as a whole, through her portfolio of external non-executive appointments, developing strategic responses to global challenges such as climate change and diversity. Elena was elected Architect Board Member at the Architects Registration Board in 2019 and in 2021 she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship for her, for her impact and transformational contribution to climate-change teaching practices in HE, and for her contribution to mitigating climate-change in the construction industry through professional practice and research projects. She gained her doctorate and professorship in 2021 having lead her team through complex responses to the pandemic and secured improvement in the NSS scores from her students.

Elena's architecture and built environment career spans industry and academia, beginning at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios when she was completing her final architecture thesis project where she raised to Project Architect before pursuing an academic career in academia at UWE Bristol. During her time at UWE, she engaged in research with practice impact and pedagogic research alongside building a significant leadership profile, where she was highly commended in the 2021 RIBA President's Research Awards. She was the Head of Architecture and the Built Environment from 2014-2022, and Associate Head for Architecture from 2011-2014.

Over the years, she has been invited to give countless keynote lectures or seminars/workshops on sustainability and architectural education in Britain, Europe, Australia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere.


Area of expertise

Professor Marco has built a strong profile in sustainable and healthy architecture for over 20 years. She has developed an active research portfolio, rooted in practice, exploring how the accumulation of material possessions impacts on space in the home. Her work argues for a more informed approach to housing design, where storage is valued and the space provided is flexible, so the reality of inhabitants' 'stuff', and the associated well-being implications are considered.


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