External Experts

Dr. Ahmed Toimah

Ahmed Toimah has about 12 years of academic, professional and practical experience in the field of spatial planning and regional and rural development. His academic experience includes an MSc thesis in “Interaction between urban and rural settlements”, a PhD thesis in “Urban rural balance” and a teaching experience in planning, housing and rural development courses. His professional experience includes participation in a wide range of projects including strategic planning, regional development and urban design for a number of government agencies, international organizations and private sector, and that was in cooperation with different consulting firms in Egypt, United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. Also he has practiced farming and ranching for more than 10 years in his family farms in Monfeia governorate and Wadi El-Natroun. Ahmad Toimah has a wide network in various rural local communities and agricultural business community. Since 2012 Ahmed was teaching the IUSD elective "Rural Development" at the Ain Shams University in Cairo.

Dr. Mohamed Asar

Mohamed Asar is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, where he received his Bachelors degree in 1997 & PhD in Architecture & Environmental Design in 2008. He obtained his M.Arch in Human settlements from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 2000. Recently, he works as a Senior Technical Consultant & Advisor for both the General Organization of Physical Planning & the Technical Committee for the Higher Supreme Council of Planning & Urban development in Egypt. His research interests include environmental adaptation of buildings as well as sustainable design with the use of instruments during fieldwork & utilizing simulation programs to improve thermal performance of buildings. The strategies & process of dealing with Informal settlements and the urban poor is of special interest. He was part of the IUSD Course Coordination and is now external experts for Supervision of Master Theses within the IUSD at Ain Shams University.

Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Schönle

Daniel Schoenle studied architecture and urban planning at Universitaet Stuttgart, Germany. He graduated in 2002 with a thesis on urban development in Paris (Prof. Wolfgang Schwinge, Institut Grundlagen moderner Architektur und Entwerfen). During his studies, he worked for ecosystems in India, ORplan in Stuttgart and Manderscheid Architekten in Rottenburg, Germany. Two years after graduating he was self-employed and freelanced for Pantle Architekten in Ludwigsburg. From 2004 to 2007, he worked for bueroschneidermeyer in Stuttgart and was mainly responsible for urban and landscape planning projects. Already since 2003, he has successfully taken part in competitions together with various collaborators. He spent the summer of 2007 in Peking and, together with Universal Architecture Studio (today: TAO), worked out development concepts for Chinese cities. Since then, he engages in interdisciplinary cooperation with various national and international offices and partners. Since 2008, he is listed as an Independent Architect and Urban Planner and owns a practice in Stuttgart. In addition to practical planning, Daniel Schoenle engages in research and teaching at various universities. He lectured at Universitaet Stuttgart, at Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, and at Biberach University of Applied Sciences (Prof. Ute Meyer). From March 2010 to August 2011, he was assistant professor at the Institute of Urban Planning at Universitaet Stuttgart, subdivision local and regional planning, Prof. Johann Jessen. Currently he is interim professor for planning methodologies and theory. Daniel is teaching in the IUSD module "Integrated Research and Design" and the elective "Co-Habitation" at the University of Stuttgart.

Dr.-Ing Mona Helmy

Mona Helmy is an architect, urbanist, and educator. She received her Doctoral degree in Architecture and City Planning from University of Stuttgart. She holds a Master's degree in Urban Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Ain Shams University “ASU”, Cairo, Egypt. She is an Assistant professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Dar Al-Hekma University (DAHU), Jeddah, KSA. She was the Founding Chair of the Architecture Department at DAHU. She has taught numerous courses, conducted several design studios and collaborative workshops on a wide variety of topics. Her taught courses range from sustainable urbanism, city branding, affordable housing and green architecture in the built environment.
Since 2010, she has been a research fellow at the Städtebau-Institut “SI” of the University of Stuttgart. Her current research studies focus on “Creative Public Space” and “City Imaging and Branding”. Since 2014, Mona is teaching an elective Module “City Branding” at the IUSD, University of Stuttgart.
As a consultant and advisor in urban design, city branding, and Contemporary Arab Gulf urbanism, she has contributed to a number of significant planning projects and specialized planning and design studies. She is a member of a number of scientific committees in international conferences, symposia, and refereed.

Prof. Dr. Shafak El Wakil

Shafak El Wakil received her B.Sc. and MSc in 1971 and 1975 respectively from Ain Shams University. She obtained her PhD from Stuttgart University in 1980. Prof. El Wakil has been academically active since 1971, ending with being the head of the urban planning department (2001-2007). She currently holds the position of Emeritus professor in the department. Professor El wakil has many fields of interest including, strategic urban and regional planning, climatology and environment as well as architecture. Her interests are reflected in her professional career through the national projects she conducted and headed in her office such as the new city of Assiut and the New city of Toshka. She is also an active consultant to the Ministry of Housing and was the former adviser of the Minister of Environment in the early 2000s, where she represented the Ministry in several International events in North Africa and Europe. She has been awarded the Ain Shams University award for arts and literature for the year 2012. She has supervised and guided many MSc and PhD dissertations. In 2012/2013 and she held the course of upgrading informal settlements within the IUSD Master Program in Cairo.

Dr.-Ing. Ferdinand Ludwig

Ferdinand Ludwig is a pioneering architect in the field of “Living Plant Constructions” (Baubotanik). In the recent years he designed and realized highly regarded projects that combine growth processes of living plants with an engineering approach. In his PhD-studies, he develops multiple horticultural construction techniques and analysed botanical rules of growth to deduce construction rules for living plant constructions. In 2007 he was one of the co-founders of the “Research Group Baubotanik” at the Institute of Architectural Theory at the University of Stuttgart (www.baubotanik.org/en). Since that time he organized different workshops and hold many lectures on Living Plant Constructions at the University of Stuttgart and worldwide. Since 2011 Ferdinand is teaching in the Elective “Designing with growth” and "Co-Habitation" of the IUSD at the University of Stuttgart.

Dr.-Ing. Wolf Reuter

Study of Architecture in Stuttgart and University of California, Berkeley (1971Master) Social Science, Stuttgart, 1969/70; Systems Research, Heidelberg, 1972-81 (Environmental Planning); Doctor 1977; 1982 IGP, Stuttgart University. Habilitation,1988. A.pl.Professor for Design Methods and – Theories, 1995.Interim Director of IGP 1990-92; Interim Professorship for Design Theory at the Faculty for Industrial Design, Essen, 1993; Own Architecture Office 1989-98; Institute for Housing and Design at Stuttgart as Professor for Design Methods, 1998 – present. Guest Professor at University for Industrial Design, Schwäbisch Gmünd, 1999/2000 and at Chung Yuan University in Taiwan, 2003. Since 2006 until now Guest Professor at Tongji University, Shanghai. Research and teaching mainly in the fields of Theories and Methods of Design and Planning, Strategies of Urban Planning, power in architecture and planning, knowledge of architects and planners, the role of politics in planning, theory and methods and tools of argumentation in design and planning. Various publications in the named areas. Since 2012 Prof. Reuter is teaching in the IUSD Core Qualification Module “Master Thesis Exposé/Research Methods I & II” at the University of Stuttgart.

Gerd Lüers

Gerd Lüers is a senior advisor, trainer and coach in the field of organisation development with focal areas in international development cooperation and institutional capacity building. With an educational background of a political scientist he has worked in the field of German and European ODA since 1992, both as an officer responsible of project design and implementation as well as an advisor and evaluator of Technical Assistance projects worldwide. Based on this experience he began to be interested in the design and implementation of successful institutional change processes and found a promising approach in systemic organisation development. After completing a two year education in this field he, since 2010, is increasingly active in advising public and private organisations in achieving effective change which is fully build on the organisation’s own resources and motivation. With his own professional record as a long- and short term expert in many countries of the Near and Middle East and South Asia Gerd Lüers is furthermore working as a trainer and coach in the field of intercultural sensitization and conflict management. Since the start of IUSD Gerd is intensively involved with the program holding workshops on "Team Building", "Conflict Management", and "Project management" at the University of Stuttgart.

Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Mayer

Architect Wolfgang Mayer was educated at Innsbruck University and Stuttgart University (Dipl.Ing. 1974) He worked as a scientific member of the German Institute of Archaeology, Egypt (1975 – 1981), responsible of several excavations and for the reconstruction of the Satet Temples at Aswan, Elephantine. At that time he was a member of the UNESCO team for the restoration of medieval Cairo. 1981 - 1991 he worked as field Conservator at the Department of Conservation, Baden-Württemberg, responsible of the history of construction and art. He continued as senior Conservator and head of the department for the protection of historic monuments and historic town planning at the City of Stuttgart. All that time he was lecturing at Stuttgart University Conservation and Preservation of Monuments and Architectural Design in Historical Areas. In 1998 - 2005 he was lecturing at Cairo University as Visiting Professor and worked as a consultant, Project coordinator and researcher for the German Archaeological Institute, the GIZ and the Aga Khan Foundation, Al Azhar project. In 2005 he took over the Cairo office of Hanns-Seidel-Foundation, Egypt, working on the field of participatory urban planning, environment, gender and human rights. Many programs were in cooperation with Goethe Institute, DAAD, Cairo University and GIZ. Since 2012 he is working as lecturer in the international Master Program “Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design IUSD” at Stuttgart University and as a freelancing consultant.

Dr. Hassan ElMouehli

He is an urban planner, designer and architect. After obtaining his B.Sc. 1999, and his M.Sc. degree 2006 in Architecture from Cairo University with a research on culture and architectural programming in the context of urban development. He holds a PhD in Architecture-International urbanism from the Berlin Technical University - Habitat Unit, Germany (DAAD scholarship 2009-2014). His PhD research title is: “Culture and informal urban development: A case study of Cairo’s informal settlements”. With a wide experience in Integrated Urban Development in the global south cities, his research interest focuses on: studying the people-urban space relations, Culture understanding in urban development context, appropriate urban planning instruments and participative processes, analysis of informal processes within Informal settlements and strategies for informal settlements upgrading. He has been invited as a guest lecturer in several master programs (e.g. Urban management, urban design-TU Berlin). In addition, he participated as an expert in several international workshops and seminars in different cities in Germany, Egypt, India, and Tanzania. Currently he works as a research associate at the Habitat Unit, Berlin Technical university, in partnership with IUSD-Cairo, Ain Shams University on the research project: Development Priorities in Informal Areas: ?Planning, Realization and Local Perceptions (DEVEPER). He is currently invited by the IUSD- Cairo to co-lecture at the ICS (integrated case study) module, WS014, working on an informal area in Cairo. He is also involved in advising the students at TU Berlin Urban development master program at Campus EL-Gouna in a semester project that deals with “informal settlement” in Hurghada city.

Dr. Dietlinde Schmitt-Vollmer

Dietlinde is art historian, antropologist and an expert for urban and architectural conservation. Since 2007 she is academic researcher and teacher at the ifag (institute for architectural history). Since 2014 she is teaching the IUSD Elective “Post War Reconstruction” at the University of Stuttgart. She studied Art History, History and Literature in Munich University (LMU) and Würzburg University from 1981 on. Graduated with a Master Degree in 1987 focusing on war destruction and socialist rebuilding in Poland. Travelled in Central and South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand 1987-89. Graduated from Bamberg University (Germany) in the field of conservation and building archeology in 1990. Since 1990 she is teaching in the Institute of Architecture Stuttgart University. PHD in 1997, specialised on building archeology and conservation of a 12th century masonry building including medieval timber roof construction and vaults (Cistercian monastery church). Focusing on rebuilding cities after WW II-since 2005, in terms of reconstruction and new architecture. Conservation project with Tel Aviv Israel and the german ministery BMUB 2013-2015.

Dr. Marwa A. Khalifa

Marwa A. Khalifa has obtained her B.Sc. & M.Sc., “Urban Planning” specialization from Ain Shams University (ASU), while her PhD was a joint supervision between ASU and the University of Sheffield, UK. Dr. Khalifa has major interest in environmental assessment, strategic planning, upgrading of informal settlements and participatory planning approaches. She combines the advantages of having both the theoretical grounds and practical application experience. She has been teaching and supervising multidisciplinary topics, both undergraduate and postgraduate since 1996 and is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Urban Planning and Design. Simultaneously, she provided consultancy services to both national organizations such as General Organization for Physical Planning and Informal Settlement Development Facility as well as International Organizations such as UN-Habitat related to her area of expertise mentioned above. Additionally, since 2007 she has participated and coordinated several international cooperation projects with universities in EU, Latin America, South Asia and MENA Region related to higher education reform in the field of participatory planning and natural resources management. Since the start of IUSD Marwa is intensively involved with the program teaching electives (informal settlement development) and Master Thesis supervison at the Ain Shams University in Cairo.


IUSD Office
University of Stuttgart

Keplerstr. 11, 70174 Stuttgart, University of Stuttgart
Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design


IUSD Office
Ain Shams University Cairo

1 El-Sarayat Street, 11517 Abbasiya, Cairo, Ain Shams University
Faculty of Engineering

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