Dr Avar Almukhtar

BSc Architectural Engineering, MA, PhD Urban Design, PCTHE

Senior Lecturer at the School of the Built Environment

School of the Built Environment


Before moving to the UK, Avar worked as an Architect Engineer at the Costain Group in Iraq for Construction and Consultancy projects including the Development Plan of Kurdistan Region and the construction of Erbil International Airport. Avar also designed a Masterplan for residential area as well as Architectural Design and construction of various buildings in Erbil.

Now I am a Senior Lecturer at the School of the Built Environment. My role involves Teaching and Research.

Areas of expertise

  • Building Information Modelling 
  • Urban Design Masterplanning
  • Post-conflict developments
  • Architecture & Urbanism in Middle East
  • Architectural Heritage
  • Urban Sustainability
  • Housing

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Urban Design Masterplanning
  • Designing the City and GIS
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Architecture and Open Space
  • Urban Design in Challenging Contexts
  • Construction Communication and Information Technology
  • Managing Technology for Sustainable Environments
  • Advance Construction Technology & BIM
  • BIM in Practice
  • Research Methods

I am teaching across various programmes at the School of the Built Environment both at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. My teaching areas are Urban Design Masterplanning, Urban Sustainability, Geographic Information System (GIS), Building Information Modelling (BIM), Innovative Digital Technologies in teaching and Research, and Smart Cities.

Design Studios

  • Advanced Urban Design (Studio II): Addressing Urban Challenges through design in global cities- international sites including NewYork, Beirut, Shanghai, London, Dubai, and Rio.
  • Urban Lab 4: Urban Design Masterplanning
  • Designing the City: Urban Design Studio
  • Urban Lab 2: Architecture and Open Space


Currently supervising a PhD student on Co-creating Equitable and Sustainable Urban Environments using Visualising Technologies

MSc - over 20 successful MSc dissertations since 2019. Topics included: Sustainable Building Design, Virtual Reality, Housing in Post-war areas, BIM Education in the UK, BIM and Social Housing, 5D BIM in Gulf Countries, Ground Source Heat Pump in Residential Areas, Sustainable Energy in Construction, Sustainable Building Design, LiDAR and BIM technologies, XR and BIM integration and Smart Cities.


My research focuses and interests are in the areas of Innovative technologies in the built environment such as XR (VR, AR, MR), Architecture and Urban Design, Housing, Building Information Modelling, Sustainability, Post-war developments, Architecture and Urbanism of Middle East.

Research Grants and Projects

  • Restorative Urban Green Space: An Alternative Therapy for Healing Mental Health using Augmented Reality to allow participants to effectively engage in the co-design process in Oxford, UK.
  • ViewCue (toolkit developed by Dr. Jon Cooper): research project and a toolkit that provides an objective, standardised and consistent measurement of visual complexity, variety and intensity in the built and natural environment
  • Reality Capture of Buildings and BIM integration using 3D Laser Scanner, Oxford, UK
  • British Council: Chevening Alumni Programme Fund (CAPF): Establishing Kurdistan Chevening Alumni Network (KCAN) in Erbil, Iraq
  • UK Santander research grant: to do research, deliver workshops with universities and research institutions in Brazil
  • Healthy New Towns: Bicester (Data collection and Spatial Analysis).




  • Community Engagement In Planning And Design: 7 Post-Conflict Settlements In Mindanao, Philippines
  • Establishing a Virtual Design Studio in Teaching and Research for International Collaborations

Projects as Co-investigator

  • Envisioning Neighbourhoods And Co-Creating Thriving Communities in the 15mC(01/10/2023 - 30/09/2026), funded by: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), funding amount received by Brookes: £146,252, funded by: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Fellow at the Higher Education Academy UK
  • Academy of Urbanism UK


  • Urban Talk Series during COVID-19 Pandemic, Silk Cities. 2020
  • The Research Methods Festival at The Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment, Oxford Brookes University. 2020.
  • The First International Conference on Engineering Science and Technology, Samawah, Iraq) 2020.
  • Chartered Institute of Buildings (CIOB) Award Talk 2019: Building Informatics: Future of Smart Cities.
  • Silk Cities International Conference on Reconstruction and Resilience of Historic Cities, University of L’Aquila. L’Aquila, Italy, 2019.
  • Oxford Brookes Teaching and Learning Conference. Oxford, UK, 2019.
  • International Kurdish Studies Conference, Middlesex University. London, UK, 2019.
  • International Symposium of Urban Morphology, University of Valencia. Spain, 2017.
  • Silk Cities International Conference, University College of London. London, UK, 2017.
  • International Kurdish Studies Conference, Exeter University. Exeter, UK, 2017.
  • International Planning Conference, University of Delft, Delft-Netherlands, 2016.
  • Faculty Research Conference, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford UK, 2015.
  • Harvard School of Design, Harvard University, Boston USA, 2014.
  • UK-Ireland Annual Planning Conference, Oxford UK, 2014.