Obiajulu Umeji - Master of Architecture (MArch)

Obiajulu Umeji graduates at P&J Live
A Nigerian masters graduate awarded the Aberdeen Association of Architects Silver Medal 2024, for designing an innovative building made from recycled oil rigs that celebrates Aberdeen’s industrial heritage and relationship with the North Sea.

After being awarded the accolade of being the ‘best graduating student’ from Anambra State University in Nigeria for his undergraduate degree in Architecture, Obiajulu, wanted to expand his horizons and crossed the globe to study a Master of Architecture (MArch) at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment at Robert Gordon University.

He was keen to study abroad and impressed by the reputation of the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment which offered world class facilities and high-quality teaching.  RGU had also been a significant part of his family's educational journey, as his sister had studied a MSc in Energy Management.

He was strongly encouraged by his family to study at university to enhance his learning and architecture appealed because of his love of art and science.

“University is my alchemist's lab. A place where I can mix curiosity, hard work, and inspiration to turn the base metal of potential into the gold of accomplishment and understanding.

“Architecture combines art and science, allowing me to creatively express ideas through tangible structures. I’m passionate about sustainable design and architecture’s role in creating environmentally responsible buildings. I’m also fascinated by how architecture can create meaningful experiences and evoke emotions through space and form.”

Obiajulu says he’s incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication he’s put into his studies. especially as he’s overcome mental health challenges.

“I’m so grateful for the support I received from RGU’s Counselling & Wellbeing Service during my second year. I encountered significant challenges that affected my mental health, plunging me into a state of depression and stress. The student well-being service professionally supported me through those trying times, helping me emerge stronger and more determined. I feel accomplished seeing how much I've grown both academically and personally.”

With a renewed resilience, Obiajulu excelled in his studies, and was awarded the Aberdeen Association of Architects Silver Medal 2024 for his final year project, for an innovative building called ‘Rigged’ made from recycled oil rigs.  Situated in Aberdeen’s historic harbour, ‘Rigged’ would stand as a beacon of environmental and social sustainability and would house a museum celebrating the North East’s industrial heritage and relationship with the North Sea.

“Rigged embodies a compelling response to the global climate emergency, re-purposing end-of-life offshore industrial assets to address sustainability challenges. By integrating these structures into new constructions, I hope to emphasise the inherent qualities of the recycled oil rigs, creating artistic and architectural pieces that highlight the beauty of reclaimed materials. My goal is to preserve cultural significance, promote sustainability, drive economic development, and cultivate vibrant public spaces."

As Obiajulu graduates, he reflects fondly on his time at RGU.

“I am very grateful for the opportunities and experiences university provided, from inspiring professors to meaningful projects and lasting friendships.

“I feel incredibly grateful and enriched from my experience at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment. The course was insightful and hands-on, with academic staff always willing to push us to bring out our best. They were professional, insistent, and loving, making a profound impact on my growth and learning."

“Last but not least, my time at university has enriched my life and inspired me to continue to pursue my passions and to contribute to my field. I’m feeling confident and well-prepared for the future, equipped with the knowledge and skills I have gained during my university journey at RGU.”

Looking forward, Obiajulu, says he is committed to his professional development in architecture, both theoretically and practically. He hopes to secure a job as a pathway to obtaining the RIBA-prescribed Part III, before moving towards becoming a registered architect.

“I feel well-prepared for the next step in my career. The hands-on, insightful course and the support from the dedicated academic staff at Scotts have equipped me with the necessary skills and confidence. Additionally, overcoming personal challenges with the help of the student well-being service has strengthened my resilience. Overall, my experience at RGU has provided a strong foundation for my professional journey in architecture.”

Cookie Consent