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School of the Built Environment

Jim Sloan

Lecturer in Architecture Technology


I joined the School of Built Environment (SoBE) at University of Salford in July 2018. My role includes teaching and research related to technical aspects of buildings within the Architecture and Digital Technology directorate of SoBE. My teaching of technical curriculum develops a strong link between concept design and detailed design to support student learning about creation of the built environment: this links closely to my research which looks at designer behavior in practice and education settings. Previously I was Director of Technology for Birmingham School of Architecture and Design at Birmingham City University (BCU) from 2010 to 2018. My role at BCU involved an overview of the technical curriculum across all courses in the school (architecture, interiors, landscape and product design) at undergraduate and postgraduate levels: I developed a coherent framework for the technical curriculum and recruited a team of academics and practitioners to ensure maximum student engagement in the way this was delivered. I personally developed innovative methods for teaching detailed design within the design studio.

My ongoing PhD, begun at BCU, is looking at the processes, strategies and methods for detailed design evident in architectural practice. Additional research interests include teaching and learning for collaborative design and the ways that students and academics use space in newly developed university buildings. In 2018 I began the Technical Studies in Architecture group (TSA) with academics from Loughborough, Oxford Brookes, Leeds Beckett and Westminster universities: the TSA will expand to other institutions and provide an opportunity for academics engaged with technical issues in architecture to network, share good teaching practice and collaborate on research projects.

After studying architecture at the University of Bath (1990-94) and Manchester Metropolitan University (1995-97), I worked in architectural practice. At Simpson Haugh and Partners in Manchester (1996-2003) I worked as part of a team on projects for museums, transport infrastructure, retail, multi-storey residential, hotel and private houses. Three of these projects received an RIBA award. Subsequently I worked at John McAslan + Partners in Manchester, London and Doha (2003-2010), a design lead practice with an international reputation. I became an Associate of the practice in 2007 and lead a team of architects on projects for education, culture, hotels, offices, transport infrastructure and mixed-use residential. Three of the projects that my team delivered received an RIBA award.


  • Materials for building
  • Material processes in buildings 
  • Detailed design for architecture

Research Interests

  • Detailed design in architectural practice
  • Collaborative design
  • Space usage in higher education  

Qualifications and Memberships

  • BSc in General Architectural Studies (RIBA part 1) 1994
  • B.Arch in Architecture (RIBA part 2) 1997
  • Diploma in Practice (RIBA part 3) 1998
  • UK registered architect (ARB) 1998
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) 2012