Maltese architect Dr Edwin Mintoff has been awarded the ‘Highly Commended Status in the Alumni Achievement Award’ from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK.

The director and founder of Dr Edwin Mintoff Architects studied for his PhD at the University, becoming one of the first Maltese architects ever to obtain a PhD qualification in the field of urban design.

Dr Mintoff’s PhD followed his first-class honours bachelor’s degree in architecture and civil engineering from the University of Malta. He is the author of several publications and today leads his eponymous multi-discipline firm, as well as serving as a senior lecturer at the University of Malta’s Faculty of the Building Environment, where he contributed towards the establishment of urban design courses and degrees.

“I was surprised and honoured to receive the award, made possible only with the support, assistance and contribution of my team at the firm, of whom I am very proud,” says Dr Mintoff. “It is rewarding to have the work of architects acknowledged, particularly for their contribution to the improvement of the quality of our built environment. Although I am fascinated with architecture, I have always believed in the importance of urban design, especially within the Maltese context. I strive to improve the quality of life of the Maltese community, by practising good creative architecture and inspirational urban design principles.” 

This latest award joins numerous other local and international awards Dr Mintoff has received in the fields of architecture and urban design, including the prestigious ‘Prix Versailles’ award in association with UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the ‘A Design’ award.

Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Prof Chris Davies, presented Dr Mintoff with the award in an online ceremony, in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions at the time. Congratulating him on his achievement, Prof Davies shared that the judges had recognised Dr Mintoff as “one of the small number of nominations that stood out as particularly outstanding examples of the valuable contribution being made by Newcastle University graduates around the world”. He also wrote that such awards “recognise and celebrate the efforts of the many individuals in the alumni community who are working to bring about positive and lasting changes to our society.”

Dr Mintoff adds a message for aspiring Maltese architects and urban planners, as he celebrates the award: “I hope they realise the contribution they can give to present and future generations by being creative and by acknowledging their responsibility in shaping our surroundings. At the same time, they will receive much satisfaction and enjoyment in practising this profession.”