IFMA Houston's 2019 Scholarship recipients





What the IFMA Houston Scholarship Meant to Iris van Mierlo...

"When I received the great news, I almost could not believe this was real, and since then, my life has been a roller coaster ride and my career got a boost.
Winning the scholarship gave me the possibility to attend World Workplace in Phoenix, this was already fantastic that I had the opportunity to join the biggest and well-known facility management conference in the world. I am grateful that except for being there, I had the opportunity to meet FM professionals from all over the world and to start my international FM network. For me, this was very important since it is my dream to work abroad and use my facility management knowledge to develop facility management worldwide.
During World Workplace I met some wonderful people who could help me achieve my dream."

What the IFMA Houston Scholarship Meant to Dipin Kasana...

"The national scholarship awarded by the IFMA Houston Chapter has been the gift that keeps on giving. Beyond the prestige of such an award, it has afforded me invaluable opportunities to meet some of the industry’s leading Facilities Managers (FMs), helping me to showcase my most meaningful work. One such opportunity includes the 2019 World Workplace Forum, in Phoenix, Arizona, which offered a conducive space to learn, make new connections, and expand future career considerations, post-academia. The Forum also helped me to foster dialogues with some of the top FM organizations, including Sodexo, C&W, JLL, among others which I do not believe could have been started, otherwise.

As an international student, pursuing my Ph.D. full-time, the legally mandated 20-hour workweek is prohibitive when it comes to pursuing additional goals while fulfilling academic commitments. The support from the IFMA Houston Scholarship has made the difference between a satisfactory project, and an exceptional one. I am better able to acquire the tools and resources necessary to work on FM-related efforts, while also providing the ability to pursue new opportunities."

Get to Know Our Recipients A Little Better...





Iris van mierlo

Liverpool business school - Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)

Masters student

Facility Management

After high school, Iris decided to study the bachelor in Facilities Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen. After she graduated in 2015, Iris started working as a facility consultant for Ifmec. Over the last 5 years, she worked on facility and workplace projects for international companies as Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Amgen and Rabobank, and national government organizations. While working for Ifmec, Iris had the opportunity to follow the post-bachelor and MSc in Facilities Management. In 2019 Iris graduated with distinction for the MSc Applied Facilities Management of Liverpool John Moores University and received an IFMA Foundation scholarship, sponsored by the IFMA Houston chapter, for her great achievements. The IFMA Houston chapter handed out the scholarship to Iris during World Workplace in Phoenix. Attending to World Workplace was a perfect opportunity for Iris to meet her sponsors as well to start building up an international network with facility management professionals since Iris has the ambition to work abroad to develop facility management worldwide.

Dipin Kasana

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

PH.D. Student

Infrastructure and Environmental Systems

Dipin Kasana is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Infrastructure & Environmental System (INES) Program, and a second-time master's student, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). Since completing his first master's in Construction & Facilities Management (MSCFM), in the summer of 2018, he has been working toward completing his doctoral dissertation, and master’s in Data Science & Business Analytics (DSBA). As an active member of the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), with over three years of service, and as the current Vice President of IFMA’s Charlotte Student Chapter, Dipin consistently finds new ways to expand on his work and mobilize student participation, by organizing guest speaking events, promotional activities, and a variety of other networking opportunities.

Dipin has collaborated on and contributed to a variety of research projects, alongside Dr. Jake Smithwick, many of which involved the study of construction risk management, construction/transportation programs management, facilities management, and procurement services, to name a few. The results of these projects have led to their publication in four conference papers, including the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) and Construction Research Congress (CRC) conferences, as well as an article in the Journal of Management in Engineering (JME). As the main author on several of these research works, and as co-author on behalf of others, he was responsible for developing the research methodology, conducting a robust literature review, preparing simple to complex questionnaires for data collection, performing the data manipulation and analysis, interpreting the results to tangible findings and recommendations, and ultimately preparing the industrial reports and white paper summaries for end-users.

At present, Dipin is developing a Space Management Benchmarking Report, on behalf of IFMA and as part of his Ph.D. dissertation, to examine industry trends in the areas of space planning and utilization, flexible workspace strategies, and organizational change management capabilities. In addition to completing his Ph.D., Dipin is on track to complete his master’s in DSBA, by May 2021.