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This semester, a cohort of 27 students from two of Pakistan’s leading universities, will be studying at ASU as part of a program to promote research relevant to Pakistan’s energy needs, produce skilled graduates, and grow ASU’s capacity to address energy transitions in various cultural contexts. The project’s $18 million award is the largest ever granted to ASU from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is part of the U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCASE) program. SFIS Associate Director for Faculty Clark Miller is the energy policy lead, having developed and organized a training workshop in energy policy and leadership for all of the students in the project.
ASU is partnering with National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar, on this project. Two of the participating master’s students, Bilal Malik and Nafeesa Irshad along with their professor, Rabia Liaquat, will be hosted by SFIS as energy policy trainees with PhD student Carlo Altamirano as their program liaison. All three said they are excited to be here, praising in particular the culturally diverse student community at ASU as supportive and welcoming. They are attending weekly seminars with different presenters each week, such as SFIS faculty Britt Crow-Miller and affiliate Chris Jones.
Liaquat sees the virtue in interdisciplinary cooperation among faculty, between universities, and especially between academia and policymakers. The students have gravitated towards the communal learning environment they’ve found here. “It’s so interactive!” said Irshad, while Malik appreciated faculty who are “always ready to talk with us.” They all hope to be leaders in the transition to a renewable energy future in Pakistan. Liaquat and Irshad, with Malik’s support, intend to encourage and empower other women to enter the energy field.