Sadaf Sobhani, '15, MS '15, PhD candidate
Advocating for responsible energy use
I spent last summer in Washington, D.C. working as an intern at the Energy Future Coalition, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation (UNF).
As a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, I work on developing computational tools to investigate alternative combustion systems. I spend most days writing code or discussing the technical details of my research. So the transition to Pennsylvania Ave was dramatic. Just the walk from the Farragut North station to my UNF office, located between the White House and the World Bank, was enough to remind me of the incredible opportunity I was given to work in the nation's capital.
During the summer, I was involved with the Clean Fuels campaign, which calls attention to the epidemiological and environmental risks associated with the combustion of aromatic compounds in fuels.
With my background in combustion science and engineering, I was able to contribute to the team's efforts by translating the current scientific research into a comprehensive white page on the sources and potential impacts of emissions from automobiles, focusing on the influences of specific gasoline components and ethanol-gasoline blending. My work aimed to give insight into potential technical and policy responses to this issue.
Through this experience, I gained a deeper appreciation for the complex processes involved in developing and implementing policies that advance us towards a more sustainable and cleaner energy future, a journey that I want to be actively involved in – both as a scientist and an advocate.
Schneider Fellows work at leading U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to tackle today's sustainable energy challenges.