Making the World a Better Place
When Anas Patel was deciding on a college to pursue a master’s degree in energy management, he knew New York Institute of Technology was the right choice. “It is a global university with diverse students,” he says. “Smaller class sizes provide a better experience for students. The professors get to know the students well, which helps the students get individualized attention.”
He was also attracted to the university’s rich student life. “The school offers fun activities, including trips around the city as well as recreational ventures,” says Patel.
In addition to taking part in the class outings, Patel was active on campus in many other ways. “I was a student volunteer from May 2018 to December 2018 and helped during new student orientation as well as the 2018 graduation ceremony,” he says. He also worked as a student assistant in the Office of Student Life and is now a member of the NYIT-Vancouver Alumni Board.
Before coming to New York Tech, Patel was an instrumentation and control engineer in Vadodara, Gujarat, India—not a typical background for someone pursuing a master’s degree in energy management. He sat down with The Box to talk about his college journey and why he chose his field of study.
Why did you want to study energy management?
Although my background hasn’t directly influenced me, there were some common topics like building automation, a course I took during my undergrad. I was fascinated by that, and the idea of the environment and automation converging to save energy. As we all are aware, the world is in imminent danger. We are facing issues such as climate change, depletion of fossil fuels, global warming, and severe pollution. All of these issues are interrelated. The way we have been using energy is leading to bigger problems. We need to learn how to manage energy so we can save and use it sustainably. I want to play a small part in bringing a change to this planet, and that is why I chose to study energy management.
What projects did you work on as a student?
For my master’s program project, I commissioned and installed controllers on a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) variable frequency drive (VFD) fan. It was an exciting challenge for me. Also, since it was quite like my undergrad field [instrumentation and control engineering], I had basic knowledge about the project. Moreover, knowing that future students will use this model to learn how energy can be saved by using automation makes me happy. I owe a big thanks to Associate Professor Remi Charron, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Stefan Storey. Without their help, I wouldn’t have been able to complete this project.
You received an Edward Guiliano Global Fellowship in the spring of 2019. What was the focus of your project?
I visited the Iceland School of Energy to learn about renewable energy systems there, which is predominantly geothermal energy. I went to the Hellisheiði power station, which is the third-largest geothermal power station in the world. In addition to that, I explored various parts of Iceland, including Reykjavik, Vik, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Geysir, and many other places. It was such an amazing experience for me as I got to visit a country that is on the cutting edge of sustainability.
What is next for you?
I would like to contribute to the global movement to battle climate change. I recently volunteered at Ecocity Summit 2019, where I worked as a session room monitor. Ultimately, I would like to make the world a better place. There is so much that energy management graduates can do. What excites me the most is knowing that we will be playing a major role in combating climate change in the future.