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Concern for environment motivates new committee members

Two students working on CMC research projects have been selected to sit on the Highly Qualified Personnel Development Committee (HQPDC).

Farid Ahmed, University of Victoria, and Maria Zarzalejo, University of Toronto, were successful applicants selected from a slate of well-qualified candidates.

Committee provides leadership

The HQP Development Committee brings together representatives from non-government organizations, industry, government and education who work to ensure future industry needs are met. Attrition and an expanding new green employment market mean Canada will face a shortfall of skilled professionals and technical workers. The committee aims to facilitate development opportunities and provide leadership, advice and support for national and international multidisciplinary carbon management HQP development programs.

Farid Ahmed

Farid Ahmed

Ahmed, who is working on his PhD in Mechanical Engineering, is motivated by the desire to have a positive impact on the environment.

“The HQP development committee is committed to creating professionals to support a clean energy effort and carbon management for a safer world. An opportunity to be a student representative to the committee has extended my reach to work alongside leading experts and help develop skilled manpower for CMC’s project demonstrations and clean energy campaign.”

A native of Bangladesh, Ahmed received his BSc in Applied Physics & Electronics from the University of Dhaka and MSc in Electrical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology before moving to Victoria where he works with Professor Martin Jun on the project “Distributed all-optical CO2 sensing for the field-scale subsurface carbon management.”

Ahmed jumped at the chance to work on the optical sensing project when he heard about it. Coming from a country threatened by both rising sea levels and increased flooding brought on by climate change, Ahmed wanted to work on something that might make a ‘big picture’ difference.

“I could have worked on the medical imaging project, but the impact of the CMC project will be greater if we are successful. That’s important to me.”

Maria Zarzalejo

Zarzalejo is a master of applied science student in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the U of T.  She works with Professor Olivera Kesler on the Theme C project “CO2 for CCS from fuel cells.” A native of Venezuela, she received her BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the Universidad Simon Bolivar before coming to Canada. She also has extensive industry experience.

After attending her first HQPDC meeting in early October, Zarzalejo says she is even more impressed by the mandate of the committee. “I think what the committee is doing is really relevant. We are looking at the future and getting people trained to go into industry. I’m glad to be part of this group of like-minded colleagues working toward CMC goals.”

Zarzalejo could be one of those very graduates she is working to help. She is planning to return to industry when she completes her degree and hopes to contribute to efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change by developing cleaner sources of power. “I think it’s like we are all in the same boat. Sooner or later we will being to feel the effects of climate change and eventually we will all have to make changes.”