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USPCAS-E scholar Asfandyar Khalid is a people person. He likes to meet new people and have conversations with them.
“It opens up my mind and I learn a lot from them and try to share my thoughts with them,” he says.
So, it’s no surprise that he wants to make things better for others.
“I always had this intuition that I want to invent new things, innovate ideas and play a key role in the advancement of my country. I wanted to serve my country and make life easy for the common man of Pakistan,” Asfandyar explains.
He worked for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company. He worked on designing the distribution system within an economic zone as well as maintaining the grids and systems of the existing systems.
Asfandyar is from Peshawar. He is currently enrolled in the Electrical Energy Systems Engineering (EESE) program at U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCAS-E) at UET Peshawar.
He was in the final year of his bachelor’s degree program and serving as the president of the IEEE student organization at UET Peshawar when he learned about the USPCAS-E program.
“After seeing USPCAS-E’s great standard of education, I enrolled in a master’s degree program. I wished to be involved with USPCAS-E to try to help achieve its primary aim: solving the energy crisis in Pakistan.”
Asfandyar recently visited the United States as part of the USPCAS-E exchange program where he spent a semester working in Dr. Yang Weng’s lab at Arizona State University. In addition to gaining intensive hands-on experience in the lab, he also learned about entrepreneurship, energy policy and U.S. culture.
“I always want to achieve excellence in whatever I do. This thirst for excellence has led to success many times in my life. An example of this is what I have achieved along with my colleagues here at ASU. We managed to build a prototype that will monitor the power flows from a solar PV system and this prototype is cheaper and remotely accessible, meaning I can monitor a system here at ASU back from Pakistan.”
Asfandyar knows that working toward a graduate degree and pursuing goals as an entrepreneur isn’t easy.
“It wasn’t easy to come this far; you have to struggle constantly,” he says. “You have to overcome your fear of failure and also focus on success; that’s the way to go to achieve great things.”
Asfandyar has a bit of advice to fellow students: “Stay thirsty for knowledge and try to quench that never-ending thirst, stay positive and committed towards your goals and work hard to achieve them.”
When he’s not in the lab, he loves to read, mostly history as he feels that history always teaches great lessons for the future. He also loves traveling and exploring nature.
Asfandyar’s favorite moments came during the spring break scholar excursion to various destinations in Arizona and California. He also enjoyed a visit to the Arizona Renaissance Festival.
“The best part of the exchange program was the people of the U.S. The cultural diversity was pretty amazing. I never felt away from home because people here are so loving and accepting.”
The exchange experience was transformational for Asfandyar.
“I guess I will never be the same person that I was before coming here. I have a different view of this world now. This trip exposed me to a great environment; one that has completely reshaped my thinking. Rather than being a follower, I now want to be a leader. I want to be an entrepreneur, an innovator.”
And where does Asfandyar see himself in the future?
After graduation, Asfandyar wants to work for a government agency. He wants to use the expertise and knowledge he has gained from his exchange experience to help address Pakistan’s energy crisis. He also wants to create his own startup company that would provide energy solutions as another way to benefit his people and his country.
“Five years from now I see myself as a successful entrepreneur who has made significant contributions in solving the issue of energy crisis in Pakistan. I see myself as an energy expert providing solutions to various energy problems.”