Four Questions with Ghasideh Pourhashem, C3E Women in Clean Energy Poster Session Presenter

Drexel University student presented her poster "Environmental and economic analysis of alternative applications of byproduct of bio-ethanol production” at C3E 2013.

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What was it like presenting at the C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium?

First, I should say that I was honored to be selected among the finalists at the symposium and it was a tremendous accomplishment for me. I have presented my work on several occasions before but I rarely felt the joy I did when presenting my work in clean energy among talented women in the field. Everyone was engaged, insightful, and smart, and I received invaluable feedback that helped me as I moved on with my research. I was also amazed by the diversity of the research topics that were on display at the symposium. I met a lot of amazing students from diverse backgrounds and I enjoyed the very interesting discussions that I had with them about their experiences, goals, and challenges in their career, education and life.

C3E gave me an amazing experience in my career path. I met with many accomplished women in one place! I had the opportunity to talk to incredible and distinguished women in academia, government and industry face-to-face and ask for advice for my future career path as well as issues of balancing work and personal life. I was fortunate to have this experience at the right moment of my life!

What was the most interesting part of the Symposium?

I come from technical background in clean energy but I was very interested in learning to connect scientific results with policy- making. But I had no knowledge how this could work and where I could start. It almost seemed impossible for me! At C3E I had the chance to listen to experts from government and then I was sure that this is the path that I want to learn more about.

What have you gone on to do since presenting at C3E?

Since then I have been practicing my capabilities in connecting science and policy in clean energy by writing and presenting at many occasions. I am excited about the next level of my career, conveying my experience to younger women who may be facing challenges similar to the ones I had, and I am very eager to attend the next C3E meeting.

What role has networking that was initiated at C3E played in your career?

I made many new connections and left C3E motivated and filled with energy. I applied for a job at a think tank and was hired to work on climate change mitigation strategies and sustainable development projects. Now I work at the center for energy studies at Baker Institute for Public Policy, which is ranked first among think tanks for energy and resources in the US.

What seemed impossible to me turned out to be possible! And I believe the confidence C3E symposium created in me played a major role in it.

Submissions for the 2016 C3E student poster competition are being accepted now through February 29th. Enter your work for a chance to present at this year's symposium.