We are pleased to share that Juveiriah Ashraf, a researcher in the Energy Storage Group at our Advanced Materials Research Center (AMRC), recently graduated from a year-long program with Masdar called Women in Sustainability, Environment, and Renewable Energy (WiSER).
WiSER was founded on the three core pillars of education, engagement, and empowerment. The platform works to position women as drivers of change and innovation while ensuring that their voices are heard across the sustainability debate on issues of policy, technology, and business.
Key topics tackled during the program included green hydrogen, urban development, and food security. According to Ashraf, there is a need to adopt a holistic approach where not only scientists and engineers are involved, but also government entities, corporate leaders, financial boards to accelerate the impact. For instance, there can be government incentives for companies that recycle a certain percentage of their wastes, or lower tax can be applied on using materials that are environmentally friendly.
Furthermore, Juveiriah Ashraf commented that another method is adopting a circular economy which starts from the production stage; that is, designing materials for reprocessing or repurposing as opposed to finding new ways of recycling them just at the end of their lifecycle. Moreover, scientists need to devise materials that are not only sustainable, but which have the same performance and cost, to be easily integrated in the current manufacturing processes.
When asked for advice for other young women in STEM, Ashraf said: “It is very important to inculcate the doctrine of sustainability in our actions to guarantee a secure future for generations to come. We have come a long way as women, due in part to the efforts of our illustrious predecessors like Eleanor Roosevelt, Alice Paul, and reading their history and of other notable women, I feel obliged to do my part and I believe initiatives like WiSER will help bring about that change.”
Our heartiest congratulations to Juveiriah Ashraf on her accomplishment! We wish her well on her journey towards innovation excellence that will further advance the UAE’s efforts in achieving its sustainability goals.