Ajeet Panesar, Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology, 2017 - 2018

Studied: BSc Environment and Sustainability (2014-2017) and MSc Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology (2017-2018)

Current employment: Sustainable Infrastructure Specialist at Solisco

Solisco supplies solar car ports which integrate solar PV, EV charging points and battery storage systems. They also provide consultancy services with electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure.

What does your current position involve?

Working on a diverse range of projects within various industries, from the private sector to commercial or public sectors; focusing extensively on an Innovate UK funded OLEV project (SETCH). Roles include; preparing reports and documentation on a variety of solar PV, battery storage and EV charging systems. Working closely with suppliers and manufacturers to collect and analyse data for the creation of models and projections. Performing environmental tests, evaluating regulation compliance, grants, future opportunities and business development through client engagement and consultancy services. Additional responsibilities included managing the marketing strategy for 2019 and managing the internships from Keele University.

What influenced your decision to study the course?

My interest in environmental causes led me to study the undergraduate course at Keele. During that time, I began to like the engineering side of the subject particularly in renewables and electric vehicles therefore I decided to continue studying on for a Masters. The MSc course offered potential opportunities to work in industry which was hard to get in the field I wanted to pursue with just my BSc degree qualification.

What skills and/or experience did you gain?

In February 2018 I approached Solisco via LinkedIn to pursue a potential internship placement. With the help of the Santander Internship funding, the start-up was able to take me onboard for 6 months while I studied for my degree.

I learned a great deal about the sector by attending industry exhibitions and conferences and through correspondence with the companies many European manufacturing partners. Engaging with domestic and commercial customers gave me a stronger understanding of the differences between theoretical knowledge and real-world application. An industry insight also provided a clearer understanding of what emerging technologies would likely be adopted based on political and economic forces.

What did you do after graduating from Keele in terms of travel, further study and jobs?

The summer between the BSc and MSc courses I travelled southern Africa driving for a month between game parks in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Since completing my MSc I worked a minimum wage job for 4 months and then was hired by Solisco to work in the new year. I hope to visit Africa again for some conservation work with elephants in the next year or two or just for another holiday with my family.

How did the course prepare you for your next job?

The flexibility in essay topics for many of the degree’s modules allowed me to explore my interests in electric vehicle technology. There was a lot of support and encouragement to pursue work experience either prior to graduating or prior to the dissertation module. The KRISP framework was influential in making this happen.

How did you find the support from staff within the School of GGE?

The staff at the Sustainability Hub were very supportive, particularly Dr Sharon George whose exuberance took a lot of stress away during difficult times. There was a lot of emphasis from staff to get to know students and for students to get to know each other which made for much more personal relationships between organisers and students compared to my undergraduate degree.

Were you involved in any club and societies at Keele, and if so what was your experience of them?

I played for the university’s hockey team in both regional and BUCS leagues as well as being a committee member for a year. The sense of community and the friends I made through sport made it a highlight of my time at Keele. I’d strongly encourage anyone to join a society or sports team while they’re at university.