The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) hosts the prestigious “Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development” on a yearly basis to promote the international exchange of innovative green ideas. The award, under the patronage of Minister Professor Johanna Wanka, honours young researchers each year. The winners come from numerous countries and scientific disciplines and are recognised for their outstanding achievements in making our societies more sustainable.
Selected by a high-ranking jury of German experts the award-winners are granted unique access to the country's research elite.
Last year, in 2015, a young girl, Shougat Nazbin Khan, an IUB Alumna, was the first Bangladeshi to be awarded the Green Talent award in Berlin. Completing her SSC and HSC from Viqarunnisa Noon School & College, Shougat studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), Shougat received the UNESCO Madanjeet fellowship to study Green Energy Technology at UNESCO Madanjeet Institute of Green Energy Technology in India.
“I always had great fascination for computers and video games from a very young age. Throughout my time in school, I wanted to become a computer engineer. But, then I started to realize EEE is more dynamic and challenging. It encompasses a large number of disciplines which enable engineers to provide innovative solutions to real world problems. My parents never put any kind of pressure on me, and I got to choose my own career. They have always believed in me and have been quite supportive. It has inspired me to grow and take further steps toward my goals. ” says Shougat Nazbin.
This prestigious title of the Green Talent Award is granted to young scientists who work on developing Green and Sustainable Technology who have the potential to solve the biggest challenges such as global warming, energy shortages, resource scarcity, and massive environmental contamination. In order to take part in the global competition one should have outstanding academic achievements, strong focus on sustainable development with an interdisciplinary approach and high standard research publications. Candidates with all these qualities can enter the online competition where they will have to answer several essay questions on innovative green ideas. On the basis of their scientific excellence and innovative research potential, an international panel of eminent scholars and experts from academia and industry selects the winners from numerous applicants worldwide.
“I have worked on various projects on renewable energies in several countries. My research mainly focuses on hybrid energy systems that are feasible for clean energy production. Apart from designing, I develop modelling and simulation frameworks to make better energy predictions and performance analysis of the energy systems. It was a great experience to be honoured in front of many distinguished guests. I was overwhelmed with joy when I received my award. I felt more committed to continue my research efforts and bring positive changes to society through it,” she says.
Renewable energy projects are still mostly donor-driven in Bangladesh. “We often have to rely on foreign expertise to execute such projects. I want to work towards minimising this dependency. I have already started skill development training programmes on renewable energy on a small scale. I am eager to set up a training institute for stakeholders in the future.”
Amongst applicants from over a 100 countries, Shougat stood a proud Bangladeshi with the award in her hands. “I felt even more determined to work hard on my application when I realised that no Bangladeshi has received the award before. Achieving the prestigious award at such an early stage of my career has definitely ignited an ambition to realise and chase my dreams. This international recognition has motivated me to maintain the intellectual journey and reach higher levels of excellence,” says Shougat Nazbin.
One of the essential parts of continuing one's development as a scientist is constantly keeping up with the latest research and trends, believes Shougat. “But, in my opinion it's also very important to challenge yourself sometimes by taking scientific risks, learning big ideas and researching on new areas, particularly the ones that have significant social impacts. This helps a person to look at things from a new perspective and ensures the use of best practices.”