Islamabad - The United States Agency for International Development and Pakistani officials Friday recognised 24 students and seven faculty members from the National University of Science and Technology and the University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar who will spend a semester at the Arizona State University in the United States.

During their US-sponsored exchange programme, they will conduct research on Pakistan’s most pressing energy challenges, said a US embassy statement.

This is the fifth batch of energy engineering students and faculty members travelling to the United States under the USAID-funded US-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy programme.

During their four-month stay, the students and faculty will engage in experimental research on energy at ASU labs under the supervision of professors to design, execute, and analyze experiments in areas such as solar panels and batteries. They will also take part in industrial visits to learn more about power generation mechanisms in the United States, the statement said.

Speaking at the ceremony, USAID Mission Director Jerry Bisson said: “This exchange programme focused on energy research is a symbol of the partnership between the United States and Pakistan for developing strong educational institutions.”

He encouraged the students to use this opportunity to hone their skills in energy research under the supervision of senior professors at ASU.

Students from the outgoing batch also shared their excitement about the programme and the opportunity to work with international researchers.

A total of 110 students and faculty members from NUST and UET Peshawar have successfully completed exchange programs so far and are currently working on energy projects.

These exchange visits provide faculty an opportunity to enhance their teaching skills and to learn how to build successful partnerships between academia and the corporate sector, while students will focus on research and industry awareness. 

The goals of the USPCAS-E include curriculum development, research, establishment of new laboratories, and visitor programmes. 

Under the umbrella of the Higher Education Commission, the centres at both NUST and UET Peshawar are expected to become Pakistan’s premier sustainable energy research centres, producing the next generation of graduates in the field of applied energy research.

This program will also set new standards for supporting the success of both women and disadvantaged youth in the engineering profession.

This academic exchange is supported through the USAID’s five-year, $127 million investment in the US-Pakistan Centres for Advanced Studies Program. The aim of the program is to find innovative and practical solutions to Pakistan’s energy, water, agriculture, and food security challenges.