I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Energy Engineer in July 2017 from the National University of San Martin, and I had the privilege to be the first student to finish this undergraduate program in Argentina. I could start working in the private sector two years before, for a renewable energy company; and after my graduation, I worked for the Secretary of Energy of Argentina, as Technical Advisor. I actively developed public policies related to energy savings and efficiency and participated in several programs with great regional impacts for four years.

During the employment period, I could identify that was necessary for my professional expectation to follow with my graduate education. This was a challenge since there were not many programs in Argentina that addressed the energy issue in its entirety, in the way that I wanted to study the sector. The United States, particularly Texas, was a great place to continue with my education due to the large history and high level of development that has reached for the energy sector. However, coming to the U.S. was a huge challenge, not only economic but also logistical and cultural. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic incorporated an additional complexity factor.

The previous months to the trip were confusion, expectation, and uncertainty. During that time, I had the opportunity to know about the IAPG's Claudio Manzolillo Scholarship through previous fellows, and Guillermo Hitters (the IAPG Houston president at that time) introduced me to this opportunity. Some weeks after my application, I received the Eduardo Galindez communication that I had been selected. The IAPG Scholarship allowed me to manage the economic challenge, covering a great part of my tuition. Moreover, the application process was simple and personalized. Both characteristics must not be underestimated since are unusual for this type of process and were a great benefit for me.

Currently, I am pursuing a master’s program in Energy and Earth Resources at the University of Texas at Austin. Being an interdisciplinary program, allows me to focus on my interest, sustainability, and especially energy efficiency. As part of the program, I am taking a variety of courses in business, law, engineering, geosciences, among others. For my graduate thesis, I will be working with a demand response program for the electricity market in Argentina. I am addressing this challenge not only from an engineering perspective but also from an economic and regulatory approach. 

After I finish my program in Spring 2023, I will apply my knowledge and continue my contribution to the development of the energy sector, seeking both the public and the private sector to design and implement long-term plans and programs that involve the assessment and improvement in the use of energy in all its forms, always pursuing as a final goal the sustainability. Being part of this program, with IAPG support, is providing me with a broader perspective concerning both professional and human aspects.

There has never been a more critical time for governments and organizations to profit from the resources made available by technology, which can provide a solution for the energy transition challenge that the world is currently facing. I am confident that, with the master’s program at UT and this experience supported by IAPG, I will have gained all the necessary training to not only provide solutions for Argentina's needs for the sector but to become a high-impact leader.

Sabrina Nava