My scholarship experience: MSc New and Renewable Energy

Ana Maria Villarreal-Vives

While growing up, I realised that climate change is one of the most significant challenges of this century and that we humans are responsible for most of it. I knew that if I wanted to be an active part of the solution, I had to dedicate my studies and work towards this cause. That is why after finishing my B.S. in Sustainable Development Engineering, I started working in the renewable energy sector, where I found a great passion for this topic. First, I joined the Sustainable Energy Programme at the German International Agency for Sustainable Development (GIZ). Then, I worked at Iniciativa Climática de México (ICM), a Mexican NGO dedicated to reducing Mexico’s greenhouse gas emissions.

STEM scholarship

After a couple of years working, I realised that it’s crucial to have a more significant number of renewable energy specialists with the capabilities and technical understanding to develop innovative solutions to tackle the energy sector’s needs and challenges. That’s why I decided that my next step was to study a master’s degree in a related topic. Undoubtedly, the UK was my preferred destination because it has proven to be a world reference in promoting renewable energies and climate change actions. I was fortunately awarded the British Council Women in STEM scholarship to study at Durham University. It has been a life-changing experience that is accelerating my professional growth and will definitely be a springboard to my career goals. This MSc programme is helping me understand my field of studies from an international perspective and will equip me with many significant skills, knowledge, and a valuable network of colleagues and friends.

My future plans

When I finish, I want to continue working in the renewable energy sector, probably in my country, Mexico, to apply all the lessons learned from the UK experience. I think it is crucial to approach the current global needs from a sustainable development perspective, showing that climate solutions, including renewable energy initiatives, must be aligned with the national and international agendas.

I also feel passionate about continuing to open the path for more women until the space in STEM areas is sufficient, and we are seen and heard. I want to inspire future generations of girls and women to pursue STEM careers. I wish for a future where women have meaningful participation at all levels and in all sectors, compared to the current rates.

Discover more

British Council scholarships for women in STEM here

MSc in New and Renewable Energy at Durham here

The Department of Engineering here

Ana Maria Villarreal-Vives

My name is Ana Maria Villarreal, I am from México, and currently, I am studying MSc New and Renewable Energy at Durham University.

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