Engineering change through education
By PRETHIBA ESVARY
Did you know that dairy cows today are made to artificially reproduce so they can produce up to six or seven times more milk than they did a century ago?
Then there’s artificial ripening of fruits during off season, overuse of pesticides in farming, and the list goes on.
A study published in April 2016 conducted on paddy farmers in Sungai Petani, Malaysia showed that about 80% of them practise unsustainable farming. And this is a common practice, even after the introduction of the Farm Accreditation Scheme in 2002.
Here’s the thing: We have a growing population, and so increased demand is outweighing supply (resources).
My question is, why are we operating in such a manner when we know that these actions will deplete the world’s resources at a rapid rate?
Engineering a change, together
Leaderonomics recently met one individual who believes that we can’t put the entire burden of creating a sustainable planet on the shoulders of authorities and that we ourselves can do something to save Mother Earth.
Meet Jayasubamani Arvi S. Moganakrishnan (Jaya). An engineer by profession, Jaya is now pursuing her PhD in engineering education. She is conducting research in education approaches for the personal and professional development of engineers, focused on design and sustainable development. As part of her research, she supervises student projects for multidisciplinary engineering design modules.
With a deep-rooted passion for creating a sustainable living, Jaya is using her knowledge in engineering and her love for teaching, to equip engineering students with skills and knowledge to connect with the community around them while coming up with engineering solutions that will help address pertinent issues that affect the community and the environment.
This might interest you: 5 Asian Leaders Who Practice Sustainability In Their Business
Inspired by sugar and tomato
It all started when she was doing her Master of Energy and Industrial Sustainability studies in the United Kingdom (UK) and was working on an industrial symbiosis project. She described her project as a process of taking one industry’s wastes and turning them into a resource for another industry.
An example she gave was of British Sugar and British Tomato, UK’s sugar and tomato producers. Sugar production emits excessive nitrogen into the air, and that is harmful to us. The solution? Since nitrogen functions as a fertiliser, it can be used to stimulate growth and production of tomato crops in glasshouses. Remarkable, isn’t it?
Because of the exciting discoveries she made during her research, Jaya was fuelled with a burning desire to bring back what she had learnt to Malaysia.