Tajdar Ahmed is an international student with a keen interest in studying sustainable energy development and he began his journey with EIU in Fall 2016. His choice of a Master’s program at EIU came after great research and consideration of a handful of reputed universities that offer a Master’s in this field. He credits his advisor Dr. Liu’s prompt response, and enthusiasm as the biggest reasons he chose EIU over other universities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
A major challenge the world faces today is the insufficient supply of renewable energy. Being a responsible and conscientious citizen of the planet, he sincerely wishes to take part in and contribute towards improving current energy conditions. After having finished almost three semesters of the course, he has been able to deliver presentations, take up personal projects, attend conferences and other activities. These experiences have helped him hone specialized skills required in the development and sustainability of the world’s renewable energy. His future plans are to gain work experience in the field of energy management and renewable resources development. Furthermore, he would like to get into a business of biofuel industry in his homeland, in the longer run.
Tajdar participates actively in projects brought under the umbrella of the Center for American Rural Energy(CARE). During summer, he led a research team of students that investigated the benefits of electrification of stone quarries across USA using Charleston Stone Quarry as a model. The study was published as an article by National Rural Electric Co-operative Association in TECH surveillance. Currently, he is working on Electrical Vehicle project in collaboration with Coles-Moultrie Electric Co-operative that provides electricity in many areas of the Coles Country. This project would primarily investigate the feasibility of running an electric car for maintenance purpose by Coles-Moultrie and will also be studying if the project could be extended to replace the entire maintenance fleet with electric vehicles.
His master’s research is based on smart home devices and their application. He presented his research "Smart Home Technologies Enabled by Smart Grid" at The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) conference on 3rd November 2017 in Cincinnati, OH. This research primarily tried to explain the entire smart home technology scenario and how it could be beneficial to the consumers.
In Fall 2017, under the mentorship of Dr. Rendong Bai, Dr. Wuthigrai Boonsuk, and Dr. Peter Ping Liu, the team was able to emulate a smart home setting at Center for Clean Energy Research and Education(CENCERE) facility. They helped in educating the older adults and disabled people in how to use these novel devices and get a feedback which would enable the manufacturers to design their products at par with their needs. This research project was completed with collaborative efforts of two different department viz. Department of Sustainability and School of Family and Consumer Sciences and was funded by Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation(ISEIF), Chicago.
He considers EIU to be synonymous to a learning haven where, education is imparted to everyone without any discrimination. He acknowledges how the education culture in India in general differs vastly from America. He is immensely grateful to how open, friendly, and helpful his professors are. He has also been constantly encouraged to think deeply on topics so that he can dive more into the subject and explore new horizons. Sharing a personal experience, he says “I was nervous when I had to assist Dr. Liu (my mentor) in research work as a part of my GA duty. He understood my nervousness and guided me at every step. He made it more of a learning experience than a job. His constant appreciation even for the slightest advancement made me more passionate in doing my job.”
Tajdar received an award as an outstanding international student in Spring 2017. In Spring 2018, he received King-Mertz Award for Excellence in Research by the Graduate School, and Norm and Maria Plumer Research Award. Both awards were very competitive.