For some people, going without power is an occasional inconvenience. For others, it’s a way of life. 

“I grew up in a farmer family. I spent countless nights without electricity in my childhood,” says Jyotik Savaj, a graduate student in the Francis College of Engineering who is from India. “What America has done in solar energy in the last 35 years, India and some other Asian and African countries have just begun their journey. Access to power is necessary for everyone in the 21st century. It’s a basic human need.” 

Jyotik, who is enrolled in the Master of Science in Energy Engineering/Solar Program, aims to help fulfill that need. His pathway: seize all the opportunities UMass Lowell can provide to learn and grow as a solar engineer. A degree in automobile engineering and some experience at a solar engineering company in India laid the groundwork for his graduate pursuits. Now he’s gaining the knowledge and skills he needs to make a difference in the world.

“Conserving our environment is why we do this,” he says. 

Jyotik is getting professional experience through the Graduate Master’s Co-op Option in Engineering, an optional track in which students apply what they’ve learned in classes to real-world problems. In the fall 2018 semester, he had a paid co-op job at Exyte, a Union, N.J.-based engineering and project management company specializing in high-tech facilities. 

Jyotik knows that to improve the lives of people around the world, he must better understand solar and photovoltaic technology and deepen his knowledge and skills. He sees UML’s program as the best way to prepare for a career that will light his way forward, and help bring light to the rest of the world.

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