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Our Alumni at work

Environmental Management graduate Mirza Baig Environmental Management graduate Mirza Baig

Mirza Humayun Baig came from Pakistan to Australia to pursue an education in the field of environment in 2011 so that he could make a positive difference in the world. After a year in Queensland, he enrolled at Charles Darwin University to undertake a Master of Environmental Management. The keen fisherman, social tennis enthusiast and now CDU alumnus has remained in Darwin where he works as a planning officer on a low-income, energy-efficiency project.

Tell a little about the low-income, energy-efficiency project. What does it involve; what is the purpose?
The project identifies barriers to energy efficiency in low-income Indigenous households in six communities in East Arnhem Land and aims to help more than 620 households to use energy more efficiently. This involves retrofitting up to 440 homes with energy-efficient light bulbs and solar hot water systems, and fitting data loggers to meter boxes to capture energy usage statistics. It also hopes to employ local people in each community to engage with households and to deliver tailored education.

What is most interesting or challenging about the project?

The most interesting part of the project is the big-picture idea to improve the life and health of low-income people living in remote areas. By improving energy efficiency, the money they spend on energy will last longer.

You have been interested in environmental science for several years. What sparked your interest in this area?

I like the idea of a balanced approach to enjoying natural resources. Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. I have an interest in contributing towards technological advancements for using energy resources more efficiently and ideas to reduce wastes at all levels.
What were your first impressions of the NT? What do you like best?

I arrived in the middle of the wet season. I was used to the heat, but the wet was a completely new experience after having lived in Brisbane for a year. I was amazed by the short distances between everywhere and anywhere. I think the best thing about Darwin is that we generally save a lot of quality time, which would have been spent in traffic in other places. I like the weather and the amazing transformations that occur between wet and dry. I enjoy both seasons.

What was the highlight during your time studying at CDU?

The professional practice placement with the Centre for Renewable Energy. This has given me opportunities to participate in projects in my area of interest.
What interests you apart from your work?

I like to travel and to explore the beauty of nature. I like to visit diverse locations and meet people from different places.
Tell a little about your last visit to Pakistan. Why did you return and what did you do there?

I went on a holiday for one month after completing my first year at CDU. It was my brother’s wedding and I was the best man. It was great to catch up with the family and spend time shopping and eating.
What does the future hold for Mirza Baig?

I would like to use my knowledge, skills and experience to continue working on sustainability projects and to bridge the gap between conventional and renewable energy systems. I am interested in projects that reduce, reuse and recycle waste.