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Monishka is pouring her energy into making change

This article appears in: Alumni stories
Alumni Awards Finalist Dr Monishka Narayan graduation

With leaders like Dr Monishka Narayan, the future is bright. Passion and determination have driven her to forge a successful career in the energy sector. Her actions today are improving our tomorrow.

Monishka is not one to back down from a challenge and it was no different when she transitioned from research to industry. Despite having little practical experience, Monishka’s keen attitude combined with her postdoctoral fellowship from CDU led to her securing a career within the energy sector.

In just three years, Monishka has seized the opportunities she has created for herself and moved from a coordinator role to a management role. She’s a pioneer for women in energy.

Embracing energy

When Monishka commenced work, she relished being able to implement her renewable energy knowledge to an industry setting. It was a pivotal step in her professional development and reaffirmed her study choice.

I chose CDU because the University offered me the opportunity (through a scholarship scheme) to continue my research in renewable energy.

“I wanted to learn more and challenge myself in an international context and wanted to contribute towards combatting climate change by using renewable energy technologies.”

Astounding levels of energy

Alumni Awards Finalist Dr Monishka Narayan at work

Since working at Energy Networks Australia, Monishka has managed research projects, participated in grid seminars, facilitated panels, and provided female representative at several events and forums. Since stepping into her management role, she’s taken things up a level.

With experience under her belt, Monishka introduced managerial procedures, collaborated with research, industry and government and led  management for a broad range of innovative projects in energy such as electric vehicles and microgrids.

Amazingly, she’s also written several public facing articles in her spare time on the electricity networks and her unique contributions to it.

A spark of confidence

Monishka attributes her CDU experiences for boosting her self-confidence. Travelling overseas solo for conferences supported by CDU, attending a summer school in Colorado USA, and lecturing at the University were her highlights.

“All of these experiences built my courage and confidence and boosted my communication skills,” says Monishka. “Meeting other international researchers who were also starting a new journey in a new country made it easier to make friends and formed a basis for me to be interactive and open-minded.”

Ongoing energy

Monishka has never stopped learning. She received a scholarship and company sponsorship to undertake a certificate in women’s leadership and won a scholarship to the Women in Clean Energy Fellowship by EnergyLab.

Invited to be a panelist at the University of Melbourne and Asian Development Bank’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Seminar, Monishka has also chaired a panel on Women in Energy at Young Energy Professionals for the Australian Institute of Energy.

Paving the way to success

With experience, confidence, and knowledge under her belt, Monishka has some solid advice for her younger self.

Never be afraid or doubt yourself," she says.

It's very easy to say no and be in your comfort zone, but it's more exciting to say yes to new opportunities and challenges. A life lived with a thirst for new destinations is a life worth living.

CDU has recognised Monishka's contributions with an Alumni Awards nomination.

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