Energy student passionate about finding sustainable solutions

1 August 2019

“Are we on track to achieve the global goals?”. The United Nations (UN) recently addressed this question in a progress report for the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. But we still have a long way to go and it is people like University of Queensland student Aaron Yenis Martinez who can make a difference in the complex field of building a sustainable energy future.

A civil engineer working in construction management in Mexico City, Aaron Martinez wanted to upgrade and broaden his skills. He started scouting around for master’s programs that would supply him with new knowledge to become a leader within sustainable energy.

“I knew I had to study overseas and went to some local education agents to find out what my options were.

As one of my two choices, I applied to the Master of Sustainable Energy at UQ with the opportunity to get support through a scholarship from the Mexican government,” Aaron said.

Aaron was accepted to UQ and then waited 3-4 months before he received the final ‘yes’ from his government sponsors and could apply for an Australian student visa. At the beginning of 2018, he was ready to board a plane to Brisbane to commence his master degree.

“When I first started my studies, I was overwhelmed because the program is looking at very different fields such as finance, energy policy and social acceptance, but it is also what makes it unique.

"I had expected it to be centred more around engineering, but I quickly realized that energy embraces everything and you have to see the perspectives of everyone.

“When we graduate, we can enter many different career pathways. And it is an advantage that we as students are exposed to a great deal of industry contacts through meetings, site visits and guest lectures. We already have a good network in Australia and beyond,” he said.

Once Aaron obtains his degree, he has a job waiting for him back in Mexico with his former employer if he doesn’t decide to stay here for a period of time to get some Australian work experience. Working with energy across borders is one of his goals.

“I like finding solutions and preferably on a broader scale, and I can imagine working in a partnership between countries. Energy challenges are complex and need to be addressed from a global perspective as well,” he said.

For now, Aaron is spending his days studying for his last semester focusing on energy management before he can add Master of Sustainable Energy (Management) to his CV.