Interdisciplinary Coursework

Sustainable Energy: Principles and Processes

The University of Edinburgh, Fall 2018

In the Fall of 2018, I studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. During my time there, I enrolled in a graduate-level class about sustainable energy. We learned about global patterns of energy use and various systems of energy supply, in the context of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

We learned about the world’s energy resources and patterns in the production and use of energy globally. We looked at ways of improving supply in a sustainable manner while considering constraints. Sustainable energy issues are incredibly intricate and complex, and we also learned about lifecycle assessment which was really fascinating.

The course culminated in a final report outlining the energy scene in a country of our choice. I decided to write a technical report about India, which can be found here: India’s Energy Ambitions: Domestic and Global Implications

The class included several group projects where we would create informational posters and present our findings weekly on a different topic. Below are examples of the posters I helped create and present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/17-18/dpt/cxmece09015.htm


MMS 365: Strategic Financial Management

Fall 2019, Professor Samuel Veraldi

I decided to enroll in this class to build upon my basic knowledge of finance, and as the semester comes to an end, I can say that I have learned many valuable things these past few months. Any infrastructure project requires large amounts of funding, and managing these capital flows is a critical task. In the first couple weeks, I gained a deeper understanding of the line items that form the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement — along with how these three statements are fundamentally linked to one another. 

An integral part of this course was effectively evaluating 10-K filings of various companies in order to understand annual financial performance and uncover other key information that may impact future performance. A lot of valuable data can be found in the 10-K, and it serves as a good foundation for understanding how the business operates. 10-K forms are filed by public companies on an annual basis. For a quarterly glance at the company’s financial performance, 10-Q statements can be analyzed which can indicate seasonality in sales, etc. One of the most important takeaways of this course for me was the importance of 10-K filings, and how 

One of the main objectives throughout the course has been to develop a strong framework for evaluating businesses and then using various methods to forecast future financial performance. These methods included analyzing financial ratios and how they trend over time, reading 10-K filings and evaluating changes in the business, familiarizing oneself with using excel and performing computations to ultimately create forecasts. My skills in each of these areas were developed throughout the semester, and the homework assignments built upon what we learned in previous weeks to achieve even more each upcoming week, in order to prepare us to create our very own forecasts. 

My goal is to work at a company for a few years and then hopefully start my own business one day. This class has helped me get one step closer to that goal by demystifying the seemingly complex world of finance. I now know how to evaluate a business, understand its current performance, and to a good extent, predict its future performance using qualitative and quantitative data derived via several sources. As a Pratt student, this course was a refreshing change from my typical engineering courses, and I am very happy with what I have learned.


HOUSECS 59.29: A Path Towards a Sustainable World

Spring 2020, Instructor: Dan Lilienthal

This course was one of the most interactive and insightful courses during my four years at Duke. Every week, a member of the Durham community would be invited to speak to our small class in a seminar setting. These were individuals who have been dedicated to working on sustainability efforts. These sessions would often lead to incredibly interesting discussions revolving around their experiences and current work.

 

I learned about “Green To Go’ which is an innovative reusable take-out service for restaurants enabling the use of reusable containers for food. Founder Crystal Dreisbach spoke of her experiences with the local government and expanding to several states in the US. Another great speaker was Rebecca Hoeffler, who is the face of sustainability on Duke’s campus. She leads the ‘Green Devils’ campus initiative and works with students, faculty, and administrators to make Duke more sustainable.

The class also went on a field trip to the Durham Scrap Exchange, where we had the opportunity to meet with the executive director, Laura Nicholson. The organization has had a significant impact on fostering sustainable initiatives and promoting recycling and repurposing among the local Durham community.