Shiva Zargar, Clean Energy Innovation Research Centre

- Ottawa, Ontario

A headshot of Shiva smiling in front of a background with rows of zeros and ones.

During a 14-month term at the NRC, Shiva Zargar’s research had a real impact. Working with a talented team at the Clean Energy Innovation Research Centre (then known as the Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre) in Vancouver, British Columbia, she helped advance knowledge about pressing global challenges related to sustainability and the environment.

A student at the University of British Columbia, Shiva is completing a PhD in sustainable bioeconomy. She has an impressive 12 scholarly publications to her name as author or contributor. Shiva is most passionate about environmental and energy projects, especially clean and renewable technologies. With the increasing demand in Canada for sustainable practices and a focus on decarbonization, Shiva’s research aims to address these urgent global sustainability issues.

Hydrogen is a promising clean energy carrier, and the NRC is committed to climate change and sustainability research. Shiva worked on a research project assessing the environmental impacts of sustainable hydrogen production. The research findings will contribute to the broader field of clean energy technology and guide industry and policymakers in the area of sustainable hydrogen production. Shiva found the work rewarding because, among other things, a transition to sustainable energy sources is more critical than ever.

Shiva’s daily work involved creating life-cycle inventories for different hydrogen production methods. She collected, analyzed and synthesized data related to gasification, proton exchange membrane electrolysis, autothermal reforming of natural gas and steam methane reforming, with and without carbon capture.

Shiva also played a role in managing data and developing a template for cost analysis. She integrated simulation data into a broader life-cycle inventory template and contributed to models assessing the overall impact throughout the life cycle. Team presentations were crucial for sharing findings, gathering feedback and refining processes. To stay on top of industry standards, Shiva reviewed literature on data formats and structures and made strategic suggestions to improve the template.

Shiva credits much of her positive experience to her professional connections. Her team leader and mentor Farid Bensebaa says, “In addition to her ability to work as a team player, Shiva has the rare combination of understanding clean energy technologies and possessing a deep expertise in data analytics and life-cycle assessment.”

When asked if she had advice to give to other students considering the NRC, Shiva says, “Be proactive, engage with your colleagues and mentors, and make the most of the resources and opportunities available to you. Your time at the NRC can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you embrace it as a way to expand your knowledge, build meaningful connections and contribute to important projects.”

Looking ahead, Shiva plans to complete her PhD and move into leadership roles in order to shape sustainable practices and policies in research and construction.

Learn more about the NRC student employment program. Work terms are also offered in the areas of business administration, communications, library sciences and administration.

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