Senior Ain Shams University mechanical power engineering student Mark Ashraf Wagih Iskandar Badeer dreams of starting his own business in renewable energy. He hopes to make change in the world and find more efficient ways to generate renewable energy.

Mark had always wished to take part in a student exchange program to learn new things and have new experiences. “I’m extremely excited for the whole experience of attending the exchange student program at Arizona State University. I can’t wait to make new international friendships, connections and experience the academic life at ASU,” he said.

Mark thinks that the Center of Excellence for Energy is creating future engineers that are independent thinkers and are able to adapt with changing circumstances which will be vital to Egypt’s energy transition. He is grateful for the support he received from the center. “My dream would not have been possible without the Center of Excellence for Energy. I thank them from all my heart for the effort of everyone that made this program possible and for supporting us students all the time,” he said. He believes the center’s strategies to develop and improve curriculum and laboratory space, conduct binational research, and host exchanges and training will be key to producing a skilled workforce that can advance Egypt’s renewable energy efforts.

Mark finished up his exchange semester in May 2023 and said, “It was an excellent opportunity to meet people from different cultures, get education at a new place, use new equipment and learn new things,” he said.

After he graduates, Mark wants to pursue a graduate degree and then launch his own company in renewable energy, which is why he valued the entrepreneurship course he took at Arizona State University. He said,

“It taught me how to start my own business and how to manage a business, and the legal side of business, which is something I’ve never been exposed to during my academic life.”

The energy transition course helped him because it was not just theoretical, it looked at real world issues with applying renewable energy.

“It took a different political and economical approach to renewable energy that showed the actual problems in real life,” he said; a way of thinking that will serve him well when he starts his business.

He valued the technical courses too, stating that they were different than the traditional ones he has taken at Ain Shams University. He believes the knowledge will help him pursue his career.

“I believe it was a lifetime opportunity for me,” he said.

He hopes that someday his business will support Egypt in becoming a world leader in the renewable energy sector and knows that this semester will help him achieve his goals.