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Aditya Iswardi

About Aditya

  • Field and focus area of study: Biological and Environmental Engineering, Biofuel Research
  • Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Fun fact: Cooking is part of my recreational activities
  • View Aditya's LinkedIn profile

What were you doing prior to the BEE MEng degree program? 

I worked as a management consultant for two years in Indonesia, focusing on energy transition project development projects in Indonesia and South East Asian Region. There are plenty of options for renewable energy resources in Indonesia, and Biofuel is part of the focused sector that Indonesia pursued. 

What are your short-term and long-term career goals? 

In the short term, I would like to go back to Indonesia and work with a company that focuses on the biofuel or waste management industry because, in Indonesia, we have many untouched organic wastes. In the long term, I would like to help the government build a waste management system and create my own business to help the government implement all the ideas. 

Why did you choose to pursue the CALS BEE MEng degree?

BEE MEng program is a diverse program, allowing me to choose many courses from other interdisciplinary, which led me to expose to many new ideas, development, and research from multiple sectors. Besides, it is only a year program and could fulfill my current and future goals.

What words would you use to describe the CALS BEE MEng degree program? 

In terms of people and expertise, this program is diverse. Many individuals come from many nations and backgrounds, adding new perspectives to the community and the conversation. Additionally, problem solvers. Combining the expertise of several experts can provide you with a unique view of how to address the problem. This is a great practice that can help you address future challenges by simulating your actual work life.

What has been the most memorable or impactful part of being in the BEE MEng program? 

In this program, a student not only studies the theory by the book but also implements the fundamentals in the laboratory by doing an experiment and doing analysis based on the result obtained in the lab and matching with the fundamentals learned from the book or from the respected journals.

What are you passionate about? 

My passion is sustainability energy. Especially the energy comes from waste. I came from Indonesia, one of the biggest archipelago countries. Energy is essential to support society; each location has different resources that make Indonesia unique to make the country more sustainable. Hence, exposure to multiple sectors and technologies of renewable energy is beneficial for implementation in different locations in Indonesia itself.

What Cornell / BEE MEng resources have been most helpful?

Professors and Career Services. The professor is accessible for the student to engage and discuss the subject matter or even any other matters that are related to their fields. Career Services also helped me a lot in developing the resources for me to apply for a job after graduation and some tips and tricks along the way in recruitment. Also, we can have an appointment one on one with the career counselor and discuss our challenges related to the recruitment process.

Share about your capstone project. What were you focused on?

My capstone project is about upscaling the pyrolysis process: 

Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process that devolatilizes biochar in the absence of oxygen. There are three main products, liquid (bio-oil), solid (biochar), and gas (biogas). This study is only focused on a solid product, biochar.  Biochar is an active carbon that can play a role in climate change mitigation and is used for agriculture, chemical, and environmental applications dependent on the properties of biochar itself. This study investigates the impact of scaling on the pyrolysis of rice husks from a laboratory (mg, g) to a pilot scale kiln (kg) to understand the impacts on biochar characteristics.