This year has been rewarding for Fiji National University (FNU) academic Dr Ravita Prasad who scooped the Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award 2020 in the category of Higher Degree by Research.The award comes as icing on the cake after Dr Prasad recently won the College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST) 2019 Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr Prasad, a Physics Lecturer at CEST, also completed her PhD this year on ‘Long Term Energy Planning’ with six Q1 journal publications, one peer-reviewed publication in a local journal, four international conference papers, and one poster presentation for which she won the first prize. Her Scopus h-index is 5.

Her research work explored various possible scenarios for reducing future fossil fuel usage and GHG emissions in Fiji’s energy sector, considering the population increase while maintaining steady GDP growth.

The energy sector included grid electricity, land transport, domestic maritime transport and domestic air transport.

The budding researcher’s PhD work led her to be part of the team that authored a living document titled “Fiji’s Low Emission Development Strategy 2018-2050” that the Prime Minister Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama presented to the world at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP23 in 2018.She acknowledged the research committee for recognising her research contributions to the country with this award.

Dr Prasad said the two awards have made her 16 years of passion, hard work and dedication to the teaching profession extra special.“Teaching was something that I wanted to do since my high school days. I love guiding students and assisting them in realising their true potential,” said Dr Prasad.

“When I am teaching, all I want is to do my best in delivering the particular subject and that students are interested in what is being taught as the greatest reward for an instructor/lecturer is to see their students excel in life.”

“While in this profession, I also realised the importance of research work and skills that could positively contribute to the nation’s policy developments.

With the skills that I have now, I will continue to challenge myself to do more research work in the areas of renewable energy, long-term energy planning and energy demand forecasting.”

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