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Aidan Alexander

2016 Recipient

Q&A

Q: Can you please tell us about your educational background?

A: I am in my fifth year of a combined Bachelor of Renewable Energy Engineering and Bachelor of Arts at the University of New South Wales. My Arts major is Environmental Humanities and my minor is Philosophy. I am midway through my engineering thesis, which involves working with Indigenous Elders in Walgett to address relative energy poverty through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Q: What led you to pursue Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Arts?

A: After school, I did not know what I wanted to do professionally, but I wanted to study things I love. I chose engineering because of my interest in problem solving. Engineering equipped me with systematic, linear problem solving skills. Renewable energy engineering, in particular, trained me to consider problems on a national and global scale. Environmental humanities and philosophy fulfil my compulsion to find answers to difficult and unpopular questions. Arts taught me lateral, non-linear problem solving and gave me tools for assessing which problems most need solving. It also taught me to consider the human dimensions of a problem. This combination has turned out to be the perfect degree for me, and I have become committed to using my training to address global environmental issues.

Q: What are you involved with outside of study?

A: Outside my studies, I work at AGL Energy Ltd in the New Energy division. They deploy me on a range of projects, from building tools to model solar and energy storage systems, to optimising performance for biomass, waste-to-energy, cogeneration and compressed natural gas assets.

I also participate in the Big Brother Big Sister Program, which connects mentors and children with personal limitations or difficult family situations. Participants spend time together and build friendships, with a range of holistic benefits for their mental health and development. As a child, I benefitted from mentorship through the program, and it had a powerful effect on my life. Now I want to do the same for another young person.

Most of my spare time is dedicated to music. It is my lifelong passion and runs parallel to my professional ambitions. I played the jazz drum kit for eight years before becoming enamoured with electronic music. I now DJ and produce techno, hosting a fortnightly radio show on Bondi Beach Radio and running free, outdoor, electronic music events around Sydney.

Q: What difference will the BCG scholarship make to you?

A: The BCG scholarship will give me the endorsement to pursue better career opportunities. It will open the door to working with leading global organisations and to making changes on a global scale.

Q: What does being associated with BCG mean for you?

A: Being associated with BCG means working with curious and interested thinkers, who relish solving the challenging problems faced by private, public and non-government organisations.

Q: Where does your future lie? What do you see yourself doing professionally over the coming years?

A: Starting work with BCG in 2018, I plan to learn as much as I can and hone my problem-solving skills. I would like to explore whether private, public or non-government organisations are the best vehicles for addressing global environmental issues.

Q: What do most people not know about you?

A: I am mostly blind in my right eye. A monkey once bit me. I LOVE the children’s cartoon Adventure Time.

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