Pranjali Borse is an active member of the I-GUIDE Climbers group, the students and technical staff behind I-GUIDE, fostering collaboration and technical innovation across our diverse intellectual terrain. We recently interviewed Pranjali to learn more about her current work.
- What is your position and where?
I am a graduate research assistant in the department of Atmospheric Sciences at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
- Did you start out your academic career in this direction?
I started my career as a civil engineering major with interest in structural engineering. Studying civil engineering was full of surprises where I got introduced to the field of sustainability and climate change which I had never thought could be such an important part of civil engineering! The idea of incorporating sustainable aspects into the built environment fascinated me and I ended up planning my career ahead in the field of sustainability and climate.
- What inspires you?
I daily come across the posts about how efforts are being made to quantify the impacts of climate change on environment and society and the unique approaches that researchers come up with to make the environment more and more sustainable. This does not only make me more aware about climate change but also inspires me to contribute towards saving the environment. The first inspiration where I realized and experienced what sustainability actually means was my undergraduate college campus. It succeeded in keeping the balance between environment, society and economy in true sense. I realized that such small-scale collective efforts to save the environment and mitigate climate change could indeed make the world a better place!
- Did you have a Plan B?
I had a couple of Plan Bs. As a high school student, my perception about civil engineering was just structures, design, and construction and so I decided to pursue it. As I always pursued designing and sketching as my hobbies, I had interior designing and architecture studies as my backup plans.
- What do you think is most exciting about your field of study?
Being a civil engineer and pursuing interests in sustainability and climate change, I am most excited about the interdisciplinary work by incorporating the knowledge about sustainability and design into the civil engineering (built environments and infrastructure) aspects. I have always been involved in interdisciplinary projects. So, getting to learn and research about the interactions between different elements while enhancing knowledge in different fields excites me the most!
- What has surprised you so far? (Scientifically or academically)
The topic of the research I am currently working on itself! Never in my mind had I thought that mosquito activity could so significantly be altered by climate variability before producing the surprising results. It’s really surprising to see how climate could control the chain of processes from such small mosquito activity, its connection with the built environment to the mosquito-borne disease transmission to humans which could result in huge outbreaks in the world!
- How do you see your role in I-GUIDE?
I am mainly a part of the students’ team, Climbers, and I see myself as a student researcher who is excited to network with researchers from completely different backgrounds and exchange thoughts. Moreover, this role allows me to grasp unique ideas of analysis that I could translate to my research. I’ve seen myself evolving with skills, knowledge, and effective speaking abilities during my time with the I-GUIDE team and so this role has a huge contribution in building my professional career ahead.
- What would you like to be when you grow up?
More than anything else, I would like to be an environmentally conscious human being. Professionally, I would like to see myself as a climate analyst and a sustainability professional who could help the community cope with the changes and innovate strategies that could help mitigate climate change and make the world a sustainable place!