In this edition, MasterAbroad Student Focus Paris speaks with postgraduate Ecole Polytechnique student Naveen Goutham, who is pursuing his Master’s degree in renewable energy.
Renewable energy is the future, so we keep hearing. But it’s not enough to agree, the world needs pioneers to carry us into the age of sustainability. One young Master’s student from Hassan district in Karnataka, plans to do just that.
Student focus Paris – Ecole Polytechnique’s Naveen Goutham
Twenty-four year old Naveen Goutham has spent the last year pursuing the renewable energy Master’s programme at École Polytechnique in France, with plans to revolutionise the electric car industry with novel battery powered vehicles. If mobilised, his idea will solve the crucial current problem of charging station access.
Naveen always wanted to study renewable energy, and launch a business in the field. The decision to study abroad was easy; he knew a network of global contacts, and access to globally esteemed labs, were the vital tools he would gain from an international education. But the question remained; where best to choose?
After considering schools in the Netherlands and Sweden, Naveen settled on study in France due to its stand on climate change and sustainable energy. École Polytechnique offered access to the cutting edge labs needed to develop his product, along with an unparalleled Innovation Centre which could turn his idea into a viable business plan. He joined the school’s Master’s in ‘Energy Environment: Science, Technology and Management’ (STEEM) in 2017.
“Above all, the practical factors really informed my choice. I wanted to study my Master’s at a school which would give me the best possible chance of making my battery powered vehicle concept into a reality. I met two friendly, enthusiastic French students in India while working at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka-Surathkal, and they encouraged me to study at École Polytechnique. They recommended the fantastic Drahi-X Innovation Center, where I’m currently hoping to purse my compulsory second year six month internship,” says Naveen.
Work-life balance is key
The work-life balance at École Polytechnique further appealed to the young graduate. The university is one of very few which enforce compulsory sports at Masters Level, valuing the importance of fitness and well-being as well as academic success. Always a high achiever, Naveen has experienced very little trouble adapting to foreign study practices, although he has noticed some big differences.
“I have less coursework over here, and more group projects. This means you get the opportunity to bounce ideas between a group of people from different countries, with different backgrounds and experiences. It’s really helped develop the way I think about innovation, and build my network of future contacts,” he comments.
Mandatory industrial visits on Naveen’s course have given him a comprehensive understanding of French industry and working culture. As a result, he plans to remain in France after graduation and utilise École Polytechnique’s innovation centre to kick off his start-up. Once fully launched, his battery powered electric vehicle product will be destined primarily for Asian and African markets.