Alejandro Vidal

Master of Engineering - Solar Energy Technologies '15

I chose ANU over other universities because of the big solar dish concentrator, as well as the systems engineering focus here.

With a passion for solar fuel production, Alejandro hopes to use his knowledge to develop and implement renewable energy in Chile where natural energy resources are in abundance.

“My interest in engineering started during high school, I was good at maths and science and I had a talent for building and fixing stuff.  I was inspired to think about a research degree in renewable energy because Chile has a huge potential for renewable energy in general and for solar energy in particular.”

“I chose ANU over other universities because of the big solar dish concentrator, as well as the systems engineering focus here. As engineers we can get too specialised and our focus becomes too narrow, sometimes missing the bigger picture. ANU provides me with the opportunity to expand my engineering knowledge and skills in a wide variety of topics, along with the chance to study and work with world class researchers.  

With a vision for a modern Chile which realises the amazing potential of the natural resources on offer, Alejandro has found a graduate degree that leverages his vision for a sustainable future.

“I think that solar thermal energy has greater potential for larger generating plants. I got in contact with Associate Professor Wojciech Lipinski who proposed to me the idea of producing fuels from CO2 and water, which was the basis for my research project related to solar thermal energy. “

Alejandro found the transition to Australia challenging at first, his choice of a small town over a larger city has helped him settle in.

“Canberra feels more like a big town than a capital city, it’s a very relaxing and stress free place to live and study.”

Alejandro lives in a postgraduate accommodation facility on campus.

“Living on campus allows me to easily integrate to the community and have a social life. Being able to meet people from all sorts of different backgrounds and cultures has allowed me to make very good friends from places all over the world. Toad Hall is a diverse and welcoming environment.”

Being able to live in such a convenient location is another bonus of study at ANU, “I’m five minutes away from the engineering labs, 10 minutes away from the city shops. I rarely need to use a bus or car, I can just walk everywhere.”

The advice Alejandro has for any new postgraduate students is “don’t miss out on all the opportunities to socialise and meet new people; there is such a variety of events and organised groups, such as the Postgraduate and Research Students Association (PARSA) events.” 

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Spaces are still available for international applicants in the Bachelor of Engineering or Masters of Engineering.

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing