Making Sustainable Changes on Campus with Electrical Vehicles

The transition from gasoline vehicles to electrical vehicles is a product of exciting technological developments and our society’s efforts to decrease our carbon footprint. However, we don’t yet understand how and why electric vehicles are better for our environment compared to their traditional counterparts. Kamaria Kuling, a master’s student in the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering at Simon Fraser University (SFU) might soon have the answer to this question.

Kamaria, who studied physics at UBC, has always known that she wanted to contribute to the field of sustainable energy. She credits her mother for empowering her to be the first of her family to go to university and pursue her passions. Environmentalism, social justice, and sustainability have always been key values in Kamaria’s life and throughout her academic journey female professors, classmates, and colleagues have all inspired her to think outside of the box, tackle big questions, and strive for greater opportunities.

That’s why Kamaria is undertaking a research project to assess the pros and cons of replacing some of SFU’s operational fleet from everyday gasoline vehicles to electrical vehicles. Her research will compare the environmental impact of producing, using, and disposing of either type of vehicle. By working with SFU leaders, she receives regular feedback to help tailor the project into something that is practical and can be easily adapted into the Burnaby community and beyond. One of the most rewarding aspects of her work and project at the Living Lab, a program at SFU that supports sustainability research, is getting the opportunity to work on research that she knows will make a concrete impact on the local and greater community.

Since starting her research project, Kamaria has found that she constantly encounters new information and it has reshaped the way she thinks as an environmentalist. She recognizes that topics related to sustainable energy, and the way that policies are created and adapted, are not always straightforward. Although our world continues to grapple with complex environmental questions and struggles, Kamaria is hopeful for the future – she is excited that so many talented people are dedicating their lives to solving our climate crisis and that the general public are also very interested in improving this aspect of our communities. Her presentation at the Burnaby Festival of Learning will be a wonderful opportunity to share new ideas and reignite the environmentalist in all of us.

Burnaby Festival of Learning
May 12, 2021 | 2:30pm-3:30pm
The 2021 festival has ended – thank you to everyone who was able to virtually attend.