CASES Students & Postdocs (Current)
We are fortunate to have these talented Post Docs and students working on the CASES Partnership project! Read their bios below.
Dr. Vikas Menghwani PhD CASES Post Doc
Vikas has a PhD from the Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability at University of British Columbia. He has worked on energy poverty in developing countries. His doctoral work includes addressing challenging energy access problems through modeling based methods, and conceptualizing (energy) justice concerns in the context of (lack of) electricity provision. He completed his Mechanical Engineering (with a Masters degree in Energy Technology) education in 2009 from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He worked in the area of climate change consulting for 3 years, covering renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across India and South East Asia, followed by 2 years in the area of business research.
Daniel Yupanqui MSc CASES PhD Student (UofS)
Daniel is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has a master’s degree in Agricultural and Environmental Economics at the Catholic University of Chile. His doctoral work is focusing on renewable energy development and energy security in rural and remote communities. He worked for seven years in the Ministry of Social Development of Chile, where he was involved in socioeconomic data analyses related to income, poverty, migration, rurality, and the impact on households of natural disasters. Among his research interests is understand the cost and benefits of the different types of renewable energy and their dependency on geography, and the consequences of the energy’s policies on rural development.
Tim Kalke CASES PhD Student (UofS)
Tim is a student in the PhD Environment and Sustainability program at the University of Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Wyoming, U.S.A, Tim received an undergraduate degree in History; Secondary Education at the neighboring University of Northern Colorado and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. After military service, he and his wife settled in Galena, Alaska, a remote Native Athabascan village located on the banks of the Yukon River in the interior region of the state. While employed as a public educator at the local Galena high school, Tim obtained a Master of Natural Resources degree with an emphasis in Sustainable Development. He now has transitioned to a career in the sustainable energy field and manages a locally owned non-profit organization, Sustainable Energy for Galena, Alaska (SEGA). Tim’s research interests are in collaborative energy planning and sustainable development with the goal of bringing a wider range of benefits to his community and region.
Bo Hu MSc CASES PhD Student (UofS)
Bo is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. He has a B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from North China Electric Power University, and an M.Sc. degree also in electrical engineering from University of Saskatchewan. His research areas include smart grid technologies, microgrids, and applications of mathematical optimization and machine learning in power systems. His research for the CASES project is focusing on facilitating the adoption of smart grid technologies in northern communities.
Arwa Jaradat BSc, MSc CASES PhD Student (UofS)
Arwa finished her B.Sc. in Earth and Environmental Sciences and became a dedicated science teacher. But her dreams did not stop there and she completed a Master’s degree in science education. Despite her love of teaching, she wanted to learn more about environment topics. She wanted to become a researcher in the field of renewable energy, so she continued her education and got a second Master’s degree in Renewable energy. Her Masters research focused on future scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions by changing scenarios of electrical system expansions in Jordan. Her research for the CASES project is focusing on the social dimension of energy security, specifically youth in Indigenous communities. Her background as a teacher and her experience in renewable energy will make a winning combination for her work in CASES.
Hakan Armağan BSc, MSc CASES MSc Student (UofS)
Hakan grew up in Turkey where he earned a B.Sc. degree in physics from the University of Ankara. He came to the United States to learn English at University of Tulsa, and get a master’s degree in physics where he did research in nuclear physics as a teaching fellow at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He also received a master’s degree in science teaching from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He has been teaching physics at a public secondary school in Omaha, Nebraska since 2004. Hakan’s interest in both the physics and social aspects of energy, environment and sustainability started when he did summer research fellowships at U.S. national and university laboratories. It inspired him to create a course on energy applications and sustainability for his school. His interest also took him to New Zealand as a Fulbright Scholar to learn about energy and environmental sustainability from scientific, cultrual, and policy aspects. His focus for his Masters is to design an energy model for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and Gwich’in Communities.
Josie Ward MSc CASES Student (UofS)
Josie is a graduate student in the School of Environment and Sustainability . She holds a Master of West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management from the University of the Faroe Islands, awarded in 2020. Her undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Missouri, from which she was awarded a Bachelor of Economics in 2018. While studying in the Faroe Islands, Josie developed an interest in Arctic studies and sustainable development of the Arctic region. This interest inspired her to complete a semester-long exchange at the University of Greenland and an internship at the UArctic Thematic Networks and Research Liaison office at the University of Oulu in Finland. Josie is excited to bring her backgrounds in Arctic policy and economics together and is eager to explore these topics further as part of the CASES project.
Dakota Norris CASES Student (UofS)
Originally from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Dakota is a member of the Gwich’in First Nation and recent graduate of the Edwards School of Business. Dakota has been working in management and research focused on Indigenous peoples and climate action for several years including with the U of S, Asia Pacific Foundation, Youth Climate Lab, and volunteer roles. Research topics and management projects have included economic development, sustainable development, youth engagement, global strategy, climate policy, and technology policy. Dakota is an incoming Masters of Environment and Sustainability student, and the new Coordinator, Northern and Indigenous Sustainable Energy Initiatives with SENS.
Melissa Beatty CASES Student (UofS)
Tansi, my name is Melissa Beatty and I am from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN), Deschambault Lake, which is in northern Saskatchewan. I completed my bachelor’s degree with a major in Indigenous Studies in 2006 from the University of Regina and obtained my Masters in Northern Governance and Development from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013. I have over twenty-one years of professional management experience in working for PBCN and I am currently working as the PBCN Band Manager/Administrator. I take great pride in providing the best service I can for my Nation and as a graduate student with CASES, I trust that my academic and personal goal of working hard for the betterment of PBCN will be fulfilled, tiniki.
Sage Broomfield BSc CASES Student (UofW)
Tansi, my name is Sage Broomfield I am a non-status nehiyaw iskwew and current masters of Indigenous Development student at the University of Winnipeg. My familial and cultural ties are to the sweetgrass fields of Treaty 8 and 6 territories with my father, my late Kohkum, and much of my paternal family being registered to the Sawridge Cree First Nation. I grew up between my ancestral lands and as a guest on unceded Coast Salish territory on Vancouver Island, with my English Irish Mother. In May of 2020, I completed a Bachelor of International Relations at the University of British Columbia where I took a keen interest in alternative energy sources. I am particularly interested in energy sovereignty and the social and political empowerment that can come through the reclamation of energy in Indigenous communities.
Minika Ekanem MSc CASES Student (UofS)
Minika is a Master's student in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. With a background in Business Information Technology, she has worked as a Project Manager and Business Developer on various marine/maritime projects and recently on projects related to the Blue Economy in Norway. Her research for the CASES project will focus on decentralized energy systems.
Brigitte Lim PSM CASES Student (UofS)
Brigitte is currently a Master's in Environment and Sustainability (MES) student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research will focus on community-based energy systems within Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan, as part of the Energy-Poverty nexus. Brigitte grew up in the Philippines where she experienced working in the renewable energy sector as a Business Development Officer and Capacity Development Associate. She has worked with nonprofits, national and local government agencies, and international development agencies in the Philippines and the USA to promote renewable energy for development. She completed her Professional Science Master's in Solar Energy Engineering and Commercialization from Arizona State University.
Daniela Álava MSc CASES Student (UofS)
Daniela comes from Ecuador and is a Master's in Environment and Sustainability (MES) student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her former studies include an Environmental Management Engineering degree, an International Business Engineering degree and a Trilingual A.A.S. in Business Administration and Economics. As a professional, she has worked in various German multinational companies, specializing in Supply Chain Management and Project Management. Her engagement towards the development of her region has led her to visit and actively participate in several social projects aimed to help the isolated communities and the rural indigenous populations in the Andean region and the Amazon rainforest of both Ecuador and Bolivia. Daniela’s research interests include the non-market valuation methods that might be used to assign an accurate monetary value to the environmental and social benefits of community-based renewable energy systems.
Bobbie Balicki BSc CASES Student (UofS)
Bobbie Balicki is an M.Sc. student in the University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture & Bioresources (Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics). Bobbie grew up in Prince Albert and has family roots in Northern Saskatchewan. After completing her degree in Renewable Resource Economics and Policy at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012, she spent over four years in the Indigenous business development sector, working on over 150 business planning projects with Metis entrepreneurs and economic development organizations throughout Saskatchewan. Bobbie has also worked in the electrical utility sector, as an Environmental and Communications Specialist in both the public and private sectors. She brings a wealth of experience on the social and economic impacts of northern development and how the utility sector can play a critical role in Northern, Indigenous, and Remote communities. Her career passion is in stakeholder engagement and policy and program analysis using benefit-cost analysis (BCA).
Silas Obeng Asante MSc CASES MSc Student (UofS)
Silas Obeng Asante (born and bred in Ghana) who is a Development Planning and Management Expert, Spatial Analyst (GIS and Remote Sensing), Field Researcher (Geography), Environmental Planner, and Sustainable Natural Resource Advocate is currently enrolled to obtain his second Masters of Science degree program with the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Silas previously holds a Master of Science degree in Development Planning and Management from the Kwame University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. As Field Research Assistant, Silas has worked with International organizations and national institutions such as UNFPA/UNICEF, International Cocoa Initiative, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University, Ghana Cocoa Board, BIRD – KNUST, Ghana Statistical Service, and Guinness Ghana Brewery Limited (GGBL) as part of his volunteering field works, and baseline surveys in different regions of Ghana. Silas was appointed as a Graduate Assistant (Contract) in the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – Ghana, and as a Teaching Assistant (National Service) in the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast – Ghana. His previous post graduate thesis topic was "Monitoring and analyzing the urban growth processes of Awutu Senya Municipality using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing.” Silas joined the CASES team in September 2022 and his research will focus on the technical assessment of renewable energy development potential in rural and indigenous communities in northern Saskatchewan.
S M Didar-UI Islam MSc CASES Student (UofS)
Didar is from Bangladesh and joined the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) team in September 2022. Prior to joining CASES, he was engaged in several research projects and also worked in multiple industries as an environmental management professional. He earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Environmental Sciences and is currently enrolled in the Master of Science degree program under the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. His research for the CASES project is focusing on the technical assessment of renewable energy development potential in the rural and indigenous communities in northern Saskatchewan.
Sara Thompson BSc CASES Student (UofS)
I am pursuing my Masters in Science through the Geography and Planning department, as a part of the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) Partnership. I grew up in Newfoundland and completed my undergraduate studies at Memorial University, focusing on environmental sciences, impacts of climate change, mitigation, and clean technologies. After graduating in 2013, I relocated to Whitehorse, Yukon to work with Yukon College and expand my research experience with industry in the mining and energy sectors to support solutions to northern problems. Working collaboratively with communities and supporting energy security across the territories continues to be a passion of mine. As a member of the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) Partnership team, I will work closely with Northerners and First Nation communities to understand and support what energy security means to their communities by co-creating and brokering the knowledge, understanding, and capacity in order for the community to design, implement and manage renewable energy systems.
Avishek Sapkota CASES Student (UofS)
Avishek is currently a master’s student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has experience working as a consultant for various solar photovoltaic projects. Avishek’s research interests include power systems reliability, resiliency, microgrid capability, and optimization in power systems. In the CASES project, his research focuses on distribution system resiliency against extreme weather events and microgrid capability in Northern Communities.
Femi Abraham CASES Student (UofS)
Abraham has 5 years’ experience managing development programmes across 4 African countries. He has previously managed economic development programmes for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and projects sponsored by the Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation & Chinese Embassy. He has contributed technically to rural electrification projects in Nigeria, working with the Nigerian Power Transmission Agency. Abraham graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Nigeria, where he finished top of his class & faculty and was a beneficiary of the MTN Foundation Science & Technology scholarship throughout his undergraduate years. He has professional certifications in Impact Evaluation, Energy Economics, and Local Economic Development, from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Georgetown University and Sciences Po. Abraham is a TEDx speaker and serves as a guest facilitator at the Lagos Business School, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, LEAP Africa Social Innovators Programme. He is particularly interested in working with multidisciplinary research teams focusing on community energy planning and social mobility dimensions of energy transitions.