Nurturing Tomorrow's Talent: The WIT Student Mentorship Programme
The Center for Water Informatics and Technology (WIT) launched its month-long Summer Mentorship Program (SMP). It enabled undergraduate students to experience hands on learning by spending one month at the Centre to undertake a scientific project related to the WIT agenda.
Undergraduate students from universities across Pakistan applied to the programme. These applicants were assigned to specific projects based on the nature of the work and their field of interest. Each project was assigned to a mentor from the WIT staff who then supervised the student during the programme.
The WIT SMP concluded on June 15, 2023. Students presented their projects and written reports in a joint session which was further evaluated by the WIT faculty to rank the projects for the best project award.
A total of 7 projects were presented at the event.
1. Development of Laboratory Test-Rig for Hyperspectral Camera; the mentor for this project was Hamza Rafique, PhD Candidate, Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE), and the mentee was Awais Sher, Electrical Engineering Student, SBASSE, LUMS.
2. Regenerating the Transboundary Relations Across the Himalayan Watershed; the project was mentored by Joudat Bint Khalil, Project Lead, WIT, and the mentee was Abdul Majid Lali, Law Student, Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law, LUMS
3. Build a Simple Energy System Model Using GAMS/LEAP Tools; Umer Yasin, Research Assistant, WIT, was the mentor, and the mentee was Nawaal Siddique, Computer Science Student, SBASSE, LUMS.
4. PCB Fabrication and Testing in WIT Production Facility; the project mentor was Usman Lateef, Lab Technician, and the mentee was Irfan Ali, Electrical Engineering Graduate, Mehran University for Engineering and Technology (MUET), Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Campus, Khairpur Mir.
5. Analytics for Decision Making & Alert Generation Using SWG Portal Data; the mentor for this project was Usama Saif Agha, Research Assistant, WIT, and the mentee was Aleena Asif, Management Science Student, Suleman Dawood School of Business, LUMS.
6. Soil Moisture Sensor Analysis: the mentor for the project was Rida Zainab, Research Assistant, WIT, and the mentee was Mehwish Panhwar, Electrical Engineering Student, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro.
7. Construction of a Low-Cost Multi-Camera Module for Environmental Monitoring Applications; the project mentor was Mishal Fatima, Research Assistant, WIT, and the mentee was Mohtashim Butt, Computer Science Student, SBASSE, LUMS.
Sharing his experience at the WIT Production Facility, Irfan Ali from Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Khairpur Mir, expressed his enthusiasm for working on PCB Fabrication and Testing. He described the experience as "great" and mentioned that he initially had no knowledge about fabrication. However, he started from the ground up and acquired skills in advanced PCB design and advanced PCB manufacturing techniques during his time at WIT.
Joudat Bint Khalil, Project Lead at WIT, LUMS, took on the role of mentor in the transformative Summer Mentorship Programme (SMP). Her project, titled "Regenerating the Transboundary Relations Across the Himalayan Watershed," provided her with an edifying experience and presented valuable opportunities for personal growth.
Sharing her views, Khalil said, “The Summer Mentorship Programme at WIT, LUMS, was a highly enlightening experience for me as a mentor. Guiding a law student with no scientific background taught me valuable lessons and allowed personal growth. Encouraging critical thinking and fostering a supportive environment were key aspects of the mentorship. Being responsible for my mentee's professional and personal development was a fulfilling part of the journey. Overall, the programme exemplified the power of mentorship in nurturing aspiring individuals and fostering a supportive learning environment.”
Nawaal Siddique won the Best Project Award in the 2023 WIT Summer Mentorship Programme for her project "Building a Baseline Energy System Model Using LEAP" mentored by Umer Yasin. Sharing her views on the Programme, Siddique said, “The one-month experience was fruitful, helping me explore new software and improve my research skills. As an aspiring computer scientist, I now aim to use my knowledge to contribute to sustainable technology in the energy sector with the support of the Energy Informatics Group.”
The mentor and mentee duo will receive continuing support for the project for an additional one month. Alongside the stipend for the extended stay, they will also receive a grant of PKR 50,000 to be utlised for training, travel and procurement of materials and equipment pertaining to the project.