Kiana from Iran

Personal information

  • Name: Kiana Afzali
  • Age: 24
  • Country of origin: Iran
  • Current residence: Delft, the Netherlands 
  • Likes to do gardening, write, make photographs and travel.

I am Kiana and I am in the first year of the CoSEM program where I follow the Energy track. I came here with a very technical background: I defended my MSc Thesis in Power Electronics just 20 days before I began with CoSEM! You might wonder, how did I come up with this decision?

I was craving for deeper knowledge about the technology in the hands of people. I wanted to know, what causes an old technology like coal power plant to be still there, while researchers are developing fantastic new ways of power generation every other day? Why do some countries easily ramp up their green technologies while others believe it is a harm to their economies? What is the future of our planet; would it survive human exploitation of the air, water and soil? What should we do to be more sustainable? How can we design a new system, technology and policy, and be sure it will end up with the desired outcomes? How might different actors affect the performance of a new design?

Before falling in love with CoSEM, I had all these questions and many more in my mind. In my wanderings to find the answer to these questions, I came across notions of sociotechnical systems and complex multi actor systems. The idea of complex systems intrigued me, and when I found out about CoSEM it was able to attract me; like a magnet attracting iron chips.

Dealing with complex systems in CoSEM is indeed a challenge, especially for me with only little knowledge about social sciences, which I gained during the Linkage Program. However, surrounded by a batch of enthusiastic and sustainable fellows, I find it more exciting rather than intensive. It has deeply engaged us to the extent that we even talk and discuss and make fun about sociotechnical systems during lunch. This study program is exceptional in making you concerned about every single change in the world around you.

I find this program a unique one among all universities in the world. Study of complex systems is a relatively new and dynamic field. There are several research centers and PhD programs focused on complex sociotechnical systems, but only a few Masters programs on this topic. Among all of them, TU Delft has the best reputation worldwide and a nice balance between technical and social aspects, as well as a great balance between research and practice. We focus on real life problems and gain loads of experience with numerous projects that we do each quarter. 

I am overwhelmed by the knowledge I am gaining, and would not be able to pinpoint the future career I would like to follow now. I see many opportunities and every new course adds more insight about the science and practice of this field. Since I have a great care for our planet and a desire for discovering new possibilities to help the planet, I hope I would be engaged upon solving sustainability problems for a better, greener future of our world.

Final word, if you want to know if you are a good fit for this Master program at the TU Delft, answer these questions to yourself: Do you think about the world too much? Are you someone who thinks about every single CO2 molecule she is emitting? Are you a student that loves group works? Do you wish to know how renewables are going to power your future house? Do you want to know how different stakeholders can make decision together? Do you see the complexity in our global village? And, finally, do you love rain?! (It is the Netherlands, after all). If you are answering these questions with a YESSSS, then queue up for admission in the next CoSEM batch!