Fahad Javed is SAI’s Aman Fellow for the Fall semester. He is mentored by Venky Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy.
Javed is an Assistant Professor in the computer science department at GIFT University, Gujranwala, Pakistan. His research is focused around smart grids, specifically on anything to do with demand side management. He believes that demand side management is the need of the hour for the world in general and developing world in particular. Before joining GIFT he completed his Ph.D. from the department of computer science, school of science and engineering Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). His thesis centered on constructing a demand side management framework for energy management in a city or region.
SAI: Tell us a little about your background and your research focus.
Fahad Javed: I’m computer science by training. For the past few years, I’ve been working on smart grids, essentially the infusion of information technology into the electric grids to improve performance. We have been developing a range of technologies and solutions for the future electric grid. What we have found is that some of those technologies are not as effective when we took them to market. For the past two years, I have been working on a simulation where we evaluate social and economic impact on the usage of technology.
SAI: What will you be working on while at Harvard? What resources do you hope to use?
FJ: What I want to work on is: How can we build a narrative from those simulations and studies to help the policy makers make better decisions on how to approach new technologies. The resource I’m most interested in using is the people – people at Harvard Kennedy School, and at the Business School, and within the South Asia Institute community. Those are the real resources that would me realize that goal.
SAI: SAI promotes interdisciplinary scholarship. What other academic fields interest you?
FJ: My work essentially is interdisciplinary. I started out from technology and then went to social economics, and now towards public policy. It is right there on the brink of three different domains. The environment at SAI provides the opportunity to access those resources. There are people from public health, there are people from the Business School, there are people from the School of Science and Engineering, who are working together at SAI.
SAI: What long term impact do you see for your research?
FJ: I’ve been working on how to influence policymakers in Pakistan, to have better energy resources. From here onwards, my work will be how to make a better narrative and how to help them out. Hopefully, the problems that we have in Pakistan are similar to those in the developing world. And how those things are going, the energy shortage across the globe, and the growth in energy demand – some of the developed world would also require those technologies. So hopefully, this work will grow from Pakistan-specific work to developing world work from there onwards. That is the goal.