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VELA Semester Scholarship 2022 : The Winner

| Leisure Organizational matters

The winning essay of the current VELA scholarship winner

For the summer semester of 2022, we have again announced a scholarship and are now pleased to announce the winner of the €900.

You can find out who convinced our jury with their essay here:

Rahil Rajan Pednekar

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hope this letter meets you in good health. I was thrilled when I heard about the VELA scholarship. After reading on your website that I meet the necessary requirements, I wanted to write to you describing my educational history and why I should be the one to receive the scholarship. It is a wonderful honor for me to be able to write this application letter and be a part of the Vela Scholarship program.

My name is Rahil Rajan Pednekar. I was born and raised in Mumbai, India. I am currently pursuing a degree in International Engineering and Business with a major in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development at the SRH University of Applied Sciences. I have spent my entire childhood witnessing the hardships of coming from a third-world country which has made me realize how much I want to assist people in improving their growth and creating better conditions so that they can have a brighter future. The realities of poverty and the lack of energy production in India has influenced my decision to travel to Europe and inspired me to pursue a career as a Renewable Energy Engineer, allowing me to aid countries in need on a global scale.
Back in India, I was an integral part of an NGO named ‘Youfirst’ whose main aim was to support the underprivileged. We helped our society gather supplies when our country was hit by the first wave of COVID-19. We also helped clean up colonies for the homeless and spread awareness about the positives of getting the Covishield vaccine amongst the people. During these tough times, I also assisted my father who is a doctor to serve our society during the pandemic in all possible ways because there was a major shortage of medical staff in our city. I understand that my aim and greatest dream is to aid all those who find themselves in vulnerable situations to have a better quality of life, and I believe that I am on the correct track to accomplishing that goal.

Living as an international student in Germany is currently very difficult because I lost my part-time job to covid and it is extremely tough to cover the costs and expenses which mainly includes the rent and health insurance considering this will be the last monthly payout of my blocked account. As an international student, I also have my semester fees to take care of. Since I am not an EU citizen, I have to pay approximately 6000 € for every semester. Asking for help from my parents is not an option due to the extreme economic crisis that still prevails in India. During this period of unemployment and financial hardship, I took advantage of the opportunity to enroll in numerous extracurricular classes to obtain my B1 level certificate in the German language, as well as attend winter courses to learn more about the current energy scenario and the numerous policies that govern them.
After arriving in Germany, I indulged myself in various projects. One such project involved setting up a prototype for a smart energy house in Peter Lenné School (vocational school). The details can be found here:

I was a part of the group that set up a Biogas production system at BELARE in Peter Lenné Schule. Recently, I also completed my ERASMUS internship at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje in the country of North Macedonia. With the help of Prof. Dr. Goga Cvetkovski, I successfully determined the possibility of setting up a profitable Agrivoltaic plant in North Macedonia. The entire techno-economic as well as feasibility analysis was done at the University of Skopje and the final implementation is yet to be done. I presented and published an international scientific paper titled, “Technical Feasibility Study on Agrivoltaic Electricity Generation Possibility in North Macedonia” in the Ninth student conference on Energy efficiency and sustainable development which was organized by Association for Research and Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development SCEESD and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies FEEIT. I was also a part of the group who set up a 1kW photovoltaic system at my university in Berlin. I would be working
on my master thesis which includes the same topic along with my colleagues at SRH Berlin, we are looking to set up a EV charging station which will be powered by an Agrivoltaic system.

Being an inquisitive and research-oriented individual I am open to numerous approaches since I believe in tackling the issues and gaining superior solutions towards them. In the near future, my dream is to utilize the information I have gained so far to have a profound effect on the society and their overall well-being. I believe that the grant from VELA will prepare me with sufficient inspiration and finances to prepare for my master thesis and hopefully contribute in a mindful way to the society. It will help me reach all my goals without having to neglect my studies. I believe I fulfill the qualifying criteria for this scholarship and can explain how this will benefit my professional development. I am also determined to repay your kindness by putting the knowledge I'll gain in my next evolution as a productive member of society to good use. I am ready to provide any references if required. Hoping to hear back from you. Thank you for your kind consideration.


[Translate to English:]

For all those who were not lucky this time: For the winter semester 2022/2023 we will again award a VELA semester scholarship worth 900 €.

The call for applications will be announced on our website as well as on our Facebook channel.