Sasha Asghari

Ph.D. student
Nuclear engineering

When did you know that you wanted to become an engineer?
Not too long ago! I decided to study physics in undergrad because I was wildly in love and curious about the fundamentals of nature. After I started doing research in particle detectors, I became fascinated with these objects that have the power to “see” invisible particles streaming through them. I then learned that radiation detectors have an important role in the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, a topic that is very important to me. The combination of a challenging technical problem with an important societal problem won me over.

Why did you choose Berkeley Engineering?
Sasha AsghariSasha Asghari (Photo by Preston Davis)After I decided that I wanted to study particle detectors for non-proliferation, Berkeley was an easy choice for me. The field of nuclear engineering not only has its roots set deep in Berkeley, but the university continues to lead the world in the field. Aside from academics, I love the Berkeley area and atmosphere.

What do you like most about Berkeley Engineering?
I appreciate the world-class faculty and students. Also, I have the freedom to do research at any of the national laboratories in the area. It is a tremendous advantage to have three national laboratories in our backyard, where I can do sustained research for my Ph.D. The possibilities are truly endless.

What are you working on?
I am taking a full load of classes, teaching and preparing for my screening exams.

What else do you do?
It’s hard not to have many hobbies, living in the Bay Area. I am an avid home brewer. I love hiking in the plethora of local parks. I like challenging my cooking skills (perfecting French bread is my current undertaking). When I find the time, I also love to travel and read classic literature.

What are you passionate about?
I want to use scientific and engineering knowledge to solve larger problems. I believe that science and technology hold the key to many of the biggest questions we face, and unless this knowledge is implemented properly, it goes to waste. Compounding technical knowledge into the larger problem of proliferation adds tremendous complexity, and I find that very exciting.

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