Creating sustainable cities
Growing up an avid sailor in the coastal city of Mumbai, Arnav Mariwala, BS ’17 Physics, MS ‘19 Geophysics, had first-hand experience of the effects of the yearly monsoon storms on the local environment, infrastructure, and economy. He recalled one particularly vivid incident when schools had to shut down and many students were left stranded because the train tracks and roads were completely flooded. Originally interested in becoming an astrophysicist, Mariwala eventually turned to geophysics for his graduate education, finding it attractive for its tangible impact on society and the way it enabled him to connect his love for the outdoors with interesting physics problems.
Mariwala works with professor Jenny Suckale to investigate how coastal ecosystems respond to intense storms. He uses his physics background to create models for evaluating these damages, which can then be applied to creating sustainable infrastructure that reduces the damage caused by storms. Currently serving as co-president of the Stanford Energy Club, he hopes to find a career in the energy and environment sector by working in government or engineering consulting and continuing to study how coastal risk affects energy infrastructure.
“Energy is the most important infrastructure,” Mariwala said. “And it is better to preemptively design good infrastructure now than to spend money fixing it later.”