From Pakistan to Utah and Beyond
One Student’s Pursuit of a Socially-Minded Electrical Engineering Career
Marium Rasheed has been surrounded by books her entire life. Born in Pakistan to professor parents, she always knew the possibilities a post-graduate degree could hold. But despite the influence academia had on her life, Rasheed wasn’t sure what she wanted to study when she went to university.
Marium Rasheed is a PhD student studying electrical engineering. Her passion for art and sustainable transportation has led to a unique talent for illustrating electric vehicles.
“In high school, I was always the kind of person who liked everything and wanted to do everything,” she said. “But at a point, you have to narrow down what your career path is going to be.”
Although she loved a wide variety of subjects from English literature and history to physics, biology and chemistry, she decided to major in electrical engineering because she was excited about the opportunities the field would give her to make a difference in the world.
“I grew up in Pakistan and I saw firsthand the kind of impact that climate change has caused in my country,” she said. “When I came to Utah, I heard about the pollution here, and it strengthened my desire to build clean energy technologies with the bigger perspective of improving people’s lives.”
In addition to engineering, Rasheed also loves art. Though she took a break from painting and drawing during her undergraduate degree, she resumed sketching as a graduate student in 2020 as a way to relax and connect with her artistic side. These days, her focus is on sketching sports cars and shiny electric vehicles — a close parallel to her area of specialization in electrical engineering.
Rasheed is a high performing graduate student who has received multiple accolades in recent months, including a fellowship from the Clean Energy Leadership Institute and various scholarships.
Rasheed attended Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan for her bachelor’s degree. As she neared the end of her program in 2017, she decided her next step would be a Ph.D. She wanted to earn a post-graduate degree in the United States and in researching programs, she discovered the Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center at Utah State University, which is now the Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification, or ASPIRE, Engineering Research Center.
“I had a discussion with Dr. Regan Zane, the center director, and it just clicked,” she said. “This is the place where I wanted to be.”
Rasheed came to Utah State in the fall of 2017. She soon got involved with ASPIRE research and has received numerous honors for her work, including a 2022 fellowship from Clean Energy Leadership Institute and a $5,000 Women in Technology Scholarship from Cadence Design Systems. She is now nearing the end of her Ph.D. program. While she isn’t exactly sure what her future holds, she knows she’ll always be working to make the world better — whether that's a job in industry or academia.
“My work is gratifying,” she said. “I always tie what I do back to the social implications and how I want my work to contribute to society.”