I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Jasmina Burek, Ph.D.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Massachusetts Lowell
978.934.5937 | email@example.com
Twitter | LinkedIn | Research Gate | Google Scholar
BUilding REsilience through Knowledge (BUREK) Lab
Center for Women and Work
Climate Change Initiative website
Center for Renewable Energy
I believe firmly that if we cannot resolve inequality, there is little hope to resolve sustainability.
Climate change has disproportionately affected low-income and BIPOC communities. With the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters we are seeing today, this will likely only get worse. The ramifications of the pandemic and Global crisis on vulnerable populations are at the core of increasing inequality. Many of the impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately on the disadvantaged because they have fewer resources, less mobility, and less of a voice in society. Strategies to reduce climate change may create or exacerbate social inequities by creating burdens on a population in a community due to either physical location or individual characteristics.
Sustainable and resilient energy, agri-food systems, buildings, and transportation not only enable sound economic development and job creation; they also enhance the quality of life and safety for citizens and help protect natural resources and the environment. Innovative solutions to complex challenges are only possible through research that incorporates systems-level thinking. I study the sustainability of agri-food supply chains, buildings, and transportation, and develop decision-making models to minimize their environmental impacts using life cycle assessment (LCA). I propose research that addresses the interrelationship between food, buildings, and transportation. This novel, integrated approach presents a sustainable method for addressing the diverse impacts of climate change. This approach benefits from my multi-disciplinary expertise, proficiency in LCA, optimization, data analysis with machine learning, and geographic information system (GIS) analysis. The aim of this research is to recommend policy changes that essentially mitigate climate change risks—including other environmental, social, and economic impact—and reduce the current crisis of food insecurity.
I believe in the importance of teaching effectively about climate change and sustainability through student-centered courses such as project-based courses.
Effective education is concerned with the beliefs, feelings, and attitudes of students. In my courses, I address issues such as climate anxiety and fear of social movements with students who generationally are going to experience the harder impacts of climate change and empower students to become agents of change. Because of my personal and professional experiences and expertise, my course materials encourage critical, and systems thinking and develop translatable skills.
In my classroom and research space, I empower students by nurturing their motivation for learning and enhancing their self-efficacy and confidence. I strive to have a safe, brave, and inclusive classroom environment that will help to integrate students’ social and other identities within the University’s cultural setting.
View current courses: https://www.uml.edu/catalog/courses/mech/4410
I believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are crucial for the success of the scientific endeavor itself.
My approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is holistic because of my personal experiences, engagement, and contributions to DE&I, which have contributed to a better understanding of what contributes to inequities in academia.
My time as a mechanical engineering student exposed me to the rampant issue of gender inequality in STEM. In 2018, only 16.2% of doctorates in mechanical engineering were awarded to women in the United States, I was one of them. The numbers are even worse for Black and Indigenous women. Thus, I believe it is important to encourage future women engineers to create better opportunities in academia, to express their ideas more assertively, and to make sure I prevent interrupted and uncomfortable atmospheres in large classrooms, during conferences, and public speaking.
Socioeconomic status is often prohibitive for low-income and BIPOC communities due to increasing costs of living at university locations. I advocate for overall better pay and fellowship opportunities for disadvantaged and low-income students.
Finally, I would like to bring Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze’s quote that is in line with my belief “The world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible.”