Samir Nazir

Design Engineer, Magna Powertrain
Degree Program: 
MS Public Policy, 2010

“My advisors allowed me to pursue an interdisciplinary approach (engineering and public policy) that helped me understand technology adoption from many angles.”

Samir chose RIT because it is a strong technical university where the Public Policy faculty had technical backgrounds that made them well rounded mentors.  Samir felt that coursework in the technical fundamentals would give him an advantage once he graduated.  An added advantage was that RIT offered funded research opportunities without having to commit to a PhD, which allowed master degree students the chance to obtain valuable research experience.   


While Samir was at RIT, he had a co-op with Magna Powertrain as a Research & Technology Engineer, working on chassis and driveline systems and assisting in the development of energy efficient driveline technologies.  He also worked as a graduate research assistant in the Public Policy department and the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems investigating the social benefits of hybrid electric vehicles and analyzing solid oxide fuel cell auxiliary power.  The National Science Foundation funded his research on hybrid electric vehicles and the work he did with the Center for Sustainable Energy systems was funded by the US Department of Defense. 


Outside of RIT, Samir interned with the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in the US Department of State.  As a fellow for the State Department, he assisted the Bureau with their efforts towards achieving international climate change agreement at UNFCC COP 15.  He also served as a Research Intern for the Federal Highway Administration within the Department of Transportation to incorporate alternative fuel vehicles into government fleets.


Aside from these many professional and research opportunities while at RIT, Samir also had the opportunity to attend the 2010 IEEE Conference on Innovative Technologies for an Efficient and Reliable Electricity Supply (CITRES) and received a Fulbright Fellowship to the National University of Singapore after submitting his Master’s thesis for consideration.  The fellowship allowed him to conduct research for the Singaporean government’s Electric Vehicle Task Force. 


Samir has always been fascinated by the impacts automobiles can have on the environment, and believes that technology can play a constructive role in combating any negative environmental impacts.  Upon completion of the Fulbright Fellowship, Samir rejoined Magna Powertrain as an engineering project manager for innovation projects.  He jumped at the opportunity to become lead engineering designer in the driveline group that focused on products existing between the transmission and wheels of a vehicle. This assignment led him to Magna Powertrain’s office in Lannach, Austria, where he currently resides. His experience with the Public Policy program at RIT has directly facilitated his work in government affairs and research funding at Magna Powerhouse.  In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of the program allowed him to take engineering classes that sharpened the skills he’d already developed prior to entering the MS program.