Dr. Afreen Siddiqi is a Research Scientist in the Engineering Systems Division. She has an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering, S.M. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems, all from MIT.
Over the last several years, she has worked with public and private institutions in the US and abroad on modeling, design and optimization of complex socio-technical systems.
Her current work has two broad themes. The first lies at the intersection of technology, management, and planning. In this area, Dr. Siddiqi is quantitatively analyzing the linkages between water, energy, and food security at urban, provincial, and national scales in the water-scarce Middle East and in the water rich but energy-starved Indus Basin of Pakistan. This work aims to create new knowledge – by integrating systems analysis across traditionally separate domains – to inform infrastructure planning, technology selection and implementation, and optimal management and operation.
The second focus of her current work, through her engagement with the Harvard Kennedy School and its Program on Science, Technology and Public Policy, is on analyzing the status of scientific research and technical innovation in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. With the recent surge in development of new research and education institutions in the region, the aim is to identify strategic planning and policy options that would strengthen local scientific and technical capacity for enabling economic diversification in the oil and gas rich states of the Middle East.
Dr. Siddiqi is an author of over 50 publications, some of which have appeared in leading journals such as Energy Policy, Water International, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, and ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems. Her opinion editorials on water policy and the energy, water, food nexus have appeared in The Express Tribune, a major newspaper in Pakistan affiliated with The International New York Times. Dr. Siddiqi has received several awards and fellowships including the Amelia Earhart Fellowship (2000-01), Richard D. DuPont Fellowship (2003-04), and the inaugural Rene H. Miller Prize (awarded annually for outstanding research) in Systems Engineering (2006). She is also a member of Pi Tau Sigma, and Tau Beta Pi (the national Engineering Honor Society).
Prior to her research career, she worked full-time as an engineer in the R&D division of National Instruments on the company’s flagship product, LabVIEWTM, in Austin, Texas. She has also worked in Schlumberger (oil and gas services company) in Houston, Texas and has consulted with several corporations such as BP, Lockheed Martin, and Aurora Flight Systems.