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"This Research can Contribute to Ensuring the Energy Security of RA", - Narek Sahakyan, an ISEC Masters’ graduate.

June 20, 2023

Narek Sahakyan, a Master's graduate of the ISEC Department of Geology and the head of the ISEC Students' Scientific Society, was awarded "The Best Student of ISEC - 2022." We spoke with Narek about the opportunities provided by the ISEC, the breadth of his scientific interests, and various other key points.

- Narek, let's begin by talking about your university and specialty choices. What made the final decision to enroll in the ISEC?

- Considering that I work there, I chose to study at ISEC. That time I was an employer in the Geological Museum of the Institute of Geological Sciences. Since I am a geologist by my profession, I wanted to proceed with my postgraduate studies in geography. However, after experiencing the hard work and dedication of the IGS scientific staff, which is a key point for me in all aspects, I decided to study geology. For this reason, I made up my mind to enroll in the Master's program at the ISEC Department of Geology.

- Why did you decide to pursue the fields of hydrogeology and geothermal energy?

- In my opinion, water is life. Like air, it is one of the primary resources required for human life. In addition, because they are situated in the earth's crust and get heat from the crust, underground waters serve as the primary source of drinking water both in Armenia and a number of other countries. Additionally, the use of geothermal energy can be derived from those hot mineral waters. Armenia has a significant gap in this regard. Almost all of the fuel and energy sources we use come from abroad. However, we have access to geothermal waters, so that we can use to produce electricity. To fill this gap, I specifically chose this way to proceed.

- You have recently successfully defended your master's thesis, what is its thematic focus and how relevant is it now?

- The study of the hydrochemical and geothermometric properties of thermal mining waters in the Hrazdan River's middle stream catchment basin as a promising source of renewable energy was the focus of the thesis. The work is crucial for the potential use of geothermal energy sources in a small area of Armenia. Additionally, geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity, which is something that our nation urgently needs right now. We have examined and estimated the equilibrium maximum temperatures that ten thermomining waters in the studied area had at the time of their formation as part of this research study. Additionally, it was determined at what depths the waters have these temperatures using the variation in the geothermal gradient of the RA territory. This study can therefore help to ensure that RA has access to reliable energy. My scientific supervisor, Associate Professor Khachatur Meliksetyan, PhD in geological sciences, and Associate Professor Hrach Shahinyan provided me with a great deal of support as I conducted this research.

-What significance does science have in your life, as the head of ISEC's Students' Scientific Society?

- I believe that engaging in science is primarily a means of gratifying one's own interests. For me, science is a means of self-improvement that enables to continually create new things and make new discoveries based on ongoing, sustainable research that improves the world and makes it more stable for human existence.

- How much of a demand is there currently for geologists? How does the ISEC Department of Geology prepare competitive and qualified specialists?

- The demand is extremely high today due to the severe lack of geologists. I think that the need for geologists’ work is especially evident in the mining industry, however, due to a shortage of specialists, either foreign specialists are invited, or specialists from fields related to geology are making efforts to perform the duties of geologists.

The ISEC Department of Geology has a number of advantages in educating geology specialists. Advanced professors, who are considered to be among the best specialists in the field of geology in the country, teach here. IGS also organizes practical field activities for the students of the Department of Geology, which advances their theoretical understanding.

Besides, it is also crucial that the students participate in the research carried out in the IGS laboratories. For their master's theses research, students can choose topics that are being studied in different IGS laboratories, enabling them to participate in lab activities.

- What role did the ISEC play in your personal development?

- First of all, ISEC provided me a new education environment, new friends, and new opportunities. Generally speaking, ISEC offers wide opportunities for each of us, however, students must demonstrate a desire and willingness to seize these opportunities. For instance, as a result of my academic and scientific accomplishments, I was awarded the best student of ISEC in 2022.

- What are your plans and objectives for the near future?

Since I have already successfully defended my master's thesis, I am going to pursue postgraduate studies in geology.

ISEC NAS RA Public Relations and Career Department