March 15, 2021

Dear Khimti Forum Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the Forum!

If you are reading this page, I hope you already know about the Khimti Forum. You may have also noticed that we are going to be one year old in May this year. During our last ten months, we have accomplished many achievements. We have arranged several exciting talk programs and all those presentations were very interactive and filled with probing discussions. We have expanded our network and the Forum visitors are growing. As you navigate our webpage, you will learn more about the Forum and our past and future events.

Our last event on March 13th was unique for two reasons. First, very sadly, last month, we lost one of our friends, and colleague to many of us, Bruce O’Neill, and we paid a tribute to him. Michael Francis and Mark Gill spoke about his personal and professional life, and we memorialized him. Many of us knew Bruce since his time in Khimti Project in Nepal, two decades ago. He was an outstanding geotechnical engineer, a very kind person, a collaborative colleague, and a frequent visitor of this forum.

Secondly, the March 13th event was historical, and a milestone for the Forum, because after ten months into our existence, we were able to launch our own website: khimtiforum.org. This was certainly a proud moment for all of us because this is not only our identity, but it will also help us advance our mission.

Like all previous speakers in the past, on the March 13th program, Dr. Stephen Sparkes passionately delivered a wonderful presentation with a concluding note that if planned sustainably from the early stage, hydropower projects could become catalysts for overall socio-economic development.  He shared his experience from many international projects as he exposed the sustainability elements in the context of hydropower development.

We were also very pleased to introduce our Featured Guest Dr. Leeanne Alonso in the Forum, who is an accomplished biodiversity scientist and a consultant. Her brief commentary reinforced what Stephen had highlighted during his talk.  From among the audience, some notable questions and comments were provided by Bruno Trouille, Bikash Pandey, Ishwar Deshar, Salil Devkota, Rakesh Yadav, Sher Baluch, Jay Mashburn, Joseph Asiiwme Alban Kuriqi, Pratik Pradhan, Halvard Kaasa, and William Altimas. The program was attended by more than 50 professionals from more than 12 countries and the talk program lasted for two and half hours. I am personally grateful to my colleague and friend Shubha Pandit for helping me with the moderation of the talk program.

Our upcoming monthly talk programs will be dedicated to discussions on energy policies of some of the South Asian countries starting with Pakistan on April 10th.  The Forum is excited to welcome a solo speaker from Pakistan Ms. Saadia Qayyum who is a leader and pioneer of Woman in Energy Pakistan and Energy Specialist at the World Bank. This event will be moderated by Khimti Forum Advisor, Mr. Bruno Trouille. 

One of the key missions of this Forum is about sharing knowledge and expertise. It is also about mentoring younger generations of scientists, engineers, economists and many others interested in sustainable energy and infrastructure projects. All of us members of this Forum should actively contact younger colleagues and students to encourage them to join our Forum and ask them to actively participate in our Blog and discussions. Based on your discussions with them, tell us how we can be better connected to the younger generations and what additional media, besides this website, we should use to facilitate their active participation.

Please join us on April 10th. Invite your colleagues, especially the young ones, and all those who are interested in learning how Pakistan, as a Case Study, is transitioning its energy challenges.

Thank you,

Kamal Gautam

 

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