2022 William Muir Edwards Citizenship Award: Anushka Khare, Computer Engineering Co-op

“I’m committed to making the lives of those in my community better.” — Anushka Khare

Donna McKinnon - 21 November 2022

Whether volunteering in the community and on executives, or developing innovative technology focused on sustainability and economic empowerment, Anushka Khare is making a difference. 

Ignoring advice to “just get through'' the first years of her engineering program, Anushka recognized that there was in fact no better time to put her problem solving skills to work for the betterment of her community.  

It was through her own family experiences and volunteer work with the Alzheimer's Student Association, where she served as VP Advocacy, that Anushka realized a need for technological innovation to help those living with Alzheimers. 

This led to the development of an app with navigation software. Aimed at individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the application helps with route planning and location tracking. 

“It will be based on haptic devices which come from older devices thus reducing the product’s ecological footprint,” says Anushka. “While developing it, I realized further applications of this product extend to improving the independence of visually impaired individuals. I’m focused on contributing to a sustainable society through innovation in technology and economic empowerment.”

This work led to her co-founding eevee (www.eevee.to), a peer-to-peer rental space platform enables individuals needing income to turn idle items into earnings. About 80 per cent of the revenue goes to the listing’s owner, economically empowering individuals with minimal effort required from them. 

“This app builds community and bridges the gap between sustainability and economic empowerment that rarely happens in harmony,” says Anushka.

Tahmid Al Hafiz, current Co-President of the Engineering Students' Society (ESS), co-founded eevee Technologies with Anushka, along with her experience as a cyber-security analyst [which she gained during Co-op terms with Trans Mountain and Iron Spear Information Security Ltd in 2021 and 2022, respectively] made her the perfect technical partner for the start up.   

“Her contributions in our eevee team winning the EnactusUAB Pitch Competition 2022 and securing a seat in the highly competitive League of Innovators’ Labs Accelerator Batch 8 Cohort were pivotal, to say the least,” says Tahmid. 

For two years, Anushka has volunteered with the Engineering Students’ Society as Director of Professional Development where her goal is to provide engineering students with essential skills needed to succeed in the job market.

“I found creative ways for students to improve crucial technical and soft skills – including initiating and organizing Excel, VBA, and Project Management workshops and research panels for over 200 students,” she says. “This work included building collaborations with IST, the Elko Engineering Garage, and coRoc, and ensuring student engagement.”

As a junior executive member of the CompE Club and general volunteer, Anushka has played a role in addressing a gap in resources provided by the Co-op office and computer engineering job requirements.

“This involved spending 80+ hours in the design and creation of CompE, which provides junior year students with volunteer-run mentoring and resources such as resume reviews, mock technical interviews, and tips to improve cover letters,” she says, adding that the platform has supported over 100 CompE students in improving their applications and being better prepared for interviews. 

She has also served as Co-President of STEM Fellowship, which brings research opportunities and resources to undergraduate and high school students. 

Cyrus Diego, who volunteered alongside Anushka as VP External 2021-2022, CompE Club, continues to be impressed by her “unwavering” dedication to helping others in her community.

“Anushka’s drive to improve the “co-op experience” for computer engineering students was phenomenal,” says Cyrus. “She is dedicated to bringing about change to the normalized “struggle” of finding co-op jobs. Her contributions to the initiative helped drive the transition from this “race to the top” mentality to one of ensuring equal access to resources and support.”

Now serving as the elected VP Academics for ESS for 2022-2023, Anushka vows to continue building on these efforts.

“Creating a better community is in our hands,” she says. “Helping those around us solve smaller challenges paves the path to collectively achieving seemingly insurmountable ones.” 

Named in honour of the Faculty of Engineering’s founding professor, the William Muir Edwards Citizenship Award recognizes Engineering at Alberta undergraduate students who have made exceptional contributions to society. It’s a celebration of citizenship and of engineering students who go to extraordinary lengths to make our world a better place. Special thanks to the David Morris Family Foundation for supporting our students and making the William Muir Edwards Citizenship Awards possible. 

Do you know an undergraduate student whose volunteerism, contributions, and efforts, both on-campus and off-campus, work to make the world a better place? Learn more about the nomination process here