Paloma Ortega Arriaga

Role: PhD student at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London

Subject area: Energy access focusing on off-grid renewable systems

Nationality: Mexican

I was born and raised in Mexico and first moved to London to study my Masters at Imperial College. I am now a PhD student at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, where I am also part of the Energy Access research group. Before starting my PhD, I was a representative of Mexico at Mission Innovation, a global initiative to accelerate clean energy innovation.



GCSE and A-level (or equivalent): High school in Mexico

• BA in International Business, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Tec de Monterrey), Mexico
• Specialisation in Environmental and Ecological Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
• MSc in Environmental Technology, Imperial College London
• PhD at Grantham Institute (ongoing), Imperial College London

Detail about Ananya


My research

My research is on energy access, focusing on renewable systems not on the public utilities grid (off-grid), specifically generating electricity from solar energy. I investigate how to provide reliable electricity access to rural communities using these systems.

My inspiration

My inspiration

I have always been interested in the environment because both my parents are biologists, so science was part of my life from a young age.

My STEM hero

Who is your STEM hero?

Dr Jane Goodall, scientist and conservationist, who is best known for her research on chimpanzees in Africa. She is my hero because she raised awareness on species conservation worldwide.

A woman being given a vaccine injection

Most significant discovery/invention?

Vaccines because they can make the difference between life or death in a global pandemic such as COVID-19. Also, they help protect the vaccinated individual as well as the community as a whole. 

A collapsing glacier

Career options after study

  • Academic research in energy, climate change mitigation or international development
  • Consultant in sustainability, climate change or Net Zero industry (e.g. Deloitte)
  • Civil Servant working within government departments such as BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
  • United Nations Development or Environment Programme (UNDP/UNEP)
A scuba diver

My hobbies

I grew up near the sea, so I love any water related sport such as scuba diving, kayaking or just swimming!