Lead Systems Engineer
How is your job related to climate and/or sustainability?
My position as a Lead Systems Engineer incorporates sustainability at all levels of the role. In product life-cycle assessment, I quantify a product's carbon emission from the cradle to the grave considering the materials, manufacturing, transportation, how the product will be used, and the product's end of life. Our team quantified the carbon emissions for the 5G radios over their expected functioning period. Our assessment identified potential areas where we could reduce CO2 emissions and operational costs, benefiting both the company and the environment.
What training was particularly important to enabling your work?
After completing my electrical engineering degree, I designed electronic circuits for consumer electronics products. I learned the process of taking an idea and developing it into a manufacturable high-volume product. I also designed switch products and learned specifically about power efficiency in a high-performance computing environment. Wanting to enhance my skills, I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering. I had the opportunity to take a Life Cycle/Impact Assessment course where sustainability and product analysis intersected. This helped me broaden my understanding of carbon footprints within our industry and allowed me to build upon my existing skills as a design engineer. At Verizon, this knowledge enables me to analyze products that build Verizon’s network, where my foundational skills allow me to be innovative and look for opportunities to improve energy efficiency.
What advice do you have for people looking for careers in climate and/or sustainability?
While each person learns in different ways, my first advice is to begin at the company. Ask if there are any existing sustainability initiatives and how they are being implemented. See if you can observe or be a part of these initiatives. Sustainability can be incorporated into all roles in some capacity. Being passionate and curious about your field allows creative thinking to increase environmentally-friendly practices. Lastly, always remember to assess your role and see if you can connect sustainability to it. Be reflexive, proactive, and ready for collaboration.