I was born/grew up in: London, England
I now live in: Brossard, Quebec
I completed my training/education at: I have a BSc and PhD in chemical engineering and fuel technology from the University of Sheffield
What I do at work
I have a background in chemical engineering. This means that I have a good understanding of chemistry, physics, and math. These skills are all essential to understanding climate science. It is also a good foundation for working with renewable energy. STEM skills are essential for anyone who wants to work on the problems created by climate change. They are also essential to support the transition to renewable energy, particularly wind power and solar energy.
In my work at the Resilient World Institute, I used these skills every day. As the Director of the School of Climate Management, I worked with a team of people with specialized knowledge relating to climate change. We provided workshops and training that helped those involved in the energy sector become more sustainable. We offered programs that helped their businesses understand and apply energy codes and standards for building and development projects. We also offered courses about renewable energy technologies and other emerging energy issues. These courses looked at the things that can be done to manage the effects of climate change. Since these changes cannot be stopped in the short term, it is important that we learn how to prepare for these negative impacts. By being prepared (i.e., using renewable energy, looking at how we can use energy more wisely) these impacts can be minimized and contained.
At the moment I am working as a consultant on European-funded contracts to help countries reach their 2050 net zero emissions target. To help them reach their target, I am promoting the transition to clean energy and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. I am also finalising a program in Nigeria, Africa. This program aims to reduce GHG emissions by having households switch from wood and charcoal to cleaner fuels like liquid petroleum gas (LPG). While LPG is a fossil fuel, it is a lot better for the environment and people’s health than their current fuels. The plan is for the use of LPG to be short term. The goal is to have households cooking with electricity produced from renewable energy. However, access to this energy is still many years away.
My career path is
In high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. A teacher told me that chemical engineering would be a good choice. I went along with this idea. I wasn't sure about this choice in university, either. I stayed with it, though, and it turned out to be a good choice even if I didn't understand that at the time.
I am motivated by
Reading about the success achieved by environmental groups is a big motivator. There is a huge network of these organizations. They all work to solve the climate crisis and reduce the use of fossil fuels. The pressure on governments is growing. This is an exciting time. Change always brings disruption and the risk of confusion. Despite that, it is important to be part of the changes that are taking place.
How I affect people’s lives
I work to help people switch to renewable energy. This is one of the keys to reducing carbon emissions. I have written two books about climate change. I am also engaged in local environmental action and governance.
Outside of work I
I relax by reading and writing. I enjoy walking and swimming when I can.
My advice to others
Engineering is a great career. We need to design, build and change the way we build cities and industry.