A day in the life of a green engineer

A day in the life of a Green Engineer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that there is a massive need for increased sustainability around the globe. There is a huge and growing focus on finding ways to improve our lives, while also ensuring we keep the right balance with nature. A career that puts you right on the forefront of environmentally friendly development and innovation is green engineering. If this is something that interests you, you can find out a bit more about what a career in this area could look like in this blog.

What is green engineering?

As the world population grows and our knowledge about how our activities can impact on the world around us increases, there’s a growing need for us all to ensure that, where possible, we minimise any harmful effects on the planet.

Green engineering is using engineering methods, processes, and principles to minimise environmental impact and streamline operations. The main aim? Reduce pollution, minimise any other harmful effects, and use materials and energy more thoughtfully, all while improving (or at least maintaining) economic feasibility for companies now and in the long-term.

What does a green engineer do each day?

With green careers rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing areas, there are lots of green engineering jobs on the rise. A day in the life of two green engineers can look very different, depending on the sector in which they work and their roles. Here are a couple of examples.

Renewable energy engineer

Their job is to figure out ways to use energy from the sun, wind, or water. They might be designing solar panels, wind turbines, or hydroelectric dams to make clean energy; testing a new type of solar panel to make it more powerful and affordable; or working on new ways to produce equipment and infrastructure that require fewer resources and are more efficient.

Environmental engineer

These green engineers are helping to stop pollution and keep our waterways and air clean. They might be working on projects to clean up polluted rivers, creating systems to recycle more plastic, or monitoring pollution levels and tracing their sources.

Sustainable building designer

In this job, workers design buildings that don’t use too much energy to build or run, or find ways to keep homes and offices comfortable without impacting the environment. They could be researching the best kinds of insulation to use or working on how to incorporate solar panels into windows.

Other green engineering jobs to consider

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Green Engineering jobs. If you’re interested in finding out more, you could look into other careers in:

The chemical industry

You could be finding ways to create products from paints, plastics, computer parts, fuels, fertilisers, pesticides, batteries, and adhesives, for example, that don’t create toxic by-products during their manufacture or during break down.

The building and construction industry

You could be working on ways to reduce waste and create modular or pre-fabricated buildings. You might design passive heating and cooling systems that are incorporated into buildings to reduce the need for heating and air conditioning; or design green roofs that work to help buildings maintain a stable temperature, control run off, and even provide a source of food for humans and wildlife.

The automotive industry

Finding ways to make the production, running, and maintenance of all kinds of vehicles less wasteful, more efficient, and with fewer emissions is already important, but will continue to be a focus in the future too. You could be finding new energy sources, creating alternatives to steel for construction, or working on ways to make vehicles cheaper to make and to run.

Common aspects of all green engineering jobs

Most green engineers will spend a large part of their working life in an office environment. You’ll probably also be doing lots of travel between project sites and other workplaces to meet with clients. Depending on your role, you might also spend time in a lab, testing out new products or formulating new chemicals.

You’ll probably spend some time each day on the phone and checking your emails. You could be talking with members of the community, providing instructions to environmental technicians, offering advice to clients, or working on permit applications.

If you’re working on projects, then other technicians, scientists, engineers, architects, builders, lawyers, and heaps of other professionals are likely to be involved too. There is likely to be frequent group discussions for problem-solving in environmental engineering jobs, so you’ll need to be a great team worker.

The future of green engineering

Jobs in green engineering are growing fast. As more people want to help our planet, find ways to reduce costs, and create products that meet all the demands from consumers and governments, there’ll be even more jobs for green engineers.

In a nutshell, being a green engineer is like being a superhero for our planet. Every day, they use their brains and skills to make sure our world stays awesome for us and for the generations to come.

So, if you love science and tech and want to help save the Earth, becoming a green engineer might be just the thing for you.

You can find out more about tons of other jobs and careers on our website here.

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