This month, we spotlight Kevin in our Meet Our Edgers series. Kevin shares his sustainability journey so far – from participating in a Solar Decathlon while he was an undergraduate in California, to now working in Edge’s Tech team.
What led you to pursue a career in sustainability?
I began pursuing a career in sustainability during my undergraduate degree when I participated in the Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California. This is an inter-university competition which requires students to design, build and operate sustainable solar-powered houses. During the opening ceremony, the US Secretary of Energy spoke on how “most students here will end up pursuing a career in sustainability and related fields.” At that moment, I realised the project I found cool and exciting could develop into a future career in sustainability.
As I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I pulled my university into a similar competition in Latin America. This had more of a social focus, and I loved it! However, I thought my career path was already defined as I had almost finished my degree in Civil Engineering. Once I had graduated, I immediately began work within infrastructure in the construction industry.
I worked on a couple of exciting projects across Latin America, which led me to work alongside some incredibly talented professionals. However, some projects made me doubt about the fit of the construction industry within my career plans. Once, after estimating the costs of a new ultra-luxury residential skyscraper it made me realise, “this project does much more harm than good. I must do something more meaningful with my career.” I then decided to apply for a scholarship and pursue a master’s degree in Sustainability in Australia.
What drew you to Edge?
While doing my master’s at UNSW, I met various Edge employees who positively commented on the company culture. They expressed Edge’s friendly approach to business, multicultural team, and a strong sense of purpose. This proved to be a natural alignment with my core values and reasons for pursuing a career in sustainability.
I also knew Edge was a key contributor in the infrastructure sustainability sector. As my skills were in this area and I wanted to pursue this position, I applied as soon as there was a vacancy.
What sort of work do you do at Edge?
I work within the Edge Tech team, scoping, planning, and developing tools for our consultants and clients. If you are wondering, yes there is a story of how I jumped from infrastructure to technology.
I started at Edge working on infrastructure sustainability, performing data analysis and modelling projects, among other tasks. One common challenge our clients in the sector faced was managing and summarising monthly data. So, I developed dashboards so they could easily track their sustainability performance over time.
When working on these projects, I usually found myself stretching excel to the limits (hundreds of vlookups) and dusting-off my coding skills. I often joke that I should have kept these coding skills secret, but I’m happy I shared them as they’ve allowed me to work on tools for many sectors that were foreign to me.
What do you enjoy most about working in sustainability?
I get satisfaction from problem-solving, and I like that our work has a real and much-needed impact on the environment and society. It’s been great to deliver solutions that contribute to such a complex challenge across multiple industries while interacting with extraordinary professionals. I can be learning about chicken feed, electric ferries, or fabrics and fashion on the same day, which has been a fantastic experience that has expanded my understanding of how the world operates.
No matter how different, our clients are after the same objective of transforming their organisations, and as sustainability professionals, we have the privilege to guide and support this transformation.
If you’re looking to pursue a career in sustainability, you can view our current vacancies here: https://edgeenvironment.com/about-us/careers-at-edge/