Student profile
noemi-arena

Noemi Arena

"I look forward to overcoming many new challenges in the future, driving sustainability at a larger scale and beating the sustainability challenges faced in big industries."

I decided to be an engineer because I’ve always had an interest in the environment and all the problems related to it. Engineers are often accused of causing environmental pollution but I believe we can use our creativity to find alternative, more sustainable solutions which are actually good for the environment and society.

This is what led me to apply for Surrey’s EngD in Sustainability for Engineering and Energy Systems (a forerunner to the Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability) and to my current job as Sustainable Engineering Manager at Costain.

My day-to-day role involves integrating holistic sustainability solutions into the core business processes of the group and its client base. My role is supported by the work of technical specialists who collaborate with communities to reduce the environmental, social and economic impacts of the infrastructure sector.

Studying for an EngD within Surrey’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability helped me to gain my current role. The programme enabled me to spend four years working on research which related directly to industry. My work was focused on the adsorption process of carbon dioxide on activated carbon, which involved the application of life cycle engineering principles of industrial ecology including life cycle assessment and closed loop use.

As part of the course I also undertook a training programme which included sustainability modules along with personal development training covering topics such as project management, leadership and teamwork.

One of the best things about the course was the multidisciplinary approach it encouraged students to take, which has enabled me to adapt to different projects and environments made up of people from different cultures, nationalities and interests. The holistic sustainability approach the programme taught me was absolutely unique. I was able to learn about all aspects of sustainability and how to integrate them in engineering.

"Engineers are often accused of causing environmental pollution but I believe we can use our creativity to find alternative, more sustainable solutions which are actually good for the environment and society."

To people thinking about following a similar career path to mine I’d say: don’t stop at your first challenge. You will face thousands during the course of your career, but they will be your stimulation and your motivation to be innovative and have fun! I look forward to overcoming many new challenges in the future, driving sustainability at a larger scale and beating the sustainability challenges faced in big industries.

Explore our programmes in Environment and Sustainability, including our Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability.

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