Erin Gately's Dream Job: It's not easy to determine how green computer electronic products are, but Erin is working to change this. At the Green Electronics Council, Erin works on an online tool that helps people select and compare computers, printers, monitors and televisions based on their environmental performance.
A passion for saving the planet:
Trained as an industrial engineer, Erin was working in the marketing department at Hewlett-Packard (HP) when she took a class on how much humans consume and how drastically such consumption affects Earth. The class had a profound effect on her, and Erin thought that she might leave HP to find a job protecting the environment. But HP was recruiting people to help design more environmentally friendly products. Erin stayed with the company to become an environmental product steward, combining her engineering skills with her passion for saving the planet. Now she is a Conformity Assurance Manager for EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) and ensures that electronics manufacturers are accurately representing how green their products are.
Best part of being an engineer:
Getting your engineering degree teaches you to use your whole brain. My background is in industrial engineering, but my analytical-thinking skills are applicable to my whole life. I have used my skills in manufacturing engineering jobs and marketing jobs, and also in my current job managing EPEAT's Conformity Assurance programs at the Green Electronics Council.
Favorite project: Erin was part of a team that investigated using biodegradable corn-based material to manufacture the shell of a printer.
B.S. in industrial engineering, University of Miami, Miami, Florida; M.B.A. in Sustainable Business Practices, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Erin has a daughter and twin boys.
Soccer coach, volunteering for environmental organizations, and reading (an important part of my life and recharges me). I read at least one or two books per week.
Erin raced a sailboat from San Francisco to Oahu with a team of eight other women. They were the first all-woman crew to finish the Pacific Cup!
Go for it! Being an engineer doesn't mean you can't have a life.You can be an engineer and have a social life and a family too. My engineering degree has allowed me to be whatever I have dreamed of being.