Erin Gately

Erin Gately

Green Electronics Council, EPEAT Conformity Assurance Manager
Portland, OR

Engineers!

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is an online tool that helps people select and compare computers based on their environmental performance.  In my job as the EPEAT Registry Services Manager, I manage EPEAT’s Quality Assurance programs, including designing and managing the execution of EPEAT’s regular Verification Investigations. These investigations of the product registry, carried out by independent contractors, include multiple levels and types of inquiry, from reviews of documentation, to investigation of supply chain controls, down to the physical disassembly and testing of products bought on the open market.
  • Why Engineering?
    I chose engineering because I really like using my brain. I was drawn to solving problems and fixing things.
  • School Days
    I have a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Miami; Miami, Florida and I have an M.B.A. in Sustainable Business Practices, Bainbridge Graduate Institute; Bainbridge Island, Washington.
  • My Day At Work
    Reviewing EPEAT declarations to assure that manufacturers are accurately representing how green their products are.  Communicating with a team investigating the accuracy of manufacturer's declarations.  Researching new and existing EPEAT criteria.
  • Best Part
    Getting your engineering degree teaches you to fully use your 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 as EPEAT Registry Services Manager.
  • Proud Moments
    Being chosen as an Earth Innovator by the Sierra Club. My work on the HP Deskjet 6540 printer which is highly recyclable and won many awards.
  • My Family
    I am married and have three small children - a daughter and twin boys. We also have a cat and four chickens.
  • Dreams and Goals
    I want my work in sustainable design to be part of a larger sustainable design revolution.
  • Inspiration
    My brother got his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering so I got to see what being an engineer was like. The Northwest Earth Institute courses that I have taken have guided me toward environmental work.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    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.
  • Additional Thoughts
    Erin was part of a team at Hewlett-Packard that investigated using biodegradable corn-based material to manufacture the shell of a printer.
  • Hobbies
    My favorite author is Charles de Lint. He writes both young adult and adult fiction. His work is extremely inspiring to me. His writing takes me away and brings me back feeling happy and ready to create. I recommend his books highly. I started playing bass guitar a few years ago and I am working on writing a rock opera about mermaids.
Biography
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. Education: B.S. in industrial engineering, University of Miami, Miami, Florida; M.B.A. in Sustainable Business Practices, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Family Erin has a daughter and twin boys. Hobbies 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. Fun Fact 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! Advice 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.
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