How did you get where you are today? I graduated from Cambridge University with a masters in chemical engineering. I then worked as a development engineer at Kraft Foods for nine months. In that role I achieved energy savings of £70,000 and also employed a new biodegradable industrial cleaning agent to replace an acid-based detergent. I then joined Alara Wholefoods as sustainable development manager.
What was the best decision you have made in your career and why? My best decision was to move away from the production side of manufacturing and into an environmental role. What keeps me motivated is improving the environment and sustainable development. This is a very exciting time as there is huge potential for companies to research sustainable options - environmental issues can no longer be ignored.
What is the most important piece of information you have ever been told? The most important piece of information I have been told is that nobody can change things for you - if you do not like something then you must quit complaining and do something about it.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Knowing that the work I do makes a difference.
What is the one thing that you could not do your job without? The internet. It is the easiest and fastest way to find out anything you want to know.
If you could start your career all over again, what would you do differently and why? If I could start again I would do a degree in sustainable development or sustainable engineering because I think that those subjects are more relevant to businesses today than straightforward engineering. I think that sustainability will become hugely important in the future.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today? Do not be afraid to go after the job that you really want - you spend a lot of your life at work so make sure you enjoy it.
Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career? I do not have a mentor but I have worked with lots of different people. I try to learn from them by noting the things they do well and the things I think they can improve on.
What do you like doing when you are not working? I like to spend time with family and friends.
Where do you hope to be in five years' time? I hope I will have gained a second degree (this time in sustainable development) and will have become a chartered engineer.