Sustainable Workforce Development Network

Building Sustainable Career Pathways

Engineering Solutions to Climate Change Problems
Alex Perkins
Alex Perkins grew up in Nantucket, helping his parents take tourists out on their whale-watching boat. In high school he spent a semester in the Bahamas, where he learned about sustainability issues, and observed the horrible effects of burning plastic waste. He became fascinated with sustainability issues, and especially with finding technical solutions to these problems. First he joined with others to build a wind turbine at his school. Later he became a mechanical engineer, and even developed a machine that can turn plastic waste into fuel. For Alex, passion, technical skills, and collaborating with others are key to fighting the climate crisis. “We need to find innovative solutions to the problems we’re facing,” he says. “It’s all about collaboration: talking about problems with friends, talking about ideas that you can build together.”