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Meet an AECOM chemical and process engineer, Katie Berry

Meet an AECOM chemical and process engineer, Katie Berry

 March 28, 2024

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AECOM's People Spotlight series provides an inside look at the company's technical experts around the world.

Meet Katie Berry, a chemical and process engineer from AECOM's Energy Transition team in the UK.

Katie joined AECOM as a graduate engineer based in the company's Glasgow office, and now works in AECOM's Bristol office.

Katie's work mostly focuses on carbon capture on power generation and Power-to-X projects, such as solar photovoltaic projects with green hydrogen production.

Learn more about Katie's inspirations and role with AECOM.

An innovative approach to the energy transition

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The aspect of the energy industry that appealed to Katie the most was the level of innovation involved in the energy transition to address the climate crisis.

"I enjoy learning new things and, in this industry, there are infinite opportunities to learn. Additionally, due to the nature of our work, many of our projects will be first-of-their-kind. I feel empowered to play a part in shifting the world’s energy system in a new direction and contributing to tackling the climate crisis firsthand," explains Katie.

AECOM sustainability

Working with first-of-its-kind technology

One of Katie's favorite AECOM projects was the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study completed in collaboration with AECOM's U.S. process engineering team for Avnos Inc. for a hybrid direct air capture (HDAC) system - a type of carbon capture technology. Avnos recently started up a pilot unit in Bakersfield, California, removing up to 30 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. Katie describes it as "first-of-its-kind technology", and describes AECOM’s role: to design a larger demonstration unit building based on the lessons learned from the pilot plant.

"One of the learnings from the pilot plant was the importance of keeping the design of the absorber bed simple and not overcomplicate its operation. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to work on this project that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, making it a negative emissions technology. Most of our carbon capture work to date has been on a point source of emissions rather than drawing directly from the atmosphere, so these would be classed as carbon mitigation technologies rather than removal," explains Katie.

Working to positively impact communities 

AECOM community impact

When asked about how her work positively impacts the community, Katie says: "I recently used my AECOM social value hours to carry out a project in Peru with WindAid. Every employee at AECOM is allocated 2 days (16 hours) per year to use on a social value project of their choice. I worked with a team of other volunteers and interns to construct a 500-watt wind turbine for a local family. Many communities in Peru live in rural areas, where 37 percent of households do not have access to electricity. This limits their communication with other households and communities and keeps them from carrying out tasks such as completing homework after daylight hours.

"Our installation of the wind turbine provided this family (including two young children) with light and an electricity supply to charge their phones. In addition to providing renewable electricity, WindAid engaged with the local university on projects and provided internships to students from the university," describes Katie.

AECOM engineer

Sharing valuable career advice 

AECOM careers

Finally, Katie shares a useful piece of career advice: "Always make decisions for yourself and try not to be too easily influenced by others. Don’t worry if it takes time to work out what exactly it is you want to do with your career and life - it’s better to take your time rather than rush into something which is inevitably unfulfilling. I think it’s easy to get pulled in certain directions because of the expectations of other people around you, or because it seems like the quickest route to being ‘successful’. But ultimately, it’s your career and your life, and it is not a competition or a race."

Forge a successful career with AECOM

Working within a global community of technical experts and professionals, AECOM creates relationships that support a career path that fits both personal and professional goals.

Inspired by Katie's work at AECOM?

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