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Engineering a greener tomorrow: Engineering + climate careers

Harnessing nature’s power and supercharging sustainability… engineers are saving the day in a range of new climate careers

As one of the biggest global issues we’ve ever faced, climate change is a hot topic (pun intended). Luckily for us, engineers in Australia and around the world are stepping up to the plate, using their skills and creativity to come up with innovative solutions and technologies to combat the climate emergency and help save our planet. 

Whether it’s harnessing the wind or tapping into the abundant power of the sun to generate clean and renewable energy, revolutionising the world of transportation with electric vehicles (EVs) or designing sustainable cities that prioritise energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint, there are many ways engineers can embrace climate careers to help build a better tomorrow. 

Shaping a more sustainable world involves innovation and skill. Environmental engineers today and in the future will use STEM skills and modern technologies including AI, automation and alternative energy sources (such as solar, geothermal, hydro, wind and biomass energy) to slow down and reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere. This is super important work that comes with a huge range of cool opportunities for engineers to work both in government and the private sector. 

Engineers have been responsible for some of the greatest developments in society and have designed solutions to address some of our planet’s most challenging problems. Now is a crucial time – their role in making positive change has never been more important!

FACT: Today, 36% of Australia’s electricity generation comes from renewable energy, a figure that has more than doubled since 2017.

Solar energy superstars

Large-scale solar systems are on the rise, contributing to Australia’s renewable and total electricity generation and providing great climate career opportunities for engineers. One such system is the Darlington Point Solar Farm in the Riverina region of NSW. Containing nearly 1 million solar panels and providing green energy to over 110,000 homes, it’s one of the largest solar farms in the country!

Sustainable city champions

Engineers are designing sustainable cities that prioritise energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprints, and one stellar example can be found right here in Australia. Our biggest city, Melbourne, has become a leading city on climate action by introducing a range of sustainable engineering initiatives including green building designs, efficient public transport systems, green spaces and smart urban planning. The city has also made a commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2040!

Driving change

Electric vehicles (EVs) are taking the streets by storm, with zero tailpipe emissions and a reduced dependence on fossil fuels. In Australia, engineers are playing a key role in building charging infrastructure networks, making it easier for EV owners to charge up and go the distance. Chargefox, an Aussie company, is building an ultra-rapid charging network across the country, allowing EV owners to recharge their vehicles in a flash.

Start your career here

Engineering + Climate + Study

Engineering + Climate + Jobs

*Source salaries according to

This article first appeared in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2023.


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