Shane Gerkin is a project engineer with Glumac, A Tetra Tech Company, based in Irvine, California. As part of Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group, he specializes in sustainable design projects for state and local municipalities, and commercial clients. Shane has a degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. We talked with Shane as part of our #TtInspires campaign celebrating the passion of Tetra Tech employees. Follow #TtInspires on social media for more stories.

What inspired you to go into your field of study?

My family was involved in the construction and manufacturing industry, so from a young age I’ve had a lot of interest in and exposure to how things work. I also took a robotics, engineering, and advanced physics course in high school. The natural progression of those things led me to mechanical engineering.

What are some of the inspirational projects you have worked on at Tetra Tech?

I’m proud to have worked on several inspirational projects—from a Net Zero Sustainability Center for a Cal State University to a central plant replacement project for the City of Thousand Oaks, California, that will reduce electricity usage by 50 percent. I also worked on a greywater reuse project for a company in Burbank, California, that will reduce potable water consumption by 5 million gallons a year. Each of these projects involved green engineering skills and the client's desire to save money and reduce impacts on the environment.

What do you do outside of work that makes a difference for the environment?

I carry my passion for the environment from work to my personal life by getting involved in the community, such as being on the board of directors for the U.S. Green Building Council. I also reduce my carbon footprint by biking to work and cutting back on red meat.

Are we making progress in creating a better world for ourselves?

We have made progress at pushing the envelope of how buildings perform and can positively affect occupants. This is at the root of what we do. To meet the goals of SB 2030 and to keep global warming due to GHG below 1.5C, we must continuously educate ourselves and push for innovative solutions. The collaborative nature of Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group and expansive range of expertise we have uniquely positions us to tackle these challenges.