Meet the yet2 Team – Alex Roberts
This is one in a series of blog posts where we highlight members of the global yet2 team. We recently spoke with Alex Roberts, an associate project leader, based out of yet2’s Liverpool office.
Q: What technologies or topics excite you the most right now?
I’m interested in the “small topic” of climate change and sustainability. It is something that can be improved upon across all industries. It’s always a privilege to work on projects where you have the opportunity to introduce extremely creative and intelligent solutions to companies and organizations that can affect real change in the future of this planet.
A couple of recent examples of this include helping to scout technology for automated underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) for maintaining offshore windfarms; scouting technologies to improve aquaculture in an effort to prevent over-fishing; looking for solutions that are sustainable and low-impact that treat and reuse wastewater produced by the mining process; and sourcing new approaches for sustainable packaging technologies.
I’m very excited about the changes in battery chemistry – moving into the “ion age,” where storing energy is a huge part of the fight to mitigate climate change. New anode materials that are faster to charge (taking a mere 10 minutes to charge a car), but also using lower cost starting materials that are safer to dispose of. Other examples of recent breakthroughs in research are the first fully rechargeable carbon dioxide battery that not only solves the problem of clean energy, but also sequesters the CO2 into a stable carbonate material. Lastly, there’s an antenna that converts WiFi signals into electricity to power small wearable or medical electronic devices. How cool is that?
Q: What type of client engagements do you enjoy the most?
There are two ways to answer that question. First, I get energized from in-person meetings. They are invaluable and enable us to get to know the client on a more personal basis.
From a business challenge perspective, I like helping a client who is faced with the internal struggle of getting people inside their organization excited and on board with Open Innovation. Some of the ways we do that is to showcase technologies and conduct demos. We have to open their eyes to the possibilities.
Q: What are you watching these days?
The Great Hack on Netflix is an extremely eye-opening documentary showing the power of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning. It explains how AI has already penetrated the every-day lives of people whilst also having a major impact on the world we live in – without the majority of people even being aware of what was going on!
The Free Solo documentary is also a great watch. It’s a great example of what humans can achieve with hard work and sheer determination – even under extreme pressures.
Q: What do you do when you are not working?
First – I’d like to give a shout out to my family for their continued support and helping me get into the position I am in today. When I’m not working, I like to stay active. I play a lot of cricket throughout the summer months. I go to the gym and I dabble a bit in football throughout the winter. Oh, and I am partial to a few gin and tonics!