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Biologists find problems, engineers solve them

By Paula Terne, July 09 2014

The desire to go to the fancy school in the town and to solve problems rather than finding them caught me into environmental issues already from high-school in the late 70s. And I’m still there.


The school

The year was 1979. I was 16 years old and about to choose my direction in High School. By choosing environmental specialization as a focus in the science program I could get away from the suburbs and into the city center of Gothenburg. Environmental issues then, in the late '70s, dealt largely with the eutrophication and acidification. Nothing fancy at all. But it became a chance for me to fulfill a wish.

"Biologists find problems, engineers solve them"

Three years later my interests in environmental issues had grown and I wanted to continue to study in the University. I was advised by an officer of the County Administrative Board to become a civil engineer, "Biologists find problems, engineers solve them". A sentence that has followed me in over 30 years.

And that’s the way it was!

That choice of awareness where I randomly found a focus area in high school in order to enter the 'nice' school in Gothenburg has set the agenda for my entire career.

My career

I started to work as an environmental consultant in the late 80s, initially focusing on municipal wastewater treatment plants, which had received new requirements regarding emissions of nitrogen, and stricter requirements for phosphorus. During the 90's my focus changed to industrial environmental issues. The tasks were more or less to clean the emissions caused by the production. These two areas was not connected, the waste had to be taken care of by another department. To optimize the production in order to minimize the emissions in the first place came on later. In the same time as quality- and environmental management systems frequently were implemented into Swedish companies.

I took the leap from being a consultant to become a quality and environmental manager at a private company in the early 2000s. Environmental work has followed me throughout my career, even though it has expanded and evolved over the years. There has also been a lot of leadership, business knowledge, strategic planning, human resources, communication and working environment. Since end of 2011, I am Sustainability Manager at Lindab AB.

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Topics: Sustainability

Paula Terne

Paula Terne is the Sustainability Manager at Lindab Group. She has devoted her career to environmental issues, both as a consultant and from different positions in private companies.

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The Lindab blog aims to give you an inside track to our company. We would like to share our knowledge from over 50 years of production for the construction and ventilation businesses.