A Passion for Sustainable Living

By Francisco Alberdi

A Passion for Sustainable Living

By Francisco Alberdi
College of Engineering graduate Alec Jimenez draws on his passions and education to begin his career.

Alec JimenezAlec Jimenez graduates this month with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Miami, with cognates in Global Sustainability and Architectural Design. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Jimenez became actively involved while attending UM. He joined the swim team, Frost’s Maelstrom Choir and Student Government, in addition to representing the College of Engineering as an Engineering Student Ambassador and President’s 100 Ambassador during his undergraduate experience.

As an architectural engineering student, Jimenez also has held numerous leadership positions. Since 2015, Jimenez has been a student representative at the Toppel Career Center Advisory Board, where he has engaged with stakeholders to work on the career center’s vision for the future, as well as led panels to provide insight on website developments and future recruitment.

Jimenez is a co-founder of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Out in STEM) – a professional society dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals within the STEM fields.

“Out in STEM was founded as the second LGBTQ undergraduate organization at UM to foster confidence and cultivate professionalism among undergraduates,” Jimenez said. As treasurer, he managed the chapter’s bi-annual budget and directed trips to the organization’s national conferences.

Following his passion for the environment, Jimenez also served as the Energy and Conservation Organization (ECO) chair on the Student Government Executive Board. By implementing sustainable initiatives and collaborating with the administration, Jimenez has helped lead UM’s sustainable agenda through the student government.

As ECO chair, Jimenez oversaw a committee of 12 students. During the last two years, he has spearheaded the installation of an 80-kilowatt solar panel system on campus, to be installed on the School of Architecture’s new Murphy Design Studio, which opens in Fall 2018. He also has hosted several events on campus including Earth Day, America Recycles Day and World Water Day.

“With these green initiatives,” explained Jimenez, “UM is constantly improving its energy savings and its related environmental impact, as well as educating students and faculty on sustainable initiatives to build a better tomorrow.”

Jimenez is currently working as a project manager for Arkup LLC, a Miami-based company that pioneers fully solar powered and self-elevating livable yachts. His responsibilities include creating and executing detailed project plans and schedules for the livable yacht, as well as working with the team to provide unique solutions for the start-up company.

“The ‘livable yacht’ is a vessel that offers a unique lifestyle, in connection with both nature and metropolis, as well as addressing a future of flooding and rising sea-levels,” said Jimenez. “The company is also working with marinas to develop a next generation floating community for these livable yachts.”

After graduating, Jimenez will continue working with Arkup LLC to complete the construction of their first livable-yacht to bring this state-of-the-art vessel to the market.

“I want to pursue a future where I can incorporate the creative aspects of my life into the field of sustainable design,” Jimenez said. “The University of Miami has given me the tools to follow my interests and build a career out of my passions.”