Jul 22, 2020
Meet Agritecture's Team Of Consultants: Introducing Alberto López
Get to know the amazing team at Agritecture! This Q+A features Alberto López, Systems Engineer at Agritecture Consulting!
How did you first get involved with Agritecture?
Next July 1st, It will be one year since I started working full time with Agritecture; however, I got to be part of a project with AGR a year and a half ago. For that initial project, I was working for a vertical farm at the moment, when AGR requested some assistance in some container farm HVAC analysis. I am currently based in Amsterdam.
As the systems engineer, how has your position evolved?
Since my MSc., I discovered that the main role of a systems engineer is to assess the efficiency of a system (inputs/outputs relations) and develop a consistent interaction between all its parts. Generally, I do this for agricultural projects, however, working at AGR also involves stepping into diverse systems that include time management, colleagues, clients, and company strategy among others, so the level of accountability broadens.
What prior experience did you bring with you to Agritecture?
I started as a researcher for the University of Costa Rica in the topic of Greenhouse design and climate analysis. Later I completed an MSc program in Biosystems Engineering, where my thesis focused on the study of key aspects in humidity control in greenhouses. The MSc. allowed me to intern in the German Space Center on a vertical farm design project.
Right before starting at Agritecture, I worked for 3 years in a vertical farm where my initial responsibilities were system design and data systems management, and later I became the operations manager.
What is one of your favorite projects? Why?
It was a container farm design that we finished about a year and a half ago. Six months after that, we contacted the client to see how they were doing. They sent some pictures of the completed project and said they were pretty happy with the results! It's really fulfilling to see a project go from planning to execution in a short period of time with our help.
What part of controlled environment agriculture excites you the most?
I really like that due to the control of inputs and outputs, integration with other systems becomes easier. This allows the possibility of closed-loop systems, which I think are the solution to some of the problems in the current agricultural system.
Where do you hope to see the industry in 5 years?
I want to see a standardized industry that will create diverse solutions for sustainable production. I hope that in 5 years the general public starts seeing CEA technologies not as a novelty but as tools for efficient agriculture.