Meet our Co-Op Student Database Developer, Yunqing Fei

To me, transformation means a shift of consciousness of sustainability.

Yunqing Fei, 4th year developer

During this Spring’s co-operative work term, we warmly welcomed Yunqing Fei (she/her) to our team as a Database Developer to start building out our case study database of sustainable transformation in SMEs around the world.  Yunqing is a final-year undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, studying data science.  She has gained much experience exploring and building databases through course work and past co-ops, and we are thrilled to have her expertise on our team!  

After starting university in 2016, Yunqing met some friends from the Faculty of Environment who sparked her interest in environment and sustainability studies.  She learned how to take small actions, like reducing disposables like plastic bags and cotton pads, from her daily life, and started to learn about organic options for regular household items like detergent. Below is a brief Q&A with Yunqing on her interest in sustainability and data science, what transformation means to her, and what her future career goals are:

Yunqing, how did you come to be interested in data science, and then in sustainability?  Have you worked with these two areas together before?

In high school I chose statistics and liked it as it had many real-life applications. Entering university, I took more statistics courses to learn how to draw conclusions about the object of study from data, and computer science courses to facilitate processing large data sets. I was amazed to find that this subject is widely used in many domains, such as business, medicine, etc. This is the first time I saw a position combining data science and sustainability. I think it’s very innovative and I’m very excited to see how these two areas blend.

What does transformation mean to you, when it comes to sustainability?

To me, transformation means a shift of consciousness of sustainability. Ikea is an example of business that I can think of that deliberately incorporates sustainability into their business. I noticed this when I saw the solar panels on their stores and their minimal packaging. They also claim that the wood and cotton they use are from sustainable farmers that meet a certain standard. I think, as a consumer, I can learn from Ikea by making more purchase from sustainable business, increasing the demand of eco-friendly products and encouraging more business to be sustainable.

How do you imagine data science and sustainability working together to create transformational change in sustainability?

I think building a database for case studies is a great start. As more cases are collected, we could do some data analytics to find out which practices work most effectively.

You can connect with Yunqing on her LinkedIn page, here.

Welcome to our team, Yunqing! We are so happy to have you on board!


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