Position in Solar Para Niños: Solar Consultant
Graduate program: Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) at UW-Madison, expected graduation date of Spring 2019
Why SSE? Ian wanted to turn his undergraduate education into a “renewable energy expert degree,” but needed more education in system design and sustainability to do so. When he saw a flyer for SSE in his undergrad advisor’s office one day, he thought, “This sounds like exactly what I want to do with my life.” Upon researching the program, Ian found that it is one of the very few programs in the U.S. that is specifically focused on sustainable energy design.
Working + studying: Ian works full-time while enrolled in the SSE program. This has allowed him to continue his professional career instead of being “held back” from entering the workforce by graduate school. He currently works at Full Spectrum Solar, a small solar contractor in Madison, as a Residential Project Manager. At this job, Ian installs solar panel systems at residential and commercial sites.
Ultimate career goals: Ian wants to design renewable energy systems and someday own a net-zero home firm.
Lessons learned: Ian says he is learning skills in SSE that he is currently applying to his job at Full Spectrum Solar. He believes that by the time he is done with the program, he will have most of the tools and knowledge to start his own firm.
Something that people should know about renewable energy: “Everybody knows that solar is a renewable energy resource, but what a lot of people don’t know is most of the solar panel can be recycled in some way. As legislation starts to change, it’s going to be pretty mainstream to recycle them,” Ian said.