Dr. Walz completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, while conducting electrochemical research on lithium-ion batteries with Argonne National Laboratory and Rayovac. His studies also included research with the University of Rochester Center for Photo-Induced Charge Transfer. Since 2003, Dr. Walz has taught science and engineering at Madison Area Technical College, where he serves as the director of the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE). Dr. Walz is an instructor with the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program, and is an alumnus of the Department of Energy Academies Creating Teacher Scientists Program. He has worked at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducting research in renewable fuels and electrochemical materials. He has been recognized as Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and as the Energy Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education.
Joel Shoemaker is a Wisconsin state-certified Master Electrician with over 20 years of experience with solar photovoltaic systems, and currently serves as a Co-Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE). He has been teaching at Madison Area Technical College for the past 14 years. In 2011, the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards and the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council recognized Shoemaker as a Centennial Educator. He has taught solar photovoltaic trainer programs offered by CREATE and Solar Energy International and led the inception of Madison College's STEM Educator Solar Institute for high school and community college teachers. Shoemaker is spearheading the design and construction of a model energy storage lab facility at Madison College that will be integrated into the existing solar energy installation lab and used for teaching about the interaction of these complimentary technologies.
Steven is an active citizen in Madison, WI who is persuing various skills related to photovoltaic energy, UAV operation, and public policy. He was a member of the Madison College Student Senate from 2017 to 2019, and Student Senate President from May 2018 to May 2019. During this time, he contributed to Madison Colleges Solar Roadmap, and authored a 10-step guide to help other schools replicate this process.
Adam Gusse is the Vice President of Operations at Sunvest Solar. He has managed and designed over 750 solar electric, solar hot water, and wind projects in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest since entering the renewable energy industry in 2008. His skills help commercial, residential, utility, and consulting customers from project conception to a fully functional renewable energy system. Project design, utility coordination, permitting, material management, manpower scheduling, and close out training on systems from 100 kW to MW’s are his main responsibilities. Previous solar development experience with MG&E, Alliant Energy, WPPI Energy, and WE Energies owned systems have provided Adam with a solid reputation from many of the utility engineers throughout the Midwest.
Nick Hylla is the Executive Director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association where he works in partnership with organizations throughout the Midwest to advance solar energy education and market development initiatives. Nick holds an MS degree in natural resource management, has more than 10 years of experience in non-profit leadership, and has served as the Principal Investigator on six US Dept. of Energy assistance agreements to support solar workforce development and reduce the ‘soft costs’ of solar energy development.
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