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Solar Decathlon Skills Win Alum A Career With Team Sponsor

1Sun4All.

As individuals, we are responsible for 100% of the energy we use in our daily lives. Did it ever occur to you that, as individuals collectively responsible for half of the world’s energy, you have a lot of power?

This quote is from Richard King, the founder and director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, in our last article about Solar Decathlon. If you missed his TedxTalk—Energy to Live By—you can watch it here. Irene Ying brings us another article from Solar Decathlon about the varied career
opportunities that are available to the students who participate in the Solar Decathlon. Enjoy!

David Lee works in business development at Lowe’s. He researches new opportunities and new business models that can help the company expand or reach new markets. And he landed this job, he says, thanks to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Lee was the communications manager of the Appalachian State University Solar Decathlon 2011 team, whose Solar Homestead won the People’s Choice Award. Participating in the Solar Decathlon, he says, provided him with invaluable experience and tools that resonate in the business world.

2011 Solar Decathlon

David Lee accepts the Solar Decathlon 2011 People’s Choice Award on behalf of Appalachian State University. He says the Solar Decathlon was one of the most powerful experiences of his life. | Credit: Stefano Paltera|U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

The process of developing a shared vision and the organizational abilities to carry out that vision are skills I developed through the Solar Decathlon that I put to use constantly in my work. Additionally, during the competition, it was critical to be able to take the most complex technical specifications of home materials, systems, and technology and communicate those ideas succinctly in a way that anyone could understand. –David Lee.

During the time Lee worked on the Solar Decathlon, he developed strong ties with team sponsors. Lowe’s was the team’s top sponsor and a sustaining sponsor of Solar Decathlon 2011. After that Solar Decathlon, Lee joined Lowe’s staff.

The two and a half years I spent on the Appalachian State Solar Decathlon team formed the framework of some of the most influential experiences of my adult life. It gave me opportunities to develop a diverse array of skills, reinforced the value of hard work, facilitated deep personal and professional connections, and it directly led into a rewarding career. –David Lee.

The influence of the Solar Decathlon reaches far beyond offering real-world learning experience to decathletes, Lee says.

solar decathlon 2 11 11 14 David LeeThe Solar Decathlon has an impact on every single person who has the chance to see a competition house. These houses show that, without a doubt, living more efficiently and independently, with a smaller environmental impact, in a net-zero-energy home is not something that requires a sacrifice of comfort or is a futuristic pipe dream. Personal energy independence through affordable efficiency and solar power is a reality that is here today. Sharing that awareness with visitors to the Solar Decathlon is the biggest value that can be delivered. –David Lee.

David Lee, a Solar Decathlon 2011 alumnus from Appalachian State University, visited Solar Decathlon 2013 in Irvine, California. He says the Solar Decathlon gave him invaluable experience and skills that directly led to a rewarding career. | Credit: Carol Laurie|U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

If you’re thinking of attending; the Solar Decathlon 2015 will be held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, October 8 through 18.

Source: 1Sun4All. Reproduced with permission.


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Written By

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website, 1Sun4All.com.

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