Lets Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

Let's Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

Mayfield Renewables Invests in New Talent from the Oregon Institute of Technology

Many employers struggle to find qualified workers in today’s tight job market. Employing both current students and past graduates from the Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), Oregon-based Mayfield Renewables has created a win-win scenario. It offers the next generation of engineers an opportunity to work directly with solar-plus-storage industry professionals with decades of experience while adding much-needed young talent to its growing team. This cooperation balances Mayfield’s seasoned solar-plus-storage engineers, designers, professional trainers, and technical content experts with sharp and driven engineers fresh out of college and eager to get their careers in clean energy rolling.

Why is Oregon Tech such a good source of talent for Mayfield Renewables? Oregon Tech was the first university in North America to offer a bachelor’s degree in renewable energy engineering. Thanks to a low student-to-faculty ratio, the polytechnic university is known for providing a hands-on, project-based learning environment with small class sizes. On the east side of the Cascade range in sunny Klamath Falls, Oregon, the main campus boasts a 2 MW solar array that inspires students while supplying renewable power to the campus. The Klamath Falls campus of Oregon Tech is also home to the Oregon Renewable Energy Center. Oregon Tech developed this applied research center to enhance the development and promote the availability of renewable energy and energy systems engineering.

Why is Mayfield Renewables a good fit for Oregon Tech renewable energy students? Mayfield Renewables’ remote work environment and flexible scheduling make it possible for current students to work in the industry while completing their education. The ability to gain industry experience while still in school gives these students a professional advantage over their peers. Working at Mayfield Renewables has its benefits for recent graduates as well. Being immersed in a growing company made up of technical experts who work on projects of all scopes and capacities presents the chance to receive mentorship and gain a deeper understanding of the industry. Moreover, Mayfield Renewables’ extensive and diverse client network—from regional contractors to global manufacturers and emerging startups—this new talent gets a daily deep dive into the inner workings of the US solar-plus-storage industry.

Jack Zoucha, Lucas Miller, Natalie Gardner, and Jennifer Berdyugin are all current or former Mayfield Renewables employees who previously or are currently enrolled at Oregon Tech. They all bring different backgrounds, ranging from Jack’s NASA space grant to Lucas’s experience as a marketing manager for a PV contractor. However, they now have several things in common: they all found a passion for renewable energy, chose to study renewable energy engineering at Oregon Tech, and joined the team at Mayfield Renewables. They are eager to work on commercial-scale solar-plus-storage system design, strengthen their business skills, and actively participate in the growth of the US solar and energy storage market.

Mayfield Renewables’ Jack Zoucha attends the Portland Metro campus of Oregon Tech.

These four employees recently shared their perspectives on studying at Oregon Tech and, in turn, joining the Mayfield Renewables team. They are happy to work alongside peers who share their passion for a future powered by renewable energy. As Jack Zoucha expresses,

“Being able to surround myself with people that truly believe in the green revolution as much as I do has been one of my best experiences at Oregon Tech. As I transition into the renewable energy industry with Mayfield Renewables, I continue to be surrounded by people dedicated to advancing clean energy.”

Mayfield’s Oregon Tech students and alumni are also getting immediate feedback on how well their education at Oregon Tech has prepared them for the solar workforce. Lucas Miller shares,

“Depending on what courses I’m taking that given term, I’ll often encounter terms and concepts I just learned in school while at work. It helps reinforce what I’m learning and counters the ‘am I ever actually going to use this?’ bias.”

Natalie Gardner states,

“Although Oregon Tech is very hands-on and project-based, working at Mayfield Renewables helped me connect theories we learn in school with real-world applications.”

While the new Mayfield Renewables team members are at the beginning of their journeys in clean energy, they have an impressive start to their new careers. Jennifer Berdyugin adds,

“Every hour I work with Mayfield, I expand my knowledge of the solar-plus-storage industry. I’ve worked on small-scale off-grid solar projects in the past. It’s exciting to have an opportunity to learn about commercial and industrial-scale projects from system design, installation, and O&M to technical product marketing and professional training.”

Author Jennifer Berdyugin

She earned her BS degree in renewable energy engineering with honors at Oregon Tech’s 69th annual commencement ceremony in 2017.

There’s a bright future ahead for young engineers interested in renewable energy. Oregon Tech supports the industry’s growth by providing a unique academic foundation. The torch is passed to Mayfield Renewables, where the senior staff and technical experts will build on that foundation, mentoring the next generation of solar and energy storage professionals and building the industry’s future.

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