SEI Professional Services is excited to welcome Justine Sanchez to our team! Justine brings decades of experience to our team and we had a chance to catch up with her and sit down for an interview to hear about her new role with SEIPS.
SEIPS: Welcome to the SEIPS Team Justine. We are so happy to have you and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.
Justine: No problem. I am very excited for this opportunity and I have already hit the ground running.
SEIPS: So tell us about how your previous role with the leading technical publication in the solar industry has shaped your knowledge and technical views of what is going on in the solar industry.
Justine: While I have over 25 years in the industry, the last 10 have been spent being the senior PV Technical Editor with Home Power Magazine and teaching various SEI PV courses (namely PV202 online) and doing some contract work with SEIPS (namely design review work). I am super detail-oriented and my decade of technical editing was great training for this new role I am taking on with SEIPS. I spent the last decade writing, reviewing and editing technical articles that were submitted to the magazine by fellow solar professionals. In that role I had to catch any errors or omissions about equipment and design details that weren’t completely accurate (or representative of industry best practices) in text and graphics within those draft articles. That experience really sharpened my attention to detail to be able to apply to system design plan sets that we will be working on through SEIPS.
SEIPS: You have been with SEI’s non-profit educational efforts since 1998. How has that experience shaped you as a solar professional?
Justine: Before I worked for Home Power Magazine, I spent 10 years as a staff member at SEI where I developed curriculum and taught hundreds of hands-on and online classes. Back then with our hands-on classes we performed full installations on various sites across the country, which made us project managers handing everything from organizing the teaching & curriculum side to the system side. This included client sourcing, system design, equipment ordering, permitting, inspections and of course installing systems with a crew of 20+ newbies. Fun times!
SEIPS: We still hear from students you taught way back when and tell us how you helped launch their solar careers. So what was your very first job in the solar industry and how did you get your foot in the door?
Justine: Academically, I got my start at CU-Boulder getting my physics degree (Bachelors) and then doing student work at NOAA. My very first efforts in the solar industry consisted of a few different opportunities that included working with EV Solar down in Chino Valley Arizona as a contracted installer. Before that I worked at NREL in their Solar Resource Division where our group made those solar irradiance maps that give designers their peak sun hour values.
SEIPS: What an awesome solar journey you have had. So what brings you to SEIPS?
Justine: Now that my kids are getting a little older (both in middle school) I have more energy and time to give to the industry and honestly I wanted to be part of the direct work force pushing out gigawatts of solar in order to address climate change head on for our kids. Sounds a little idealistic I know, but that is the truth. Also I’ve been associated with SEI for over 20 years, understanding the character of the organization I already know these are the folks I want to continue working with in our industry. Simply put…I love and trust the folks and soul of SEIPS.
SEIPS: Well we are lucky to have you and can’t wait to see the exciting work we will be able to do with you on our team. Thanks for sitting down to give us a look into your solar professional experiences.
Justine: My pleasure, I’m excited to be on the SEIPS design team!