Brad Burkhartzmeyer wins the IREC 2017 Certified Clean Energy Trainer of the Year Award
Co-founder of Remote Energy, Brad Burkhartzmeyer, is known as a rock star of teaching and is remembered by students and colleagues for his funny wit that keeps students laughing and completely engaged. Anyone that has tried teaching technical PV design, standards, and installation practices knows that it takes a multi-faceted teacher to be both an expert in the technical material AND to keep students awake, learning, and engaged. Brad is a master at both. His unique background has not only set him up to excel as a renewable energy trainer, it also shows his path in teaching to an international audience.
Brad studied in university to be a math teacher and his first teaching job was in Cuernavaca, Mexico teaching pre-calculus at an all-girls school in Spanish. He also acted as the Mexico’s program director for the Center of Global education. His second teaching job was in inner city Detroit teaching math and history at a high school and then he shifted to working as a community organizer for several years. After moving to Seattle, he changed fields to become an electrician with the intent to move into the solar industry - where he has now been running Sun’s Eye Solar Power in Tacoma for 14 years.
The first international solar job Brad did was in 2007, traveling to Rwanda for 3 weeks to manage 11 local technicians installing systems on 4 hospitals. From there he installed several PV systems for the Rotary club in Ghana and India.
Brad states, “It was clear from my travels that renewable energy needed to spread really fast around the world, and the best way to increase this rate was to train more people. Teaching PV classes is a way that I can work on alleviating poverty and shift the way we get our world gets our energy.”
Brad’s favorite method of teaching is to do hands-on work with a white board on hand so that there can be a break to go over concepts that are difficult. He calls it the ‘tool belt and chalk board’ approach to training.
Brad continues to teach classes to technicians and end-users, and hopes to work with more this upcoming year with technical colleges and training centers to help them develop their own local solar programs.