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Legal Director, California Energy Project, Energy & Transportation Program Bachelor of Arts Degree and Juris Doctor Degree, Stanford University Sierra Martinez says, “The unchecked experiment with our earth's atmosphere we call climate change drew me into the energy field,” and that it is a challenge he, his generation, and subsequent

ones must solve. Martinez is one of 20 energy specialists in the NRDC’s San Francisco office. The NRDC says it is “the nation's most effective environmental action group,” with more than 2 million members. Martinez has three key NRDC responsibilities. He leads its integrated resource planning effort, which assesses the viability of possible energy resources, whether located in customers’ homes, like energy efficiency, or located on the electric grid run by California’s investor-owned utilities. He directs efforts to ensure that city-owned utilities adapt to the state’s clean energy transformation initiative. He advocates that decision-makers rely on cost-effective energy efficiency as the top energy resource. Martinez, whose hero is Cesar Chavez and whose grandfather and father worked in agricultural fields, has advice for energy students. They should study public policy as energy is heavily regulated and visit the energy blogs of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s “Today in Energy” site and the NRDC’s Switchboard site.


Power System Engineer Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Degree, California State University – Fresno

During high school and college, Chris Llamas worked in his family’s business, which built gas service stations in California’s Imperial Valley. In college, Llamas became

interested in power generation, transmission, renewable energy, and distributed generation. His employer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities, serving about 15 million people in California. As part of PG&E’s Electric Transmission Operations group, he assists with the reliable delivery of electric service in three ways. The unit provides engineering and technical support for PG&E’s 24/7/365 electric Grid Control Center. He helps ensure that the transmission grid runs reliably when a segment is out of service and provides expertise and advice regarding capacity and reliability projects to other departments. Llamas says that his area must also balance renewable energy’s variable nature. “When the sun goes down, we need to replace hundreds of

46 HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | Fall 2015

megawatts of lost solar power,” he says. During his student years, Llamas was a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society. He recommends that energy-oriented students read Transmission & Distribution World magazine. As the father of young children, Llamas is currently reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Goodnight Moon.


Managing Principal | California Operations

Bachelor of Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering, San Jose State University.

In 1979 John Salas joined what later became Salas O’Brien Engineers as a summer intern, and he never left. His interest in energy began earlier as one of five brothers whose father taught them water and energy conservation from childhood. Salas O'Brien, which has 12 offices, surveys, tests, or designs power central plant systems, energy efficiency projects, and advanced and alternative energy schemes for commercial, industrial, and institutional clients. Salas says that 25 percent of the company’s business is in infrastructure, 25 percent in energy and sustainability projects, and 50 percent in other energy-related projects. Salas O’Brien, he says, was one of the first companies to advocate placing deign fuel cells and photovoltaic apparatus equipment into the infrastructure on college campuses. His leadership style is to gradually empower employees that gives them great satisfaction in their accomplishments. The company gives back through its own internship program and working with the ACE Mentor Program that connects high school students with architecture, construction, and engineering mentors. For Salas, the next generation of STEM participation is in place. His three sons are studying or working, respectively, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and microbiology.

SIEMENS USA Andres Monsalve

Project Engineer

B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering, University of Central Florida M.BA. Degree, Rollins College

Andres Monsalve was a sound technician in Bogota, Colombia, before he became interested in energy. Monsalve assists, as part of a 50-member team, in supervising all engineering activities and project deliverables at Siemens Power Generation-Energy Systems, as the unit provides three types of power plants. He says a defining career moment was working in technical, site management, and commercial areas during the purchase, planning, project and site management and execution of the largest wind project in Chile, which provides energy to power the equivalent of 200,000 households. “Our goal is to provide energy solutions that optimize resources and solve local challenges,” he says. Monsalve says he motivates his team by ensuring that all feel their input is critical to success by investing in them as

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