Inspiring Stories

Payman Alemi

2015 UC Davis Solar Decathlon Participant

Participating in the UC Davis Solar Decathlon changed my life—both personally and professionally. As a master’s student in environmental engineering, I joined the UC Davis 2015 Solar Decathlon team. Working on this project, I gained an incredible array of technical and construction skills—everything from reading and drawing construction plans and performing engineering calculations to framing a house and installing insulation. I also learned incredible life lessons—never had I worked under greater pressure and with more rigid deadlines—and developed life-long friendships with fellow students and with mentors.

My Solar Decathlon experiences had a huge impact on me—and they helped me get my last TWO jobs after graduation! During my interviews, I referenced specific examples of my experiences with the Solar Decathlon. In fact, one of the panel members explicitly told me that the way I referenced these experiences is what got me the job. I feel passionately about the Solar Decathlon and hope that other students get to experience what I did.