Seeing CWEEL: Lauren Rueda

Lauren has numerous professional accomplishments, including speaking at national conferences like AEE World, volunteer work with the SLO Climate Coalition to advocate for a city-wide commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035 and support our region in joining a CCA, and completing a Masters at UCLA where her capstone focused on photovoltaic modeling and net-meter interval data disaggregation. As shown above, she works in not only one, but two industries- Engineering and Education. We asked Lauren to tell us more about her professional path. See what she had to say below:

“I have had a very varied career so far in the energy industry! I worked briefly in the LED sector at the start of my career, testing and designing LED circuits and arrays as a Product Engineer at Environmental Lights. After that, I leaped to focus on building energy efficiency and HVAC, an area that I have continued in ever since. I spent six years as an Energy Engineer/Senior Energy Engineer at EcoVox (now part of SitelogIQ), a start-up that focused on continuous commissioning and full energy information system integration, with my largest client throughout that time being the California State University system and their individual campuses. I enjoyed working with all members of client teams to make their buildings more efficient and comfortable, and to present energy and GHG emission data in ways that supported decision making processes and tracked client sustainability goals.

After EcoVox, I transitioned from a very small company to a very large one, working at JLL as the energy management lead for the West region of IBM sites, including campuses from California to Texas. In this role I enjoyed working with such a large client where impacts on energy consumption and purchasing decisions could be significant. I worked on retrocommissioning projects for two large sites, led the effort for continuous commissioning at JLL for IBM using the IBM Smarter Buildings system, and identified opportunities for IBM to purchase cleaner electricity from utilities across the country, among other projects in this role. 

Throughout all this time, I had been interested in teaching as a career path within engineering. In January 2022, I finally decided to make the leap and began lecturing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I have enjoyed working with students and integrating energy efficiency and sustainability topics and real-world examples into the coursework that I teach. I also began working part-time as a Senior Commissioning Engineer at Guttmann & Blaevoet, a company that I admire greatly for its focus on sustainability, net-zero and all-electric buildings, and its leadership in the industry. I greatly enjoy being able to stay involved in the sustainability and energy industry through my work there while also teaching the next generation of engineers at Cal Poly.”

More About Lauren In Her Own Words

Do you have any professional role models?
I have learned so much from everyone that I have worked with throughout my career, and look up to so many of my colleagues! One person I especially admire is my mentor from my undergraduate studies at UCSD, Jan Kleissl, who I have kept in touch with and continued to learn from in the years since. He has done amazing research in solar forecasting, microgrid planning, and other related areas. 

What is the best advice you received as a woman in energy?
Learn from everyone around you - seek advice from people who have more experience in the field and learn from them - continually seek new opportunities and challenges. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Fun Facts? Strange Talents?
My wife and I just finished hiking the Alta Via 1 route through the Dolomites - 11 unforgettable days in the mountains!