Category: Meet the Team

Follow our Journey

Meet the Team: Alfonso Contreras

By Valentina Alayon - February 21, 2017

Name: Alfonso Contreras Major: Computer Engineering Level: Junior Q: Why you joined SD? A: When I first heard about the project, I was fascinated with the idea of build      a solar powered home, or be part of it. I know is an international competition and many top universities participate every time. But, I know UNLV can […]

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Meet the Team: Brian Sanchez

By Valentina Alayon - February 16, 2017

Name: Brian C Sanchez Major: Architecture Level: 4th Year Undergraduate Q: Why you joined SD? A: I’ve always been interested in joining solar decathlon ever since I met Nasko a couple years ago when he was on the 2013 team. This was a great opportunity to get exposed to other UNLV students in different disciplines and come […]

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Meet the Team: Isaac Luna

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Isaac Luna Major: Construction Management & Civil Engineering Level: Undergraduate Q: Why you joined SD? A: I first heard of Solar Decathlon when I was in high school, upon hearing that UNLV SD 2013 won first in the US and second in the world. I’ve always been interested in joining the competition, and when I heard that […]

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Meet the Team: Abigail Garcia

By Valentina Alayon - February 5, 2017

Name: Abigail Garcia Major: Architecture Level: 4th Year Undergraduate Q: Why you joined SD? A: I joined the because I wanted to get exposure to multiple disciplines. I saw this as an opportunity to get a more holistic perspective of my own field as well as other fields. All this while designing a home that addresses a social […]

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Meet the Team: Adam Betemedhin

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Adam Betemedhin Major: Electrical Engineering Level: Junior Q: Why you joined SD? A: The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Competition is an opportunity for me to implement everything that I have learned so far through course work and my internship at the Center for Energy Research at UNLV.  It’s rare for any professional, let alone a student […]

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Meet the Team: Jonathan Sorola

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Jonathan Sorola Major: Civil Engineering Level: Senior Q: Why you joined SD? A: It was a great way to experience working with a multidisciplinary team. Q: What part of the team you’re on? A: I am the lead for the water team. Q: What you do? A: Pick out irrigation and wastewater systems and size them according […]

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Meet the Team: Nick Callo

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Nick Callo Major: Architecture Level: Fourth Year Q: Why you joined SD? A: I joined Solar Decathlon to gain valuable experience, which is not always offered through years of education. As an Architecture student, hands-on experience allows me to understand the complexities of my major and offers collaboration with individuals in other fields of study. Q: What […]

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Meet the Team: Nasko Balaktchiev

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Nasko Balaktchiev Major: Architecture Level: Graduate Student Q: Why you joined SD? A: I was part of UNLV’s Solar Decathlon 2013 team as a sophomore, and learned so much that I had to get another team started for 2017. I dove into this knowing exactly how difficult it would be, but I took on the challenge […]

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Meet the Team: Brenda Tena

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Brenda Tena Major: Architecture Level: Graduate Student Q: Why you joined SD? A: I joined Team Las Vegas because I believe in a sustainable future for architecture and design. Q: What part of the team you’re on? A: Interior Architecture + Design, Marketing Q: What you do? A: Design the interior architecture of the home, space plan, select materials […]

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Meet the Team: Kevin Duong-Tran

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Kevin Duong-Tran Major: Computer Science Level: Senior Q: Why you joined SD? A: A chance to work with people outside of my field. This project is a  chance experience something new in order to learn for ourselves and grow together. In the end this rare opportunity. Q: What part of the team you’re on? A: […]

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Meet the Team: Alexis Lawson

By Valentina Alayon -

  Name: Alexis Lawson Major: Mechanical Engineering Level: Senior Q: Why you joined SD? A: I joined SD to get involved in student activities as well to gain experience working with a team. SD has also provided me with many opportunities to practice utilizing the skills I have learned in class. Q: What part of the team you’re […]

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Meet the Team: Kalewalani Bancaco

By Valentina Alayon - January 25, 2017

  Name: Kalewalani Bancaco Major: Entertainment Engineering And Design Level: Senior Q: Why you joined SD? A: I joined SD17 because SD13 was one of the best experiences of my college career. I enjoy working with students from many different disciplines and backgrounds in a team environment. I believe the experience I gain by participating in […]

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Meet the Team: Veronica McKinney

By Valentina Alayon - January 24, 2017

Name: Veronica McKinney Major: Mechanical Engineering Level: Senior Q: Why you joined SD? A: I was excited about the hands-on experience seldom offered in the normal engineering classes. This gives me the opportunity to work on an actual project, learning interdisciplinary skills through the different engineering focuses as well as architecture majors. Q: What part of the team you’re […]

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Meet the Team: Marisela Thompson

By Valentina Alayon - January 23, 2017

  Name: Marisela Thompson Major: Master of Healthcare Interior Design Level: First Year Q: Why you joined SD? A: I believe that design makes a difference and addressing home design brings back a recognition that our home is not something we just adapt to but rather a home is a   habitat that has the potential to facilitate our needs […]

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Meet the Team: Ashna Ayub

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Ashna Ayub Major: Mechanical Engineering Level: Second Year Q: Why you joined SD? A: I joined the Solar Decathlon team to learn more about how engineers collaborate with other people from different disciplines. I also wanted to gain insight on what solutions engineers must come up with in terms of energy efficiency. Gaining experience in team collaboration and […]

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Meet the Team: Valentina Alayon

By Valentina Alayon - January 22, 2017

Name: Valentina Alayon Major: Mechanical Engineering Level: 4th Year Q: Why you joined SD? A: I have always been interested in renewable energy and design so when I heard that UNLV had been selected to compete in the Solar Decathlon, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the team. When I was first approached to […]

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Meet the Team: Asawari Pawar

By Valentina Alayon - January 17, 2017

Name: Asawari Pawar Major: Architecture Level: Graduate Q: Why you joined SD? A: While studying for my undergraduate degree in India, I had read about Team Vegas SD-2013 DesertSol house, that particularly intrigued me with the idea of building a sustainable living that has an architectural appeal and proposes an energy-efficient design. Currently, while pursuing my Master’s, and […]

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Meet the Team: John Gassaway

By Valentina Alayon - January 16, 2017

Name: John Gassaway Major: Architecture Level: Second Year Graduate Student Q: Why you joined SD? A: I could not pass up the scholastic opportunity to be involved in a sustainable design-build project.  To be involved in a multidiscipline team effort that is going to be actualized will give experience that is not normally available for most architecture students. […]

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Meet the Team: Anthony Tully

By Valentina Alayon -

Name: Anthony “AJ” Tully Major: Mechanical Engineering Level: Junior Q: Why you joined SD? A: To acquire real world experience seldom offered to engineering students today. The experience and knowledge I have learned in the process of designing the home have taught me an enormous amount about teamwork, delegation, interdisciplinary cooperation, and decision making in […]

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