Instructors

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Antonio Castro

Started his academic career by assisting students with course work in the areas of physics, general engineering, electronics, mathematics, and chemistry. Working with the program director developed and implemented workshops.

Pablo Pastene

Has 30 years of experience in Management of Companies and Institutions of Higher Education, assuming positions of Rector, Academic Vice-Rector, Director of Research and Project Management, Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Mario Mendez

Founder and CEO of Maritec Solar, LLC, has over 25 years of experience developing and implementing amazing projects in Chile, in Latin America, Germany in Europe and Virginia and Texas in the United States. Mr. Mendez expertise in the process of logistics, assembly.

Mauricio Bobadilla Duran

Chilean professional, Commercial Engineer, has 15 years of experience in public and private companies in the field of Agriculture and productive development. Mauricio has worked with California Workforce Academy.

Bronwen E. Madden

Has over 20 years’ experience in international trade and business development. She previously worked as an executive in both non-profit and state organizations, where she managed operations and strategy.

Paula Balbontin

Having grown-up on a farm in Chile, she developed a passionate about using our creative human capacity, affordable technologies, and innovative education models to build sustainable solutions for growing healthy food. 

Karen Alache Carrasco

Chilean professional, Agronomist, has 15 years of experience in public and private companies in the field of Agriculture. Karen has worked with California Workforce Academy since 2016, supporting research at Arica.

Joseph Buhowsky

Using the experience gained in the Electrical Construction Industry, he developed and taught technical and safety related courses. Mr. . Buhowsky found had a talent for connecting with students and conveying complex ideas.

Felipe Nuñez

Has over 20 years of experience as a businessman and professor. He is the A&N Sustainable Engineering Company’s CEO and past vice president of the Chilean Solar Energy Association ACESOL.

Gregory Ow

Has more than 40 years of civil engineering experience ranging from water distribution system design through program/construction management of complex infrastructure projects.

Marc Mullen

Apprenticeships, Educational Outreach, Branding, Operational and Program Analysis Expert: Along with his degree in economics from St. Mary’s, Mr.

Antonio Castro

Started his academic career by assisting students with course work in the areas of physics, general engineering, electronics, mathematics, and chemistry. Working with the program director developed and implemented workshops and activities to support students’ learning, success, and commitment to their education. Antonio also participated on several student panels and facilitated electronic engineering workshops during new student orientations, working closely with the Mathematics Engineering and Science Association (MESA) at CSUF with outreach activities.

Mr. Castro was instrumental in the development and manufacturing of power amplifiers for wireless communications and medical applications. In addition, he has collaborated in the design of application specific power amplifiers.   Antonio has been a team member in the research, design, and development of high performance electrical and electronic circuits and measurement instrumentation equipment using physics and engineering fundamentals. Collaborate with engineers and scientist to create state of the art and leading-edge products that meet the needs of consumers on a global market.

Currently, Mr. Castro is a faculty member at Napa College, and he is responsible for the development and implementation of classes and seminars in the areas of Solar Technologies, Energy Start Program, Energy Management, Energy Efficiency, and Green Home Energy Upgrades.   He has been a leader designing curriculum aim to teach people new skills to re-enter the workforce or to increase their skill-level in their current jobs.

Mr. Castro holds a degree in Physics Education from the University of Virginia and Sonoma State University, he holds a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the California State University Fullerton.

Pablo Pastene

Has 30 years of experience in Management of Companies and Institutions of Higher Education, assuming positions of Rector, Academic Vice-Rector, Director of Research and Project Management, Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Mr Pastene has led projects in the public private sector, among them the implementation of Corfo’s first operating agent to support the development of SMEs in Chile in 1994. Pablo has worked with California Workforce Academy since 2012.

As Director of Solar Energy at Fundación Chile, he led the development and implementation of the strategy for the advancement of solar energy in Chile, including the creation of job competency profiles for the solar thermal and photovoltaic installer, in addition to supervising the first audits of solar measurements and commissioning of photovoltaic plants. His participation was fundamental in the creation of the company Solar Chile, which was part of Fundación Chile which was acquired by the US company “First Solar”.

As Executive Director of the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology of the Adolfo Ibáñez University, Pablo was responsible for the management of the Center, supporting more than 2,500 SMEs in the Compite + 1000 program, and 6,000 entrepreneurs in the Emprendeclaro, NFC Challenge, Iot Challenge programs, Innovapack, Solaracademy, Impacta UAI, among others. Training for more than 2,000 executives on Innovation issues.

Mr. Pastene has done consultancies for several companies in Chile, in the areas of ​​renewable energy and the environment, carrying out research projects, design and development and installation of photovoltaic solar technologies, solar thermal, desalination, water resources for the mining sector, efficiency energy, in addition to leading the Transfer of Regional Capacities in Innovation Methodologies and Project Management.

Mr. Pastene is currently Managing Partner and Commercial Manager of SUNAI SpA. A company that uses artificial intelligence to improve the performance of photovoltaic plants. He actively participates in various organizations and is Honorary President of the Chilean Solar Industry Association (ACESOL).

Mr. Pastene has an MBA from the Adolfo Ibáñez University, Chile; Engineering in Energy and Environmental Protection from the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Germany; and Civil Mechanical Engineering from the Federico Santa María Technical University, Chile.

Mario Mendez

Founder and CEO of Maritec Solar, LLC, has over 25 years of experience developing and implementing amazing projects in Chile, in Latin America, Germany in Europe and Virginia and Texas in the United States.

Mr. Mendez expertise in the process of logistics, assembly, and commissioning of solar PV plants, which has taking him to remote and amazing places like Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile.  Mr. Mendez has also worked in the agriculture sector, developing, and installing projects to provide solar technology to support the dehydration process of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

In the solar thermal sector, he developed and implemented an amazing process for the producers of tomatoes, by using a system of energetically sustainable ripeness.

Development and implementation of construction of an eco-sustainable house of 140 m2 (1500 sf). With solar thermal energy systems for supply of sanitary hot water and underfloor heating. Thermally insulated walls with mud and straw (adobe), an old sustainable construction format in Chile.

An expert in Solar Energy with 20 years of related experience and advanced Technical and academic skills. Always looking for ways to improve productivity and customer satisfaction with exceptional service. Always maintain well-organized and presentable work areas and projects. 

Mr. Mendez studied the University of Applied Sciences of Aachen, Jülich, Nordreihnwestfalen,Germany (Fachhochschule Aachen / Jülich – Germany); Solar Energy Systems Technical SpecialistDiploma Solar Energy Technics; Environment and Renewable Energy Specialization Diploma in SolarEnergy Systems and Environmental Protection.  He also holds a Technical Degree in Industrial Mechanics from the Technical University Federico Santa Maria, Chile.

Mauricio Bobadilla Duran

Chilean professional, Commercial Engineer, has 15 years of experience in public and private companies in the field of Agriculture and productive development. Mauricio has worked with California Workforce Academy since 2016 supporting the implementation of courses designed for the photovoltaic solar installer.

As a project executive, in CORFO he has played a fundamental role in raising capital and working with companies, startups and the creation of ecosystems.

He has 10 years of experience in leading multidisciplinary work teams, focused mainly on the development of emerging industries, and development of extreme areas, with a high potential in collaborative work.

Currently Mr. Bobadilla is the Regional Manager of Codesser, where he operates research and productive development projects, with associated budgets close to US$7 million per year, associated with technological projects with foci in extreme areas.

Expert in the formulation of projects and articulation of national and international actors mainly in the fields of science, research, and productive development.

Mauricio holds an MBA from the University of Tarapacá, Chile. Thesis developed “Proposal for the creation of a trade school in the region of Arica and Parinacota “Certify and guarantee the quality of the trades” in 2018.

Bronwen E. Madden

Has over 20 years’ experience in international trade and business development. She previously worked as an executive in both non-profit and state organizations, where she managed operations and strategy, directing projects and grants, and implementing service delivery on an international scale. She has taught university-level international trade courses and has served on numerous organizations that advance business development initiatives.

Ms. Madden has appointments by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve on the District Export Council of Southern California and Missouri Governors to serve as an ex-officio member on the Missouri Hispanic Business, Trade and Culture Commission. She is a fellowship recipient of the Rotary International, Group Study Exchange Program and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Partners of the Americas Business Exchange Program.

Ms. Madden earned an Executive Master’s degree in International Business from the Boeing Institute of International Business, Saint Louis University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on International Relations, Economics and Peace Studies, Minor in Spanish. Bronwen has a boutique consulting business for international trade clientele serving the Pacific Rim.

Paula Balbontin

Having grown-up on a farm in Chile, she developed a passionate about using our creative human capacity, affordable technologies, and innovative education models to build sustainable solutions for growing healthy food. 

As a consultant for West Valley College, Paula developed a multi-regional agricultural training needs assessment for the California Community College System. Her work included surveying all facets of the agricultural supply chain to identified training needs and skills gaps. Paula’s results were used to help guide training program offerings at 28 colleges. 

Mrs. Balbontin worked for the Chilean Government under the Digital Government Division (DGD) collecting and reporting on performance data and learning what it takes to implement digital transformation strategies.

Currently she works as a Program & Development Manager for Urban Harvest, a nonprofit based in Houston that focuses on promoting sustainable agriculture through urban farming and organic gardening. Paula received her Master’s in International Agricultural Development at UC Davis.

Karen Alache Carrasco

Chilean professional, Agronomist, has 15 years of experience in public and private companies in the field of Agriculture. Karen has worked with California Workforce Academy since 2016, supporting research at Arica.

As Enabling & Assurance Operations Lead, in the multinational Semillera Syngenta S.A he has played a fundamental role in maintaining the FTO in the operations of the Arica-Chile site, ensuring high standards of Health, Safety and Environment, in conjunction with Quality and control and management of resources, with a focus on compliance with KPIS and corporate social responsibility with the community and its environment.

He has 13 years of experience in research laboratories in Plant Biotechnology, with participation in important projects for the research of genes associated with drought resistance and salinity, which are the future scenarios associated with global warming climate change, which will require species adapted to adverse conditions for the production and feeding of new generations.

He currently leads capital investment projects with a focus on environmentally friendly technology, and with renewable energies for the region of Arica and Parinacota in the agricultural sector specifically in the implementation of photovoltaic energy for Site de Research and Technology Arica de Syngenta S.A, the importance lies in the intensity and importance of agriculture that the region has in Chile where the valleys present in Arica are sustenance of food production in winter months supplying the entire country from this desert region.

Management and direction of the station’s budget over 10 M USD per year, as well as management and execution of projects with technological investments of 5 M USD per year in infrastructure and technology with a focus on the efficient use of natural resources in pursuit of production.

Participation as a leader in Biodiversity projects and contact with the community of the Azapa Valley, link with the environment developing the Project “Sustainability Project: Propagation of Flora for the conservation of the Arica Hummingbird”.

Karen holds an MBA from the University of Tarapacá, Chile. Thesis developed “Proposal for the creation of a trade school in the region of Arica and Parinacota “Certify and guarantee the quality of the trades” 2018; Diploma (Cursando) “Biodiversity and Sustainable Production: conservation and territorial approach” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Environment (MMA) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI).

Joseph Buhowsky

Using the experience gained in the Electrical Construction Industry, he developed and taught technical and safety related courses. Mr. Buhowsky found had a talent for connecting with students and conveying complex ideas, adding soft skills such as communication and project management to his trainings. 

Mr. Buhowsky enjoys the task of researching a new topic and developing an effective course based on the participants’ level and needs.  With more than a dozen years of teaching experience, I still enjoy teaching adults and the excitement and challenge of working with each new group. 

Mr. Buhowsky currently moving ahead with certification to teach G|PRO, Green Building Fundamentals and Techniques.  He has a long list of training and classes he has implemented in Northern California.  He is qualified and willing to develop specific training materials for these or similar topics to better serve the workforce.

Felipe Nuñez

Has over 20 years of experience as a businessman and professor. He is the A&N Sustainable Engineering Company’s CEO and past vice president of the Chilean Solar Energy Association ACESOL.

President of the Bio-Bio Regional Committee and a member of the National Electric Industry Association AIE board of directors. Consulting engineer for the mining, pulp, refinery, electric utility, and telecommunications industry in Chile and abroad. He has developed several projects in energy efficiency and electrical safety, integrating renewable energy systems. Felipe is also an academic researcher at the Innovation Department of the Technological University of Chile INACAP and director of the FONDEF Electromobility Project on artificial intelligence models for battery optimization on electric vehicle fleets, with funding from the National Research Agency ANID (former CONICYT).

As a professor for over a decade, he now teaches for the Bio-Bio University and the Catholic University of Concepcion city on electrical projects and e-mobility courses for electrical engineering careers.

Mr. Nunez-Donoso is an Electrical Engineer from the University of Concepcion, Chile, and a Computer Systems Analyst from CRECIC Technical Institute. Master’s in Business Administration MBA from the Federico Santa Maria Technical University and Ph.D. candidate in Automation and Robotics Engineering from the University of the Basque Country, Spain.

Gregory Ow

Has more than 40 years of civil engineering experience ranging from water distribution system design through program/construction management of complex infrastructure projects including water/wastewater treatment plants. He brings practical knowledge from his professional experiences as both a wastewater treatment operator and a certified Grade 4 water treatment plant operator.

Drawing from his civil engineering design experience, Mr. Ow has a depth of experience in providing valuable input into the planning, design, constructability reviews, construction management, and treatment operations.

Mr. Ow studied at Anza College, Associate of Science in Engineering Technology, received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and his Master of Science in Environmental Management at the University of San Francisco.

Marc Mullen

Apprenticeships, Educational Outreach, Branding, Operational and Program Analysis Expert: Along with his degree in economics from St. Mary’s, Mr. Mullen brings with him over 20 years of program management experience across multiple industry sectors. He has redesigned communication structures and process flows to decrease time and increase efficiencies saving time, money and increasing retention programs.

Mr. Mullen conceived and was instrumental in developing a “Water Challenge” for San Francisco Bay Area high school students. The competition brought high school students from across the entire bay area to address current concerns within water conservation. Local municipalities and industry partners donated scholarship funds and volunteered to judge the competition.

Mr. Mullen worked directly with the teachers and administrators as well as presented water career pathways and the competition.

Currently, Mr. Mullen is focusing mainly on workforce development efforts around apprenticeships. He has extensive experience in developing Federally approved policies and procedures pertaining to grant management and program oversight. Mr. Mullen currently manages an AAI grant with six programs and over 230 apprentices. Apprenticeship industry sectors include IT, Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Transportation and Facilities
Maintenance.

Mr. Mullen previously helped establish internships leading to employment
within the water industry.