BOONE, N.C. — Joey Appelmann ’14 said he is proud to work for a company that is accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
As an installation supervisor for Tesla, a manufacturer of electric vehicles and solar energy products, this Appalachian State University alumnus said his work at the company’s Livermore, California, facility aligns with his personal values.
Appelmann, originally from Cary, earned a B.S. in appropriate technology from Appalachian in 2014 — a major which is now called sustainable technology (ST).
His love for the outdoors was the reason he chose to attend Appalachian, Appelmann said, though he wasn’t sure what field he wanted to study.
“Through the countless backpacking trips, hikes and days spent at Compression Falls (in Carter County, Tennessee), I developed a deeper passion for the environment,” Appelmann shared. “I understood that in order to keep what I experienced available for future generations to enjoy, I needed to do my part in sustaining our planet.”
At Tesla, Appelmann manages photovoltaic, solar roof and electric vehicle charger installation projects.
“The sustainable technology program at Appalachian prepared me to jump headfirst into the energy industry,” he said. “Appalachian trains students to think creatively in the field and instills the confidence to pursue many different opportunities.”
Practical knowledge and experience shared by ST professors readied Appelmann to work in the renewable technologies field. Additionally, he said, “The labs were hands-on, allowing me to learn how renewable systems are designed, constructed and operated. They prepared me for the applications available through Tesla.”
Dr. Dennis Scanlin, professor in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, mentored Appelmann during his time at Appalachian. “His photovoltaics course was one of the most challenging yet rewarding courses in my studies,” Appelmann shared. “That class helped solidify my desire to enter the solar industry.”
Appelmann said Scanlin was helpful in assisting students with finding relevant internships and careers in the industry.
“Appalachian has been on the forefront of teaching sustainable technologies, and graduates will have opportunities to excel in the industry,” he said.
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About the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment at Appalachian State University features an integrated array of programs spanning the fields of sustainable design and technology. Its mission is to foster a strong and vibrant culture of inquiry, discovery and innovation that integrates theory with application, problem seeking with problem-solving, local issues with global perspectives and technological progress with environmental stewardship. It offers bachelor’s degrees in sustainable technology and building science, and a master’s degree in technology. Learn more at https://stbe.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.