ELSE Canada | Alberta

In 2014 ELSE Alberta organized their first chapter event to coincide with CanSIA’s Solar West conference. This afternoon event invited students and solar advocates from across Calgary to participate in presentations by well-known solar industry leaders. Topics included an update on Alberta’s solar industry and Micro-Generation policy, outlook for the future of solar energy in Alberta and Canada as well as what the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the US is up to regarding solar program design and implementation. Following the presentations was a guided tour of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Green Building Technologies facilities. Participants enjoyed an up-close look and explanation of both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems.


The 2014 Alberta Chapter of Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy.

ELSE Alberta hopes to build on the success of 2014 and to expand their presence in Alberta. They will continue to host events throughout the year and will be reaching out to institutions across the province looking for emerging leaders who share their enthusiasm for solar energy. They plan to host the 2nd Annual Solar West ELSE event in October, and will be looking into potential solar project ideas around Calgary.

In the last year the ELSE team in Edmonton worked on a promotion campaign, volunteering at many events across the region. These events included the Solar Energy Society of Alberta's (SESA) future of transportation expo, Sustainival in Fort McMurray, Energy in the city by the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance and lastly the U of A Energy Efficiency week SESA booth. ELSE AB Chapter also planned and executed the Greening the Grid Cafe conversation at the Edmonton resilience festival. The focus of these events was to build relationships within Alberta's communities and to encourage more members to join in on ELSE's mission.

To get in touch with the Alberta chapter, send a message to AB@elsecanada.ca .



ELSE Alberta Board

Brodie Yyelland, ELSE Aberta, Co-Chair

PhD Student, University of Calgary

Brodie is a strong advocate of renewable and clean energy generation and has been actively involved in this field since beginning his Masters of Clean Energy Engineering at UBC in 2011. He has 3 years of experience working as a Project Manager for SkyFire Energy Inc., Alberta's leading solar contractor and held the position of Chair of ELSE Alberta for the 2015/2016 term. He is currently studying full time at the University of Calgary on a PhD in Environmental Design. His research is focused on Solar Optimized Neighborhood Design, studying mixed-use building energy incorporating passive and active solar generation. As Co-Chair of ELSE Alberta he is providing support and guidance for the Alberta chapter to build on the previous years successes and expand the ELSE network in Western Canada.

Markus Selkirk, ELSE Alberta, Co-Chair

Master of Science Candidate in Sustainable Energy Development, University of Calgary

Markus was first introduced to the field of renewable energy in 2011 while studying abroad in a United Nations Millenium Development Goal themed program through Semester at Sea. He has since been the recipient of a Junior Fellowship in International Development through Engineers Without Borders, completed his undergraduate degree in Management from the University of British Colombia, and was recently the Vice President and Treasurer of the Educational Liason Association of Alberta. Markus is currently pursuing an MSc. in Sustainable Energy Development through the University of Calgary, volunteering as a Peer Helper at the university's Office of Sustainability, and represents his colleagues within the Sustainable Energy Development program as class President. As Co-Chair, he is planning on using his business acumen and leadership experience to support ELSE Alberta in accomplishing their future goals.

Jeff Holloway, ELSE Alberta, Board Coordinator

Student, University of Calgary Faculty of Law/Haskayne School of Business

Jeff is currently a summer research student with the Calgary law firm, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP; He will be returning to the University of Calgary to complete his combined JD/MBA program in the Fall, and upon graduation he intends to return to BD&P to complete his articles. Jeff joined the Alberta chapter of ELSE in the summer of 2015 while working as a summer student in the corporate law department at Enbridge Inc. During his two summers with Enbridge, Jeff developed an interest in renewable energy and reached out to Brodie Yyelland to further develop this interest and join the ELSE team. As Board Coordinator, Jeff’s primary role is to coordinate board activities through scheduling meetings, creating meeting agendas, taking minutes, and following up with members to oversee the completion of key action items.

Riva Mitra, ELSE Alberta, Communications Chair

Business Development Lead, H2O Systems Inc.

Riva Mitra is currently the Business Development lead in H2O Systems Inc. in Calgary. Her passion for renewables began from a young age being from a family of engineers who works in the energy industry in Kuwait. Always fascinated by science, she took on to learn and nurture her technical abilities by studying chemical engineering from McGill, Montreal. From material science to heat transfer, her curiosity escalated in building an environmentally and economically reliable technology to meet energy demands in developing regions. After finishing her bachelors she came to Calgary to seek industry experience. She joined water treatment two years ago specializing in technology development to reuse water for industrial and municipal applications. She plans to do her MBA in California and hopes to impact the world positively in the clean energy sector. Her superheroes are her sister and Elon Musk.

Peter Tseng, ELSE Alberta, Programs Chair

M.Sc. Sustainable Energy Development Candidate, University of Calgary

Peter began his involvement in the renewable energy industry following his graduation from Queen’s University in 2014 as the accounts administrator at TREC, Canada’s leader in the development of community-owned renewable energy. Currently, Peter is studying his master’s degree in sustainable energy development at the University of Calgary. The University of Calgary’s Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) is an interdisciplinary graduate program that offers a balanced education related to energy and environmental management. As the Programs Chair, Peter is responsible for coordinating the development of the Solar Ambassadors Program in Alberta, which seeks to empower post-secondary students to engage their campuses with the latest information and opportunities in the solar industry.

Ahsan Syed, ELSE Alberta, Projects Chair

Industrial Lubricants Advisor, Imperial Oil

Ahsan has a degree in Environmental Sciences from Western University and a Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey Business School. In his current role with ExxonMobil's Downstream F&L division, Ahsan advises construction, mining and manufacturing businesses on ways they can optimize their maintenance practices using lubricants. Over the long term, Ahsan strives to brand himself as a specialist in energy infrastructure, and eventually get to a position where he can develop localized distributed energy systems using renewable energy technologies. Having had previous experience, both on a voluntary basis on non-profitboards, and corporate experience with startups and Fortune-50 companies, Ahsan is excited to put his commercial experience to good use. As the Project's Chair, his primary responsibility will be to grow ELSE's influence in new solar development in Alberta, and build a positive profile for ELSE in the province's energy industry.

Darby McGraw, ELSE Alberta, Events Chair

Electrical Design Intern, Mulvey + Banani International Inc.

Darby has always taken an interest in green energy movements from her beginnings of working at an environmentally conscious cafe and starting the UCalgary Greens club at the University of Calgary in 2012. Darby began her electrical engineering degree at the University of Calgary in September 2012, and will be graduating in May 2018 after she finishes her year long internship and final classes. She currently works at Mulvey + Banani as an Electrical Designer for her internship, an electrical consulting company that carries out a wide variety of projects for the electrical needs of the building industry. Darby works directly with clients, contractors, and other consultants to create lighting, power, communication, and fire alarm designs, and she is excited about the learning opportunities she is receiving at her internship as she begins her professional journey in electrical engineering. As the Events Chair for ELSE AB Darby works to coordinate and manage each event that ELSE AB holds, and looks forward to future event and networking opportunities.

Varghese Alexander, ELSE Alberta, General Board Member

Corporate Management Trainee, Guillevin International

Varghese graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Chemical Engineering. Throughout his career, Varghese has been very involved in his local community, and has held many leadership roles. For his outstanding community building initiatives taken on campus, the University of Alberta Student’s Union awarded Varghese with the 2014 Edo Japan Global Citizenship award. Varghese presently works as a Corporate Management Trainee with Guillevin International, a Canadian wholesale distributor of electrical, automation, and safety products. Varghese has been closely following and supporting the new climate change initiatives taken by the Government of Alberta. Now as board member of programs in Edmonton, Varghese aims to apply his skills towards increasing awareness on climate change issues facing Alberta, and growing the ELSE Solar Ambassador program at universities and colleges in Edmonton.