Education & Training

Classroom imageSEDAC, a public-private partnership with the University of Illinois and 360 Energy Group, believes in the transformative power of education. We draw upon the University's teaching expertise to educate and inspire people to become more sustainable and energy efficient. Many of our staff are experienced educators, with decades of experience teaching at the University of Illinois and elsewhere. 

Educating communities

We're committed to educating our clients and the general public about energy efficiency and sustainability. We've presented at over 500 workshops, webinars, and other events throughout the state of Illinois, reaching more than 25,000 individuals. Topics have included everything from financing energy efficiency projects to energy efficiency program incentives and going beyond code when renovating a building. Visit our presentation archive to sample some of our workshops and seminars.

While some of our presentations are given to a more general audience, many are tailored to a specific audience, such as schools, hospitals, libraries, or municipalities. We address barriers that these groups face to becoming more energy efficient and inspire them with success stories. 

Our popular resource library also educates people about how to save energy and money. Energy Smart Tips offer energy efficiency advice for specific building types, Case Studies share energy savings success stories, and Tech Notes discuss energy savings strategies and energy systems. Monthly newsletters provide additional energy efficiency advice. 

Patrick Van Duyne, director of facilities at Joliet Junior College, has been attending SEDAC workshops and events and reading SEDAC resources since 2008. He appreciates the opportunity to network with nearby institutions. "It's sad that we all keep blazing our own trails when we could help each other be more efficient," he says. His advice: "Get to as many little seminars as you can." 

Student training

Student training is at the heart of our mission. We've trained over 87 students through internships and student employment. SEDAC-supported courses have reached an additional 200 students, and former students are now employed in jobs related to energy efficiency and sustainability worldwide.

Kevin Donovan, a former intern, writes about his experience at SEDAC: "The staff is friendly, helpful, and very supportive of the interns.  After a training period, I was given my first project to experience real world energy analysis.  It was refreshing to be given the respect and responsibility while a student and it provided for a very professional atmosphere.  I worked with SEDAC for almost two years and have learned extensively about building energy requirements and consumption.  Because of the collaborative nature of the organization, I have also grown my team and networking skills.  I would have no problem approaching any staff member with a question or to seek help on a project.  Overall, SEDAC has been one of the best experiences of my graduate career."

Professional training

Through workshops, webinars, and presentations, SEDAC provides opportunities for energy auditors, building energy engineers, architects, and facilities managers to receive the professional training they need on the latest energy efficiency best practices. Portions of these training sessions have been developed into online modules for individualized training. We are currently partnering with the Illinois EPA to offer workshops, webinars, online training, and resources on the Illinois energy conservation code. 

SEDAC can provide training on building energy usage and analysis tailored to any group's needs. Training can range from a couple of hours to two weeks and can include introductory topics on building energy use basics and an overview of analytic tools. We can also provide energy audit site visits and hands-on training on calculating energy use intensity and benchmarking.

Meet our staff

sumi hanSumi Han gives workshops, creates energy efficiency fact sheets and materials, and is currently working on developing a series of workshops and online training modules for Illinois Energy Conservation Code training. Sumi has both technical and educational expertise. She has taught courses on lighting for the school of architecture at the University of Illinois. Sumi has been a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional since 2006 and is also a Lighting Certified Professional (the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions) since 2001. In addition, Sumi has been an International Association of Lighting Designers Associate since 2008. She has an M.S. in Lighting from Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; an M.A. in Art Education from UIUC; and an M.E. in City Planning from Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.

linda larsenLinda Larsen is SEDAC's publications coordinator, managing and contributing to SEDAC's resource library, website, and newsletter. As an educator, she believes that sustainable ideas need to be communicated clearly and persuasively so that people are empowered to make positive changes. In addition to her work at SEDAC, Linda collaborates with professors and graduate students at the University of Illinois and elsewhere to help them communicate their ideas to a wider audience. Prior to her work at SEDAC, Linda taught persuasive and technical writing for the English Department at the University of Illinois. She also runs an after school program at Urbana Middle School on building sustainable cities of the future.

Meet our other talented educators and staff here