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Jeremy Blum is #SDLivingTheDream: Igniting an Interest in Carpentry and More

Monday, June 13, 2022

Name: Jeremy Blum

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2009 Solar Decathlon

University Team: Cornell University Silo House Team

Current Employer: Shaper –

Current Role: Senior Vice-President of Engineering and Principal Electrical Engineer

How did participation in the Solar Decathlon affect the trajectory of your career?

Solar Decathlon was the formative college experience that initially got me interested in architecture, sustainability, and interdisciplinary collaboration. As an engineer, working closely with the architects on our team was critical for my personal growth. They helped me learn how to appreciate the importance of different viewpoints, the need for good design, and the advantages of viewing problems from the perspective of the intended user. Working on the design of the Cornell Silo House ignited my interest in carpentry and woodworking, something that is reflected in my current career of designing robotic power tools.

Describe a work outcome, building project or other achievement you are most proud of and how it relates to your experience with Solar Decathlon. 

  1. Following Solar Decathlon, I co-founded Cornell University Sustainable Design, a student-led design/build organization. The group continues to operate over 10 years later and is a bedrock institution at Cornell.
  2. For my master’s thesis, I developed a novel solar-fiber-optic and LED lighting system designed to bring more natural light into deep interior spaces.
  3. In my current work, I design robotic power tools that enable new designs to be realized in the built environment. The hands-on work I did for Solar Decathlon helped prepare me to operate in the power tool industry.

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