Inducted into UIF: Fall 2019
Company: Green Roof Team LLC, Founder
University: Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Degree: Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate; Specialization: Energy Engineering; Minors: Sustainability, Continuous Improvement
What can you contact me about? Developing leadership skills, professional development, topics in sustainability and renewable energy and engineering, interdisciplinary learning, design thinking, running, jokes, and hiking/traveling!
Green Roof Team LLC's Website: http://greenroofteam.com/
Nelson Fernandes received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Born and raised in Chicago, chose Southern Illinois (6 hours) for university because of the care one faculty member showed him as a mentor for a research project his senior year of high school. Made a wide variety of friends along with joining different organizations. In addition to the Innovation Fellows, an executive member of Undergraduate Student Government, Engineering Student Council, Leadership Development Program, Robotics Team. Then, expanded his knowledge in renewable energy through the European Energy Centre and will become an Energy Management Technician which provides the credentials to lead and manage clean energy projects!
One important organization Nelson was a member of, is the Leadership Development Program where students undergo an intense two year program of 5:30AM workouts and 6:00AM morning meetings. As a first year, we focus on leading ourselves through developing our servant leadership skills and leading a project once a semester. As a second year, I stepped into a Coaching position where I guided four first year members through the year by reinforcing the primary leadership practices and project management skills. The growth I have made during my time in the program allowed myself to grow into the person I am today. One defining moment was leading our yearly Applied Project. This Applied Project was a three day event at a local electronics company where I led 15 undergraduate members and three Black Belt Six Sigma Masters in a major lean manufacturing project where we redesigned a process for receiving incoming packages which is a major bottleneck as well as a route for their tugger train as well as how to better organize their inventory for optimal and efficient process. A leader who focuses on building relationships with the team and planning ahead to make sure the job gets done. And the skills I have learned, enabled me to develop my U.I.F. project into something larger than originally thought.
As a University Innovation Fellow, Nelson worked with the College of Agriculture for transforming their existing green space (Green Roof) into an interdisciplinary innovation hub for participatory learning. The roof was installed in 2010 for agricultural research; however, quickly became unknown to students once the dean retired around 2018. The goal was focused on launching several marketing campaigns for promotion, hosting design thinking workshops for empathizing with students, and pursuing an engineering project to showcase opportunities. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson and his fellow Fellows decided to host more workshops to collaborate with our peers and friends around the world they have met at the FH Salzburg's Alps Meetup. In the Spring 2020, Nelson and several other Fellows from SIU traveled to Salzburg, Austria, and participated in their Alps Meetup. Enjoyed every minute of the sleep deprived trip and soaked every experience possible. The most noteworthy experience is working in an Urban Mobility workshop to redesign ways of better utilizing the parking spaces of the FH University. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqLravPcswM&feature=youtu.be)
The most known activity was recruiting a cross-university team of students to design and install a small Wind Turbine on the building to promote innovation and use of the outdoor research facility. The encouragement of the cross-university team was berth at the start of the pandemic when tools from Zoom, MURAL, etc. were encouraged and learned quickly by students. We found opportunity from a time where many events were being removed while finding ways to improve our communication skills especially for engineering design virtually.
The UIF Project led to the formation of the Green Roof Team LLC where Nelson and five outstanding team members among the 50 members are developing educational kits to sell based on their projects ranging from clean energy to artificial intelligence. Additionally, the company offers internship opportunities in the marketing and clean energy engineering fields to provide opportunities to students understand their own passions with a guiding mentor as well as move forward professionally!
SIU University Innovation Fellows