“Derek is filling an exciting and critical role as the program chair for the new Wind Energy Technology training program at Redstone College,” said Mike Couling, campus president. “Our goal was to find a leader for this program who is not only an expert in turbine training and maintenance, but who is also passionate about preparing our wind program graduates to be highly successful in the New Energy Economy. Derek’s professional background exemplifies this dedication, and we are thrilled to have him join the Redstone College family.”
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that wind power is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the country, creating many opportunities for technicians to install and oversee the ongoing maintenance of wind turbines across the country. Redstone College is poised to be a key player in the training of these future professionals, with Colorado’s recently approved renewable energy bill pushing state utilities to draw 30 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.
“My vision for the wind energy technology program at Redstone College does not focus on the number of technicians we can pour into the wind industry, but rather the quality and caliber of highly-trained professionals we can produce and make successful in this field,” said Santiago. “I am eager to share my background and first-hand turbine maintenance experience with our current and future wind students and will work hard to ensure that the new wind turbine technician training program earns the same respect that Redstone College’s aviation programs have earned in the industry.”
Prior to joining Redstone College, Santiago most recently held the lead service technician role at BIS Wind Power, and his primary responsibilities included working with a team to maintain approximately 48 Vestas Wind Systems turbines across the U.S. He also spent time as a consultant for Nordic Wind Power where he played a key role in the implementation of specific service protocols and the development of the company’s commissioning and service document. At SUZLON, Santiago was named lead technician, managing a turbine maintenance team and troubleshooting issues with SUZLON’s S88 turbines across the Midwest and Northwest regions of the U.S.
Santiago holds a business administration degree from Florida Community College and served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Enterprise, where he was as an electrician’s mate before being promoted to training petty officer and later to assistant shop supervisor. Learn more about his background and vision for the WIND program on the Redstone College YouTube channel.
Founded in 1965 and located in Broomfield, Colo., Redstone College offers a variety of technical degree programs including Airframe and Powerplant (A&P), Advanced Electronics Technology, Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning/Refrigeration (HVAC) and Construction Management. Redstone College programs are highly integrated to ensure students learn from instructors who have industry experience and hands-on practical training, learn about important industry networking opportunities, take advantage of career placement assistance, and are eligible for tuition-free alumni retraining* and more. Since the school was founded, more than 15,000 students have graduated from its programs.