Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Faculty Interview

Jenny Brinker, Northeast Technical College Faculty Member

Jenny Brinker

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Faculty Member in the Energy Management Program

Helping The Community

Even from one conversation with Jenny Brinker, it is easy to see that she gets a lot of fulfillment in inspiring her students to make an impact beyond the classroom. She’s worked hard to ensure that students in the Energy Management Program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College help the community in addition to learning the skills they need for a variety of technical careers. Every year, students work with different non-profits to perform free energy audits and advise them on how to make their buildings more energy efficient. The program’s latest community project was to assess the energy footprint of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin’s veterans building.

Keeping Up With Change

“We have changed the line-up of courses we offer to reflect changes in technology.” A program advisory board made up of utility program leaders, consultants, building automation providers and other leaders in energy technology have informed the changes in curriculum. Changes have allowed students to experience networking and programming of building automation controls. Students also now calculate energy savings with demand control ventilation and other building control strategies.

Students learn from cutting-edge technology like geothermal variable refrigerant flow and daylight programming that is part of their learning space, the Great Lakes Energy Education Center. The state-of-the-art facility was specifically designed to give students and instructors access to the building’s energy systems allowing them to analyze data and assess the building’s function. Students also utilize the solar photovoltaic installation on the building’s roof and yard, where they install solar systems each semester.


As the world transitions to cleaner forms of energy, jobs in energy management offer an opportunity for continuous change and growth. “We provide graduates a strong base to work from and connections for further professional development. The strongest skillset needed by energy managers is the ability to network, learn and keep up with changing technologies.”