We are an international water + energy innovation company based in Alameda, CA
We have created an exciting, dynamic office and manufacturing space in a former “super hanger” on the former Alameda Naval Air Station. We have stunning views of San Francisco and the Bay with easy access to San Francisco and the East Bay by freeway, ferry and bus.
To redraw the map of where and how hydropower is developed.
We are driven by a vision of climate resilient hydropower that solves the problems inhibiting traditional hydropower: capital intensive to develop, negative environmental and community impacts, and inflexible in the face of climate uncertainty.
We are launching a new hydropower product which enables cost-effective production of low impact, distributed baseload energy while maintaining the health of watershed ecosystems and the communities who surround them.
Technically diverse and experienced in product development, renewable energy, and commercialization.
Join our team
We seek highly skilled people from diverse backgrounds who are excited about renewable energy and sustainability to join our team. Click on a position below to apply.
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Gia Schneider is a co-founder and the CEO of Natel Energy. Gia holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from MIT and has 17 years of experience in the energy industry. While in the utility practice at Accenture, she provided strategic and tactical solutions to several major energy companies and has significant experience in energy-related strategy development and deal valuation. After Accenture, she worked at Constellation Energy on optimizing generation asset value. Gia left Constellation in 2004 to help start the energy trading desk at Credit Suisse; and in 2005, she started the carbon emissions trading desk at Credit Suisse, growing it to a profitable business in its first year.
Gia is passionate about finding economically viable solutions to mitigate climate change, foster sustainable development and produce inexpensive renewable energy. In her spare time, she can be found surfing, kiting, cooking, dancing and gardening with friends and family.
Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer
Abe is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Natel. He is named on multiple linear hydroEngine patents, and brings 13 years of experience to bear on Natel’s engineering activities. In addition to broader program management, Abe also directly contributes on a wide range of technical areas, including product specification, system architecture, computational fluid dynamics, structural design and analysis, and manufacturing supply chain development.
Abe earned undergraduate and masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and gained experience with large firms like The Timken Company and innovative startups such as Makani Power, now part of Alphabet (Google X). At Timken, he worked as a Senior Engineer in Advanced Product Development, developing innovative gear reducers, hybrid vehicle drivetrains, and micro-scale energy harvesting systems to power intelligent bearings. At Makani, he managed a group of engineers broadly responsible for their aero-mechanical systems. Additionally, Abe has provided independent consulting services on two small hydropower refurbishment projects in the Northeast US.
In his spare time, Abe enjoys the outdoors, particularly surfing and kitesurfing, climbing, and flyfishing, with his wife and friends.
Chief Financial Officer
Dave manages finance and administration functions for Natel. He has 25 years experience in finance and operations for both public and privately held technology and energy companies, with extensive experience with growing businesses from $10 to $200 million in revenue. As CFO for emerging companies, he has managed finance, administration, IT, legal and corporate development activities, raised funds from a variety of sources, and established a foreign subsidiary to support manufacturing and back office functions. He managed strategic partnerships and international sales through distributors for 40 countries. Earlier, Dave held progressively responsible finance, corporate development and general management positions for publicly reporting energy and technology companies including Gulf Oil Corporation, Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates, Triad Systems and Epicor (formerly Activant).
Dave received his BS in Economics from MIT, an MBA from Stanford, and began his career in the San Francisco office of KPMG. Dave was awarded a patent for a system that optimizes supply chains with predictive models combining demographic and demand data.
Director, Project Engineering
Adam is a project engineer at Natel, focused on project diligence, interconnection, and construction design. Prior to joining Natel, Adam was lead electrical engineer for the distributed generation solar group at NextEra Energy Resources. He has spent 12 years as a senior engineer in the solar industry on many sides of the table – EPC contractor, developer, and owner. Adam’s expertise includes solar design, electrical engineering, grid interconnection, electrical code compliance and production modeling, and he has a portfolio of over 600 projects totaling over 300 MW.
Adam holds a M.S. in Engineering from the Building Systems Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.
Testing and Mechanical Technician
Alex is a testing and mechanical technician at Natel. He spends his time fabricating and assembling hydroEngine machinery, as well as running and maintaining Natel’s various hydraulic and fatigue testing equipment. He has experience operating both manual and CNC machine tools, welding, and repairing electronic components. Prior to Natel, Alex worked as a bicycle mechanic.
In his free time Alex enjoys building and flying quadcopters, watching documentary films, reading nonfiction books, and mountain biking.
Archivist & Graphic Designer
Andy is an Archivist and Graphic Designer at Natel. Currently he splits his time between photographically documenting the construction of the hydroEngine, and designing graphics for web and print. He also assists in web development and GIS.
Andy received a BA in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota, but has also worked as a graphic designer, photographer, and video editor.
While not at Natel Andy enjoys working on personal projects which combine his interest in photography, art, and computer science. He also enjoys watching and listening to audio-books, podcasts, YouTube videos and films.
Anita is responsible for coordinating the multimedia effort at Natel, and works as a web and graphic designer for the company. She develops design concepts for a variety of communications in both print and digital formats, including technical and promotional brochures and the company website.
She holds an AA degree in Graphic Design from FIDM – Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising – with a focus on UI/UX design and branding. Before starting her career as a designer, Anita received her BA in Arts at the Università degli Studi di Padova, and a MA in Philology at the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III, and worked as a writer and a communication professional in Italy and France.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and little son Leo, cooking and eating good food, and perusing design blogs.
At Natel Ben works on the Commercial team in project development and customer support. After several years of service in the US Navy, Ben graduated from Johnson & Wales University. He also holds a solar installation NABCEP certification. Previously Ben focused on the build out and launch of critically acclaimed Bay Area restaurants, emphasizing the use of renewables and sustainable practices.
Dana is Natel’s office manager. Prior to Natel, Dana worked in finance for a healthcare management consulting firm. Dana received her BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University. She is interested in learning about the development of social, healthcare and environmental policies.
Vice President Development
Dorothy joined Natel on October 2 to lead project development efforts. Dorothy comes to Natel with over 16 years of experience in electric utilities and renewable energy. Prior to joining Natel, she led solar project development and acquisitions in the western U.S. with NextEra Energy Resources’ distributed generation team. Dorothy has an M.B.A. in finance and general management from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Tulane University.
VP Sales and Marketing
Eric currently heads up Sales and Marketing for Natel Energy developing and implementing the support strategy for customers and strategic partners. He also works directly to help with Natel Energy customer project development. Eric has 25 years of experience in the deployment of innovative renewable energy technologies and in building energy projects. Previously he was Co-Founder/VP Business Development at Nordic Windpower, a manufacturer of megawatt-scale wind turbines for the distributed energy market. By teaming with customers on project development, he signed over $30M in the product rollout phase of the company. Before that, Eric helped companies deploy new technology in wind, solar, energy efficiency and energy software including leading energy companies like QBotix, Itron, Green Mountain Energy, Fenway System and Environmental Defense Fund. In addition to the US, he has worked in China, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Eric has a B.S in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell and completed an Asia Foundation Fellowship Program on Indonesia electric utility resource planning.
Eric and his wife Cynthia have two young children, so that recreation and relaxation center around the garden, soccer practice, gymnastics class, family camping and active family involvement in community and the public schools.
Senior Mechanical Engineer
Erick received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Master’s degree from the University ofat Berkeley. Prior to joining Natel, he worked as the lead mechanical engineer at two new-technology start-ups where he was responsible for product conceptualization and design, machining and fabrication of prototypes, design and construction of assembly and testing machinery, and testing and troubleshooting of all prototypes and new machines. He contributed several key ideas for both the design and production of the products resulting in nine issued patents and one pending application. He has a strong background in the mechanical design, processing, and behavior of materials including metals, plastics, ceramics, and advanced composites with an emphasis on design for fatigue. He also has extensive prototyping experience including CAM and the use of various CNC machines.
Erick spends most of his free time either climbing rocks or flying airplanes. Flying to climbing destinations is the best of both worlds. He also likes to travel and tries to go to new places that are off the beaten path.
Jason works as a mechatronics engineer at Natel. He brings a range of experience in combining advanced control systems with fluid mechanics including work on a unique hydrokinetic turbine at HydroRun Technologies, and the modeling and control of a hydrodynamically actuated robot with UNB and Defence Research and Development Canada. Jason obtained a B.A.Sc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick.
Jason hails from a small town on Vancouver Island and enjoys many outdoor activities including bicycling, swimming, hiking and camping.
Jessica is focused on developing a portfolio of projects using Natel’s hydroEngines in the Western U.S., primarily in partnership with irrigation districts. In addition, she is driving the early development of Natel’s first Restoration Hydro Pilot project, working with NGO’s, resource agencies, national labs, and the environmental sustainability community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Oregon.
As a Captain when she is not in the office, you can find her exploring oceans and waterways on sailboats, or any water related activity. She is passionate about sharing her respect of water, and helping others understand the importance of conservation and conscious living.
Jin works as an Civil/Environmental Engineer. Jin graduated from UC Berkeley with a M.S. degree in environmental engineering this summer. He holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from University of Michigan, and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University.
Joanna is a mechanical engineer at Natel, interested in machine design and manufacturing. She has designed and fabricated a variety of tools used for hydroEngine assembly and component testing.
Joanna has an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley. Before joining Natel, she worked on structural design and fabrication at Makani Power, an airborne wind turbine company. She has also researched 3D ultrasound techniques, repaired hospital equipment in Tanzania, and explored the use of 3D printed tools for injection molding.
Outside of work, Joanna enjoys reading novels, listening to public radio podcasts, and climbing.
Director, Project Engineering
Joe is a project engineer at Natel, tasked with the field installation of the hydro engine at sites across North America. He started his career flying around Alaska in helicopters, prospecting for uranium. He later went to work for Nerco Minerals, where he ran computer simulations to optimize ore extraction, designed containment systems for toxic materials and supervised an engineering team at the Cripple Creek gold mine. After earning his Masters, he switched from mining to telecommunications. While working for US Cellular, he managed the design and construction of numerous wireless broadcast and switching facilities. Following that, he worked for NextEra Energy designing and building commercial-scale PV solar projects. He has a BS in Geological Engineering and a Masters in Satellite Communications. He is a Professional Civil Engineer registered in Colorado.
Katie is Natel’s Director, Operations. She serves as the technical lead for development and new product introduction programs. She integrates engineering innovations into manufacturing processes and leads manufacturing growth. She works closely with sales and engineering to set production goals and develop operational systems. Katie earned her undergraduate degree in Engineering and History from Yale University and her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Natel, she was a Program Manager in New Product Introduction at Tesla Motors.
Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband Marc and daughter Mabel. She is an avid runner and an active community volunteer, particularly in youth science education. Before earning her graduate degree, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Vermont.
Kelsey works as a mechanical engineer at Natel and her primary interests surround mechanical design and design for manufacturing. Prior to joining the Natel, she carried out research in alternative energy sources in Douglas Hart’s lab at MIT where she completed both her B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as a minor in architecture.
Outside of work, she participates on a gymnastics team and enjoys planning and building her own hardware/electronics projects.
Kevin works as a Mechatronics Engineer on the control and health monitoring platform for Natel’s hydroEngines. He brings a range of experience developing software for industrial systems. He led development of a thermal imaging inspection product at ClearVision Technologies and developed hydraulic controls at the eatART laboratory in Vancouver, BC. Kevin has joined Natel after his most recent work on microgrid project development on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Kevin holds a BASc from the University of British Columbia.
At Natel Kimberly works part-time as an Accounts Payable Assistant. Her past experience includes over 15 years working as a bookkeeper, office manager, and executive assistant for travel companies, a custom crush winery and law firms. She is slowly getting back into the work-force after being home with her two amazing boys for the past six years.
Outside of work, Kimberly enjoys spending time with her husband and kiddos at the beach, participating in Spartan Races, and learning new ways to feed her family unprocessed foods.
Government Affairs & Communications
Meghan drives Natel’s government affairs, policy and regulatory outreach, and supports the communications needs of the business development team. She is particularly interested in policy that promotes renewable energy deployment, supports decarbonization of energy supply and supports sustainable watersheds. Meghan received a BA in Government and International Studies from Colby College.
Outside of work, Meghan is passionate about environmental education and takes every chance to enjoy the outdoors. She enjoys skiing, hiking, listening to podcasts, live music, and good food!
Senior Mechanical Engineer
Metodi is a mechanical engineer at Natel, with a passion for environmental stewardship and for pushing the limits of what machines can do. Prior to joining Natel, he leveraged CFD and optimization methods to develop cooling technologies for gas turbines at GE Aviation. Metodi also has experience with structural analysis of power plant components in accordance with the ASME codes. He earned his B.S.E in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, and his M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.
Bhutan Country Manager
Michael leads Natel Energy’s expanding programmatic efforts in the Kingdom of Bhutan in partnership with Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), Bhutan’s sovereign holding company. The companies are collaborating to develop a portfolio of EcoSmartHydro projects in Bhutan and a turbine manufacturing facility to serve both domestic as well as regional markets.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from St. Olaf College and a Master’s Degree in International Development Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Michael brings 10 years of experience as an independent consultant and project developer in geographies spanning mainland Southeast Asia on issues and projects related to rural electrification, community development, sustainable natural resource management and the water-energy-agriculture nexus.
Michael is passionate about people and the limitless potential of every human being to contribute to the creation of a more just, equitable and compassionate world. A Colorado native, he enjoys slow-cooked food, star-filled skies, deep breaths of crisp mountain air and long hikes with his wife and family.
Natan is a Mechanical Technician. He is currently completing his BS in Mechanical Engineering at UC Davis, where he is a member of the Formula Electric SAE team. He is interested in the manufacture, testing, and assembly of machines, as well as clean energy and sustainability.
Peder provides prototyping support to Natel’s engineers, fabricating components for a variety of product development projects. He has several years of machining experience, including the programming and operation of CNC mills and lathes. Prior to becoming a machinist, Peder worked as a teacher for over 15 years, teaching mathematics at a high school in Oakland and at an international school in Guatemala.
Peder holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
When he’s not at work, he enjoys exploring Oakland on bicycle, fixing his VW bus, and spending time with his wife, Lupe, and their two children.
Rodrigo holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Simon Bolivar and a master’s in Manufacturing from MIT. He has a broad set of previous experiences in industries ranging from oil and gas to electronics manufacturing to medical devices. He specializes in design for manufacturing and assembly and development of stochastic models for systems design.
Within the company Rodrigo help build cost models for different hydropower technologies, has designed and constructed several test benches for key system components and has built numerical models for assembly and manufacturing. At Natel, Rodrigo’s main role has been the development of the drive-axle system; structure and power take-off systems, and the tolerance stack up management for the system.
Rodrigo also enjoys bread baking, beer brewing, mountaineering and doing statistical analyses on traffic and political elections.
Ryan designs and develops the watershedOS software platform for ecoSmartHydro development. Prior to working at Natel, Ryan founded Voyager Search, a tool for finding and using complex geospatial data. Ryan was also a founder and developer of Instructables.com. He received a BS in computer science from the University of , San Diego, and an MS from MIT.
Sean works at Natel as a mechanical engineer. He is interested in developing advanced turbines for distributed energy production, learning from his colleagues, and sharing his experience with energy, controls and hardware testing. He worked with Professor Chris Edwards at Stanford University teaching energy systems while earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering.
In his free time he enjoys finding new books to read, exploring new ideas, hiking, playing soccer and flying helicopters.
Sterling is a mechanical engineer at Natel, interested in mechanical and system design for sustainable energy technologies. Prior to joining Natel, she was a graduate student at MIT focusing on village-scale, solar-powered desalination system design and optimization for the developing world. Sterling earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Logistics & Operations
Taylor works on logistics and operations at Natel. Taylor has spent the last 15+ years working with startups and interactive agencies including: support and development on a distance learning platform for University of Phoenix, energy trading platform sales engineer in Texas, and early team member of kite power generator Makani. Taylor holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of San Francisco.
When not working, Taylor can be found racing sailboats, kiteboarding, surfing, snow sporting, and hiking
Tristan works as a Technician, building scale model testing equipment and maintaining the component fatigue testers. He also works in machine assembly, and designs and fabricates custom shipping fixtures for hydroEngine components. Before working at Natel, Tristan worked in the field of water desalination for over 20 years. There, he worked at two startups, doing a variety of work from machining to field service.