050 Small Business in the COVID-19 Environment, with David Hughes and Dr. Simon Woodruff

Businesses both big and small are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are shutting doors while others are facing unprecedented growth. During this time in history, what predictors can we use to determine success of our small businesses and employers? While the unemployment rolls may be growing, the truth is that we are still facing an unprecedented STEM workforce crisis. Join us in this episode where we interview two different business owners, David Hughes and Dr. Simon Woodruff, who share their journey and how they are responding to the pandemic. We will also hear about how COVID-19 is shifting the job search and how there are still plenty of STEM career opportunities in the Southwest.


Show Notes – David Hughes


David Hughes was born in Montreal and, at age 15, moved to England with his family. David went to an English boarding school for three years, and then to university in Scotland to study philosophy and history. After university, David moved to Iowa where he developed an interest in energy; this led to a degree in Environmental Technology with a focus on renewable energy. After working in the energy efficiency field in Michigan, David moved to New Mexico and was able to start a career in the solar industry, eventually starting Affordable Solar in 1998, using an old Airstream trailer as his first office. David is married with two adult daughters and has lived in Albuquerque since 1994.

Affordable Solar

Federal Investment Tax Credit

New Mexico Solar Tax Credit

Affordable Solar – Careers


Book Recommendation:

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari





Show Notes – Dr. Simon Woodruff

After a decade of research into innovative fusion concepts at the University of Manchester (PhD), Lawrence Livermore National Lab (Postdoc), UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering (Visiting Scholar), and the University of Washington (Research Scientist), Dr. Woodruff founded Woodruff Scientific to help accelerate the development of economic fusion energy. Dr. Woodruff has performed work under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, universities, national laboratories and to the private sector, building research devices, performing modeling and simulations primarily directed at simply-connected (hence more compact and simpler-to-engineer) fusion systems. Dr. Woodruff hosts an annual Scientific Computing Bootcamp for undergraduates, introducing many of the tools in common use for High Performance Computing. Dr. Woodruff has organized national workshops in fusion energy sciences, and is a current participant in two International Atomic Energy Agency initiatives on compact fusion neutron sources and private fusion development. Dr. Woodruff is a member of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics.

Woodruff Scientific






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