Tag Archives: Industrial Engineering

Helping solar energy’s future shine bright

Thomas Werner’s solar energy company, SunPower Inc., in San Jose, has been keeping some pretty high-profile company these days. Take the San Francisco 49ers: The franchise is partnering with SunPower this year to make the new $1.2 billion Santa Clara stadium the greenest in the National Football League.

Tom WernerIt was also reported that Apple Inc. uses SunPower arrays to help power its massive data center in North Carolina—a system that produces enough kilowatts to power 17,600 homes.

And then there’s Warren Buffett, the household name of mega-investors. Buffett’s organization, MidAmerican Solar, is investing as much as $2.5 billion in a Los Angeles-area SunPower installation that is the largest permitted solar power development in the world.

Naturally, this is great business news for Werner, a 1982 UW-Madison industrial and systems engineering alumnus who has served as SunPower CEO since 2003. But these stories also represent an exciting turning point for the industry, which Werner describes as “the mainstreaming of solar energy” across major corporations, utilities and residential homes.

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Engineering and the Art of the Big Purchase

Ken Gottesman

When you spend billions on technology, supplies and services, it’s good to have a system. Fortunately, Ken Gottesman, vice president of procurement services at Time Warner Inc., knows systems.

Gottesman graduated from UW-Madison with a BS (1984) and an MS (1987) in industrial engineering. He and his hand-picked team help Time Warner leverage its purchasing power in the marketplace and serve as internal consultants to the media giant and its companies including Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting (CNN, TBS, TNT) HBO and Time Inc., which produces magazines such as Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and People. Time Warner also has a fast-growing online games division. (more…)

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