Santa Clara University

engineering_1_1
RSS

  •  On a Mission to Reduce Energy Use

    Friday, Apr. 11, 2014

    When Opower, a global leader in cloud-based software for the utility industry, took their company public and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month, two SCU alums were part of the team that helped build the company’s success.

    Agustin Fonts ’08 (electrical engineering) and Ryan Leary ’08 (computer engineering) are now both employed by the company whose software is transforming the way the world approaches household energy conservation, but their careers in the energy industry really started when they joined the 2007 Santa Clara University Solar Decathlon team as undergraduates.

    “One of the things we were exposed to as Solar Decathletes was taking a project from an idea to release over the span of two of years. To come up with the idea, put it to paper, execute and showcase it is a lengthy process. It would have taken us several years in a professional career to understand what we learned as undergraduates,” said Fonts. Leary agreed. “We learned what it means to ship a real product, how to measure and verify that our concepts worked; we had to prove our results. Having the experience of working on such a large-scale project as the Solar Decathlon, where we designed, built, and showcased a full-sized and fully functional solar-powered home in competition against 19 other international university teams, gave us a tremendous leg up as we started out after graduation,” he said.

    Before they had even graduated, the pair—along with several of their SCU Solar Decathlon teammates—had formed their own start-up, Valence Energy, where they took their engineering and project management experience to the next level, wearing many different hats as they set about designing and launching a distributed control system to maximize energy efficiency for the built environment. Valence Energy was acquired by Serious Materials (now Serious Energy) and the teammates went their separate ways professionally, but maintained a strong connection.

    Fast forward a couple of years to 2012 and Fonts, now International Product Manager for Opower, recruited Leary to join the company as Engineering Manager, accountable for promoting good engineering practices and managing software release and testing by working with engineering services and QA release management for the company’s suite of products focused on energy efficiency, customer engagement, demand response, and thermostat management. With their early “crash-course” experience in product development and project management, the two were well-rounded and had the proficiency needed to jump in and be part of the successful company. “Our product reaches more than 32 million households and businesses in 8 countries,” said Fonts, who is responsible for preparing the software to be sold across the world by managing the translation, setting standards for software internationalization, and making sure the products work culturally across the globe.

    The company’s recent successful IPO was exciting, but both Leary and Fonts claim it is the founders’ mission to lower energy use that is most gratifying. “Yes, they threw us an amazing party after the initial day of trading; it was a blast and a lot of fun, but the reason people enjoy working here so much has more to do with the company’s commitment to achieving a double bottom line of profitability and energy savings,” said Leary. Fonts added, “After the IPO dust settled, the company gave a gift to employees that can only be opened after a one-percent reduction in residential energy consumption has been met in the United States. For Opower, the IPO is only the beginning; we’re about achieving a mission.”

    Coming from Santa Clara’s School of Engineering, where “Engineering with a Mission” is the credo, the two feel right at home putting their ethics, values, and talents to work in their careers.

  •  Mech Student Receives Prestigious Funding

    Monday, Apr. 7, 2014

    Claire Kunkle , senior mechanical engineering student, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to fund her Ph.D.studies. Claire has already been accepted into the Ph.D. programs at Berkeley and Illinois and is waiting to hear from MIT. This is an amazing accomplishment, as the program is highly competitive; this year NSF awarded 2,000 fellowships (over 14,000 apps were submitted) in a wide range of fields—life sciences, social sciences, technology, mathematics, and engineering—and Claire was competing against not only fellow undergraduates, but also first year Ph.D. students, for the prestigious fellowship. She expects to focus her research on sustainable energy—thermal systems/heat transfer, with a goal of becoming a university professor. Congratulations, Claire! More on the award here .

  •  2014 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards Announced

    Monday, Apr. 7, 2014

    Congratulations to Steven Chiesa '75, John Maydonovitch '73, Timothy Shih '93, and Aleksandar Zecevic '90 and '93 who are being honored with the School of Engineering's highest award. Read why they were selected here.

  •  Winter eNews is Available Online Now

    Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014

    The latest edition of Engineering News, our School of Engineering quarterly newsletter, is available online now. To subscribe to our newsletter, sign up here.

  •  Nam Ling Named Outstanding Overseas Scholar

    Friday, Feb. 14, 2014

    Nam Ling, chair and professor of computer engineering, has been named "Outstanding Overseas Scholar" by Shanghai University of Electric Power (SHIEP). The IEEE Fellow was appointed due to his extensive research (more than 170 publications in top-tier journals) and because of the contributions he and his team of researchers from Santa Clara University and Huawei Tehcnologies, Inc./Hisilicon are making in the field of 3D video coding—much of which is being adopted as the normative, or required, industry standard.

  •  Solar Decathlon @ SCU

    Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

    Check out this video about Santa Clara Engineering's biggest hands-on project.

  •  Sarah Kate Wilson Named IEEE Fellow

    Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014

    Sarah Kate Wilson, associate professor of electrical engineering, has been named an IEEE Fellow in recognition of her outstanding contributions to orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). The highest level of IEEE membership, this prestigious honor is conferred on only a select few—no more than one-tenth of one-percent of voting IEEE members may be granted this distinction each year.

  •  EE Prof Named "Woman of the Year"

    Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013

    Shoba Krishnan, associate professor of electrical engineering was named "Woman of the Year" for the 25th Assembly District, represented by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski. At the awards ceremony, held December 11, 2013, at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, Krishnan was recognized for her dedication to students both inside and outside the classroom as well as her work on community projects and STEM education. She was also commended for her role in motivating young women and other marginalized communities to pursue science as a profession.

  •  Student Field Work Featured in Article

    Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013

    Research work to detect pathogens in drinking water performed by bioengineering's Jessica VanderGeissen '14 and the School of Engineering's Frugal Innovation Lab was featured in this article in Sci Dev Net.

  •  SCU Named One of Best 378 Colleges

    Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013

    The Princeton Review features SCU in the 2014 edition of its annual survey.

  •  Computer Engineers Create App for Homeless

    Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

    Many local agencies offer services for those in need, but for the estimated 7,000 homeless people in Santa Clara County, help is often elusive. Now a small group of Santa Clara University students has transformed a simple mobile phone into a vital conduit for assistance.

  •  SCU Solar Decathlon Updates

    Monday, Sep. 23, 2013

    Catch all the news as our SCU Solar Decathletes compete in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA, Oct. 3-13. Read regular updates on our Solar Decathlon Blog!

  •  Engineering Profs Honored

    Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013

    At the September 17 Santa Clara University Faculty Recognition event, the School of Engineering was the shining star as a number of our faculty members were honored for their distinct and far-reaching contributions to the School and to the University. Shoba Krishnan, Tim Healy, and Ed Maurer received Presidential Awards and Samiha Mourad was honored with the Faculty Senate Professor Award.

  •  SCU Solar Decathletes Shine in SJMN Article

    Monday, Sep. 16, 2013

    Mike Cassidy of the San Jose Mercury News goes looking for a heated rivalry between Santa Clara Solar Decathletes and competitors from a certain neighboring university, but finds Jesuit-inspired goodwill instead. Read his fun article.

  •  SCU Frugal Innovation Lab Featured

    Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013

    The School of Engineering's Frugal Innovation Lab (FIL) was featured in an article in the recent edition of New Scientist. Read how the FIL is helping to shape the emerging field of frugal engineering.

  •  Santa Clara's Radiant House is Ready to Rock

    Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2013

    Read about SCU's entry in the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Solar Decathlon in this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

  •  SCU Engineering Ranked in Top Ten

    Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2013

    In the newly released U.S. News & World Report rankings, Santa Clara University's School of Engineering is now in the top 10 undergraduate engineering programs offered by master's universities.

  •  SCU Engineering Nets Top Honors for ROI

    Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013

    Santa Clara University has been identified as one of the nation's top engineering programs for lifetime return on investment by AffordableCollegesOnline.org (AC Online), a leading resource for college affordability and financial aid information. Graduates of SCU, which was ranked 12 out of the 20 programs recognized, enjoy one of the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over thirty years, and earn more on average than engineering graduates from other schools.

  •  Solar Decathlon Send-off Photos

    Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

    View a slideshow of photos from the August 19 Solar Decathlon Send-off Celebration here at SCU. Students, alumni, Santa Clara faculty and administrators were on hand as Congressman Mike Honda wished the team well.

  •  SCU Ranked Tops in Sustainability

    Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

    Santa Clara was named one of Sierra magazine's top 50 "Cool Schools" for 2013 for leading the way in sustainability initiatives and projects such as Solar Decathlon.

E-News Subscribe

upcomingevents_new

LinkedIn-Logo

 


SCU Stories
Alex Granieri
Alex Granieri

Mechanical engineering majors give an ordinary motorcycle major updates and piques BMW's interest.

Read the full profile »

Printer-friendly format