Guest Lecturer, Mr. Terry Murphy

This past Tuesday in my Engineering 112 (Entrepreneurship for Engineers) class, we had a guest lecturer, Mr. Terry Murphy.

Following suit of the class theme, Mr. Murphy came to give us a presentation on his career. His presentation was rather dry but I thought his content and career was interesting. In summary, he began his career as an aerospace engineer at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, but eventually jumped onto the management ladder. He became an entrepreneur and founded a renewable energy procurement company called SolarReserve and is now the CEO of Persu Ventures, a company that developed a 3-wheel commuter vehicle.

I thought it was really cool how he was able to utilize existing technologies from his previous work and adapt it to a new outlet to create SolarReserve. Licensing the technology used in liquid propulsion under United Techonlogies Corporation (UTC), SolarReserve is able to create the next-generation power plant that produces power on-demand. The basic concept is that an array of mirror would align to face a tower to heat up molten salt, which would be stored as thermal energy. The storage unit is very efficient in retaining the thermal heat so power can be produced during night and day, hence, on demand. It is much more efficient than conventional coal plants and eliminates the dependency on nature like wind farms and conventional solar farms. It addresses the issue of storage/on-demand procurement which is impossible with traditional power plants where the power created is either used or wasted. It seems like a win-win situation in every way.

I find it fascinating to see the career tracks of industry veterans. There is so much to learn from them, given all of the experiences that they have had. It makes me wonder where my career will take me.

Note: slides are taken from Mr. Terry Murphy’s presentation.

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