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Prestigious award recognises solar power innovation

14 Mar 2014

The contribution made by a University of Sydney engineering and business alumnus, Andrew Tanner, to the development of solar power has been recognised with a prestigious 2014 Advance Global Australian of the Year Award for Clean Technology.

Advance Global Australian Awards, supported by the Federal Government, highlight the work of current and emerging Australian leaders living abroad.

Andrew is now Chief Engineer at ThinkNRG, a Silicon Valley based firm focused on renewable energy programs including the development of commercial solar power. 

He is also enrolled in the University of Sydney Business School's Global Executive MBA program, which was recently ranked Australia's top program of its kind by the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine.

"We are delighted for Andrew and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award," said Co-Dean of the Business School, Professor David Grant. "It represents well-deserved recognition of all his hard work and commitment to clean technology."

"Moreover, it is a testament to his outstanding leadership and innovation in this sector," Professor Grant added.

Andrew says his long-term passion for clean technology was inspired by his grandfather who was a mechanical engineer fascinated by solar power.

On completing his mechanical engineering and business degrees, Andrew moved to California and co-found Chromasun, a clean energy company that is now a leading developer and manufacturer of high performance solar solutions.

Chromasun was awarded a $3.5M Australian Solar Institute grant in 2012 to establish manufacturing in Australia and deploy a number of showcase projects.

Since moving to California, Andrew says he has gained the courage to back himself and not fear failure. "You learn in Silicon Valley that failure is actually ok," he said.

Andrew has recently been focusing his efforts on the field of energy storage which he believes presents the greatest opportunity to increase the amount of renewable energy being supplied to consumers.

In 2013 Andrew was awarded the Faculty of Engineering Alumni Award for International Achievement along with the University of Sydney's Young Alumni award.