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Advance Award for harvesting the sun's energy


14 March 2014

Andrew Tanner, winner of the 2014 Advance Global Australian of the Year Award for Clean Technology.
Andrew Tanner, winner of the 2014 Advance Global Australian of the Year Award for Clean Technology.

Developing solar power technology that is revolutionising the way we harvest the sun's energy is among a number of reasons why University of Sydney engineering and business alumnus, Andrew Tanner, has been awarded the 2014 Advance Global Australian of the Year Award for Clean Technology.

Advance Global Australian Awards together with the Australian Federal Government (through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) showcase the work of current and emerging Australian leaders living abroad.

Nominated by fellow Australian industrial designer Mr Mikal Greaves, Andrew is now Chief Engineer at ThinkNRG a Silicon Valley based firm focused on renewable energy programs in particular the development of commercial solar projects.

He is also currently enrolled in the University of Sydney Business Schools Global Executive MBA program, which was recently ranked Australia's top program of its kind by AFR Boss Magazine.

Co-Dean of Business School Professor David Grant, said "We are delighted for Andrew and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award. It represents well-deserved recognition of all his hard work and commitment to clean tech. Moreover, it is a testament to his outstanding leadership and innovation in this sector."

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 (Hons.) and business degree Andrew moved to California and co-found Chromasun, a clean energy company that is now a leading developer and manufacturer of rooftop friendly 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 the world's most recognised high-tech business area Andrew says: "My greatest lesson learned is I think that I've gain the courage to back myself and not fear failure - it's definitely something you learn in Silicon Valley failure is actually ok."

He has recently been focusing his efforts in the field of energy storage which he believes presents the greatest opportunity to increase the proportion 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. He has also featured in Australian Bulletin Magazine's Smart 100 and the Young Achiever in the Environment category.

The Advance Awards were established as means to foster new ideas, technologies, products and services that are the key to growing a stronger, more competitive economy.

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