Highlight Seminar Series: Rangarajan *95 to speak on wind energy

Date: April 19, 2012
Location: Friend 006
Time: 4:30 PM -

Dr. Pratima Rangarajan *95, Senior Vice President, Global Research, Vestas, will give a lecture entitled, “Wind Energy… the Journey” as part of the Andlinger Center’s Highlight Seminar Series.  The seminar will take place on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM in Friend Center 006.  A reception will follow and all members of the community are invited to attend.

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Pratima Rangarajan joined Vestas in 2011 as Senior Vice President, Global Research and Innovation.  She runs a global organization of ~200 scientists located across the globe, including US, Denmark, United Kingdom, and Singapore.  She is responsible for all R&D, intellectual property decisions, and external innovations.  In addition to her role as leader of Research, Rangarajan is also the Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Vestas Turbines R&D.

Dr. Rangarajan started her career at Exxon Chemical Company and then moved to GE where she spent the bulk of her career.  She spent nine years in GE’s Global Research Center in Schenectady, NY building technologies for GE Plastics before moving on to the position of Vice President of Research and Development for NBC-Universal and finally the Business Leader of Licensing and Services for GE Energy.

Rangarajan holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.

ABSTRACT

The wind market is moving from boutique to commodity with subsequent demand for lower cost of electricity. Meanwhile, the wind customer is changing from an early adopter mind set to an early majority, demanding higher technical and project requirements along with lower risks.  Simultaneously, wind turbine manufacturing has moved from niche producers to a global supply chain, significantly lowering the barrier for entry & resulting in more competition. Companies can no longer just supply turbines but must provide complex technical solutions that address both generation and distribution issues, resulting in longer development cycles. This commoditisation of the wind energy industry is going to require significant changes in technology, production, and delivery of the wind power plant. We will discuss the factors that impact the industry including market dynamics, policy changes, and areas requiring critical innovation to continue growth.