Alumnus finds ways to harness solar power

first_imgPatrick McCullough, CEO of Amonix, the world leader in solar system efficiency, spoke on renewable energy and entrepreneurship Tuesday in the Montgomery Auditorium in LaFortune. McCullough graduated from Notre Dame in 1995 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and was one of the first two engineers to unite the MBA program with an engineering degree. Amonix is the industry leader in the design and manufacturing of utility-scale solar power systems, McCullough said. The company strives to be on the cutting edge of semiconductors and optics, while staying connected with the business side of energy, he said. McCullough said Vahan Garboushian, the founder and CTO of Amonix, pioneered concentrating photovoltaics (CPV),  which is why Amonix’s main advantage is incorporating optics with leading semiconductor solutions, while optimizing power path and dual access tracking accuracy. McCullough said even with this technological breakthrough Amonix is still restrained by the limits of the overall energy market and the solar energy industry within it. “Even if you have the most efficient solar equipment, great innovation cannot happen without the macroeconomics of energy,” McCullough said. McCullough said solar energy is one of the fastest growing industry in the world, but it has slow, steady, returns compared to other sectors. While coal, oil and gas fuels two-thirds of the world’s demand for energy, solar power only comprises a fraction of one percent. “Solar’s penetration is a joke compared to other forms of energy,” he said. “It hasn’t had significant traction to date.” In terms of growth from 2005 to 2010, however, solar power has seen a 52.7 percent increase, he said. Solar power will see more jobs over the next four years, especially in CPV. “But a solar company’s success has nothing to do with these numbers,” McCullough said. “It has more to do with the market that’s made in specific locations throughout the world.” The lowest cost of energy wins, McCullough said. In order to lower their cost of energy, companies must reduce both the cost of ownership and improve energy production, he said. Amonix had to respond to a dynamic market over the past five years, McCullough said. The company scaled up in 2011 to implement their solar system technology, but when Chinese government subsidies increased, the market price fell through the floor, “killing a lot of solar companies.” Forced to cut back drastically to survive, Amonix closed its plants and laid off employees in an effort to restructure. “This is the hardest stuff that a startup has to do: to commercialize in a dynamic marketplace, invest in research and development, make and sell our own equipment,” he said. “The fact that we are alive is impressive.” McCullough said activist groups such as Greenpeace risk life and limb to prevent large oil companies from damaging the environment, but there are other ways to make the world a better place. “If you invent the technology to disrupt the oil and gas business, that will fundamentally change things,” he said. McCullough said he worked at Ford Motor Company and Berkshire Hathaway before entering the energy industry. When he graduated from Notre Dame, he said his top career goal centered on salary, but eventually he asked himself about the greater meaning of his work. “Whether you’re doing technical or commercial work, you can do something you’re proud of,” he said. “You can make a difference.” Contact Meghan Thomassen at [email protected]last_img read more

Dolphins hit the doldrums after last minute defeat

first_imgPattaya United’s Picha U-Tra (right) challenges for the ball with Ratchaburi FC’s Phillip Roller during the Thai League 1 fixture at the Mitr Phol Stadium in Ratchaburi, Saturday, May 12. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)Pattaya United suffered another disappointing result on the road last weekend when they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Ratchaburi FC at the Mitr Phol Stadium on Saturday night.  The Dolphins third loss in their last five league games has seen the team slip down the table and United now stand just 2 points above the drop zone.United competed on a fairly equal footing with Ratcha­buri last weekend and came closest to opening the scoring when Lee Won-Young saw his goalbound header cleared off the line.The hosts bounced back and took the lead on 40 minutes when United failed to prevent a Ratchaburi break down the right flank and when the cross came in, the home team’s Korean forward Kang Soo-Il was waiting in the six-yard box to turn the ball home.After the halftime break United piled the pressure on the home defence but the Dolphins were lacking a clinical final pass and many half chances went begging.  It appeared the game was destined to be settled by a solitary goal until the 81st minute when United striker Lukian was fouled on the edge of the Ratcahburi area.  Lukian’s teammate Jakkaphan Praisuwan stepped up to take the resultant free-kick and sent a beautiful curling shot past the despairing dive of Wongmeema into the hosts’ goal to level the score at 1-1. The equalizing goal was no more than United deserved for their second half efforts but it was all to be for naught as in the third minute of stoppage time the United defence was caught napping from a free-kick and Ratcha­buri’s Chutong ghosted into the area to head the winner past Khammai and send the Dolphins home empty handed.It was cruel luck on United to lose in such a manner but they will need to regroup rapidly for this coming weekend’s challenge when they take on table-topping Buriram at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya. Kick-off on Sunday is scheduled for 6 pm.last_img read more

Muscles flex, biceps bulge at Pattaya bodybuilding showdown

first_imgTop male and female bodybuilders from across Thailand competed for cash prizes and prepared for international competitions at the Thailand Bodybuilding 2014 tournament held in Pattaya earlier this month. The April 5-6 Thailand Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Association event at Royal Garden Plaza saw bodybuilders compete in 12 categories and numerous weight classes to win acclaim for having the “perfect physique,” promote Pattaya tourism and prep for the Asian Bodybuilding Championships (Aug. 26) in Macau and world championships being held Nov. 24-30 in India.Wuthichai Sangtula from the Muscletech Thailand team holds aloft the prestigious HRH Princess Sirindhorn royal cup after retaining his ‘Mr. Thailand’ title in Pattaya.Association President Phakphong Kriangsak opened the event with Maj. Gen. Jaruk Aariratchakaran, vice president of the Olympic Committee of Thailand, and Montree Chaiyaphan, deputy governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, and other guests attending. Taught torsos on display at the Thailand Bodybuilding 2014 contest held April 5-6 at the Royal Garden Plaza.Previous ‘Mr. Thailand’ winner Wuthichai Sangtula from Muscletech Thailand again won the annual competition, beating out five other athletes in the “Champ of Champs” contest.Favorite Wilaipoen Wannaklang of Muscletech also repeated as the female champion.  Chaiwat Thongsaeng from the Thai-Japan Camp also defended his title as winner of the Male Model Fitness 170cm class.Other categories included junior and senior bodybuilders, athletic physique, model physique, and a class for newcomers.  The top five finishers in each group received cash prizes.Sittinan Khayanthum, a 16-year-old competing in the newcomers’ class, said diet and rest were keys to his preparation for the competition.  The Chantaburi native said he plans to try again at a future event.Universal Bodybuilding sent seven athletes to the meet.  The camp had enjoyed success with silver and gold medalists at previous competitions.Wilaipoen Wannaklang was the winner of the women’s crown.last_img read more

Golf courses open, ID card or passport must be shown

first_imgPolice and government officials visit Bangpra Golf Club to check and make sure they are all complying fully with safety measures to prevent the spread of covid-19.The East Coast Golf Courses Management Association reminds all golfers that during the COVID-19 pandemic, to play golf in Thailand including the eastern seaboard, Thai golfers must show their ID cards and all foreign nationals must show their real passports (no photocopies). Promoted ContentFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread ArtbrainberriesThe Best Cars Of All Timebrainberries8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growthbrainberries2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearbrainberriesFake brand-name goods worth over 100 million baht seized in Bangkok – Patt…What Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?brainberriesCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?brainberries7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Become A VegetarianbrainberriesAll quarantines in Thailand apply same rules for both Thai and foreign arr…Who’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?brainberries7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Pennybrainberries10 Risky Jobs Some Women DobrainberriesMajestic Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden in Chiang Mai open FREE on Mother’s …The Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love Withbrainberries6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually Truebrainberries Foreign passport holders must have an entry stamp to show that they have resided in Thailand for the past 14 days. Without these documents, you will not be allowed to play and it would be a waste of time going to the golf course.This is only a temporary measure until the spread of the coronavirus is controlled.Government health department officials,police and volunteers visited EGA golf courses in Bangpra Friday to check and make sure they are all complying fully with safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.last_img read more