Advance Award for harvesting the sun’s energy


University of Sydney engineering and business graduate and current Chief engineer at Silicon Valley-based ThinkNRG, Andrew Tanner, has been awarded the 2014 Advance Global Australian of the Year Award for Clean Technology for developing solar power technology that is revolutionising the way we harvest the energy of the sun.

VH 13 Advance Award Winner Andrew Tanner Provided image
Advance Award Winner Andrew Tanner
Provided image

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.

According to the media release by the University of Sydney, Mr Andrew Tanner, who is also currently enrolled in the University of Sydney Business Schools Global Executive MBA program, had been nominated for the Awards by fellow Australian industrial designer Mr Mikal Greaves.

“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,” said Co-Dean of Business School Professor David Grant.

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

He moved to California and co-founded Chromasun, a clean energy company that is now a leading developer and manufacturer of rooftop friendly high performance solar solutions, after completing his mechanical Engineering (Hons.) and business degree.

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

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,” says Andrew.

His recent efforts have been focused on 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 nurture new ideas, technologies, products and services aimed at building stronger, more competitive economy.