Westinghouse Engineers Innovate New Horizons

Posted February 23, 2015 by Jim Brennan

February 22 to 28 is Engineers Week. Jim Brennan, senior vice president of Westinghouse’s Engineering Center of Excellence, shares his thoughts on Westinghouse engineering.

George Westinghouse was a visionary and a prolific inventor (credited with more than 361 patented inventions), but his most notable achievement may have been seeing the widespread potential of Nikola Tesla’s alternating current system and commercializing it to make electric light something that was accessible to more than wealthy urbanites. In 1893, Westinghouse received the contract to light the Chicago World’s Fair and the rest, as they say, was history.

Our company has changed dramatically over the years, but George Westinghouse’s innovative engineering spirit and desire to help mankind by delivering electricity is still very much a part of our collective Westinghouse DNA. Today, our engineers are focused on providing clean, safe, efficient nuclear energy by keeping nuclear plants operating safely and efficiently (as we have since Shippingport Nuclear Power Station was commissioned in 1958), and bringing light to parts of the world that may still be in the dark.

In The World Energy Outlook 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that an estimated two billion people have no access to electricity. I heard a story on NPR recently about this very subject. It seems that although much of India is connected to the grid, some 300 million people – mostly in the country’s rural areas – do not have electricity. We know we can help there. Nuclear power is the most environmentally benign way of producing electricity on a large scale, and Westinghouse engineers are working to make electricity accessible by delivering innovative new plants designs, like our AP1000® pressurized water reactor. Eight AP1000 plants are currently under construction in the United States and China.

It’s an exciting time to be an engineer at Westinghouse.

Beyond doing what we do, we continually assess how we deliver our engineering services and the ways in which we may improve. Innovation, process simplification and implementation of new engineering tools pave the way for our engineers to do what they do best: innovate the next solution to help our customers deliver energy that’s safer, cleaner and more reliable for more people and a better planet.

George Westinghouse famously said, “If some day they say of me that in my work I have contributed something to the welfare and happiness of my fellow man, I shall be satisfied.”

Throughout his career, George Westinghouse did just that. Today’s Westinghouse engineers are proud to take up the mantle of making electricity widely available and improving the standard of living for people around the world.

    Jim Brennan

   Senior Vice President, Engineering Center of Excellence
   Westinghouse Electric Company
Categories: Engineering