Carleton University today conferred an honorary Doctor of Engineering on Ross Koningstein in recognition of his extraordinary career as an engineer, entrepreneur, thoughtful leader and custodian of the planet.
Koningstein was honoured at Carleton’s Spring Convocation, where approximately 3,580 students are receiving their degrees over four days of ceremonies.
Koningstein leads Google’s Advanced Energy R&D group. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Carleton, going on to obtain a PhD in Aerospace Robotics at Stanford University.
“I would like you to be brave. If you’ve got a plan to change the world, please do so. You’ve got an excellent degree, do something awesome with it,” said Koningstein.
“Take chances, take some smart risks, reach beyond your ability, use your competences – and by now you’ve got many – to build your confidence. And use this in your career to take on bigger and bigger things and make bigger and bigger differences.”
He joined Google in 2001 as its first Director of Engineering after an entrepreneurial early career. He was one of the inventors of Google’s AdWords, the main revenue driver for the company.
Koningstein previously contributed to Google’s RE<C effort to develop renewable energy sources and the design of Google’s breakthrough high-efficiency data centre in The Dalles, Oregon.
Now an Engineering Director Emeritus, he focuses on his first love, hands-on engineering. Outside of work, he applied his knowledge of energy systems to his home renovation and won his town’s Green Building Award. He was an executive producer of the movie Pandora’s Promise.
He is an advisory board member for the Third Way Advanced Nuclear Energy Technology Campaign in Washington, D.C.
He is co-author of the IEEE article, What would it really take to reverse climate change, and presented Why incremental advances are inadequate to solving climate change at the 2015 MIT Low-Carbon Energy Workshop.
“Dr. Koningstein is an engineer who epitomizes the profession: versatility, problem solving, leadership and a drive to make a difference using technological solutions for the world’s problems,” said Prof. Ronald Miller, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
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