TowerPower's international team is made up of experienced individuals united by the desire to increase renewable energy provisioning and create a lasting positive social and economic impact.
Volkmar has more than 20 years of experience in management consulting, entrepreneurship and business development in Europe and the US, particularly in the IT and clean tech sectors. He holds an MBA and graduated with distinction with a BA in Economics and Human Resources from the University of Wurzburg and Hawaii Pacific University. He has published several papers about green innovation and technology. He speaks German, English and French.
Frans van Vuuren
Frans van Vuuren has 20+ years of widespread telecommunication experience in Africa and Middle East. He was also part and instrumental of the Celtel Group success history in Africa from 1999 – 2004 and was part of a very dynamic team that was responsible for rapid deployments and startups. His vast experience is predominantly in operations and maintenance and has filled numerous Technical Director’s and CTO positions in various mobile companies in Africa and Middle East. He is also highly-experienced in solving problems, improvement initiatives and convey complexed product and services development concepts in a best practice and compelling manner. Frans held a Master’s of Science degree in International Management from Liverpool University (UK).
Dr. Rainer Brendle
Dr. Rainer Brendle is a long term expert, engineer and designer of enterprise systems. Rainer spent more than 20 years helping SAP to design and develop various SAP’s ERP enterprise architectures.
Before joining TowerPower, Inc. Rainer was Vice President and Technical fellow at SAP, Palo Alto.
Rainer holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Stuttgart in the field of solid-state physics, thermodynamics and quantum field theory..He has 25 granted patents in his name.
Ahmed Belhadj Amor
Vice President Business Development Middle East
Ahmed Amor with over 20 years extensive experience in Power Supply systems for Telecom and Industry sector, deep knowledge in UPS, Solar Hybrid and Clean Energy Solutions for Radio and Core Mobile applications, he holds a Bachelor Sc. in Electrical Engineering and speaks Arabic, French and English.Ahmed has gained competencies in the area of Bid Management and B2B-Business at SIEMENS and will be placing the emphasis of his work on customers in the Middle East and North Africa regions.
Dr. Sakib Khan
Dr. Khan holds a BSc(HONS) in Chemistry (UK), and a PhD in hydrogen fuel cell technology (UK). He is located in Sandton, South Africa. He has over 19 years’ experience in the energy industry mainly in the emerging markets, and particularly throughout Africa. Skills include business development, business start-up, techno-economic modelling and management.
He has been an advisor to the South African government and was on the core planning team that developed the countries hydrogen and fuel cell strategy. He has also consulted with a wide array of companies and governments throughout Africa (and in Europe and US) in the area of energy provision and efficiency. This has included working with ICT and telecommunications companies in reducing OPEX associated with base station infrastructure. Dr Khan is currently also setting up Africa’s first fuel cell component manufacturing plant.
Dr Khan has a keen interest in utilising emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IOT), crypto-currencies and drones to help solve some of the emerging world’s most pressing social, economic and energy challenges.
Dr. Paul Ndione
Originally from Senegal, Dr. Ndione received an undergraduate degree from Bordeaux, France, and a doctorate from the University of Quebec, Canada. He is the leader at the Pulsed-Laser Deposition laboratory at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He aims to adapt solar technology to the realities of Africa, and promote collaboration between the USA and Africa in the field of renewable energy.
Keith qualified as an electrical engineer at University of Cape Town (UCT) and his work
experience covers a wide variety of positions in telecoms and related skills. He started
his career in Fixed line network rising to an Area Operations Manager. He joined
Vodacom RSA at startup and was instrumental in the initial rollout and operations of the
Western Cape’s switching and Radio Access Network. He also project managed the
implementation of the first 3 Solar powered BTS sites in RSA in 1995. He introduced
the concept in integrated spare parts maintenance management for Vodacom.
He moved to working in Africa (2000) at Celtel (Airtel) in Malawi as an operations/project
director and later ( 2004) in Democratic Republic of Congo as a technical director.He
then consulted to various telecoms and network companies between 2006 to 2013,
including intelligent power management systems (IPMS) mainly in Africa. He took on
the startup for GSM Systems as the country operations for Kenya.
Marianna Grossman is founder and managing partner of Minerva Ventures, a consultancy and venture advisory focused on solutions for a resilient future and climate adaptation. Previously, she led Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV), a multi-sector network that brings the ingenuity of Silicon Valley to create a more sustainable region and world. Former roles include Partner for Sustainability and Innovation at Minerva Consulting; and corporate roles in the automotive, computer and semiconductor industries. She serves on California Climate Adaptation and Resilience Action Plan Technical Advisory Group for Governor Brown; Board of Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities; California Congress of the International Living Future Institute; Sustainability Committee of the SF Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee; Climate Music Project; and, advisory council for climate action for the City of Palo Alto. She earned a BA in Policy Studies from Dartmouth and an MBA from Yale.
Kurt E. Yeager retired from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Palo Alto, California on September 1, 2004. After retiring from EPRI, Mr. Yeager created the non-profit Galvin Electricity Initiative with Robert Galvin, the father of the cell phone revolution, and served as Vice Chairman of the Initiative and its Perfect Power Institute. That focused on transforming the reliability and value of U.S. electricity service through state-of-the art smart grid technology implementation, and transformation of the regulated utility business model with emphasis on Micro Grids. The Galvin Electricity Initiative concluded at the end of 2014. He also chaired a recent World Energy Council Study on Energy and Climate Change. Mr. Yeager was a member of the Board of the EnergyConnect Corporation until its merger with Johnson Controls in July 2011, and previously served on the board of the APX Corporation. In March 2013 at the EnergyBiz Leadership Forum, Mr. Yeager received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Yeager is now a very active Advisor to a number of energy organizations throughout the United States
Björn D. Fischer
Björn D. Fischer (M.Sc.), Managing Director and founder of EcoKraft GmbH with offices in
Frankfurt am Main, Germany, has over 25 years of experience in real estate & climate and
sustainability finance. As a carbon market pioneer (since 2001) and expert on climate change
topics, Björn advises public and private entities on climate change strategies with a focus on
climate and sustainability finance. Björn was the Climate Fund Director of the Indonesian Climate
Change Trust Fund (ICCTF) from 2013-15 and was responsible for the institutional and
organizational development of the ICCTF and successfully raised over $20 million USD for new
projects and authored the Fund’s business plan (2014-2020). His expertise covers business and financial planning, compliance with fiduciary standards, climate finance readiness, project & finance management, organizational development & capacity development coupled with 17 years foreign country experience e.g. the Netherlands, USA, Kenya, Caribbean and Indonesia.
Dr. Ugo Nwokeji
Dr. Nwokej is Associate Professor & Director of a Center for African Studies. Professor Nwokeji's research deals with the cultural history and political economy of Africa since 1500, with particular focus on international commerce in the Nigerian Niger Delta and its hinterland. Dr. Nwokeji has a special interest in energy policy and industry performance. He has worked closely with the energy industry for twelve years as a researcher, analyst and consultant. An award-winning author, he has peer-reviewed for several premier energy publications and is currently helping the International Labor Organization (ILO) in producing the multi volume General Labor History of Africa. Professor Nwokeji was educated at the University of Port Harcourt, Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife), Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Toronto. He was an assistant professor of history at the University of Connecticut for four years prior to coming to Berkeley in 2003. Since 1999, he has also held either visiting professorship or fellowship in the following institutions--Emory University, Yale University, Harvard University, and Zentrum Moderner Orient.