Invenergy Blog: January 04, 2022
Meet Our Innovators: Tamuto Takakura, Project Manager
Invenergy is the largest privately-owned sustainable energy developer in the United States, with innovative solar, wind, storage, and thermal projects delivering clean, reliable energy around the globe. We are driven by a passion for building a sustainable world, and critical to our success are the skills and intelligence of the people who work here.
In the “Meet Our Innovators” series, you’ll get to learn more about some of our Invenergy colleagues and the rewarding careers they’ve found in the renewable energy industry. As you’ll see, not all of our colleagues at Invenergy come from a strict energy background but have been able to put their unique training and experience to work in this exciting and growing new field.
Tamuto Takakura is one of those people. Tamuto is a project manager who leads and coordinates the construction of Invenergy’s power projects. He has been with the company since 2019 and works primarily on renewable energy projects in Japan, including the construction of Invenergy’s third solar project and the first wind farm in the country. “One of the first things my graduate school advisor told me about my career as an engineer was that I was going to have to identify problems to solve, figure out how to solve it, solve it, and most importantly, communicate my findings in a clear and concise way,” Tamuto recalls. This directive has informed his work developing and building innovative power projects in Japan just as it did when he was designing turbomachinery for liquid rocket engines.
As Tamuto explains, a turbomachine is anything that rotates to generate power (like a turbine) or absorbs power (like a compressor). His first job out of college involved “big, expensive games of trial-and-error” to figure out the design features that were leading to efficiency losses in airplane engines. “I love collecting and looking at data, and the story data wants to tell you is sometimes revolutionary,” he says. “Finding that needle in a data haystack is very rewarding.”
Tamuto moved on from airplane engines to get his Ph.D. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. “My thesis was titled Entropy Generation in the Tip Region of a High-Pressure Turbine – I am more than happy to give a copy to anyone who has difficulty falling asleep at night!” he says with a laugh. The page-turning nature of his thesis aside, Tamuto was becoming interested in other fields and thought his knowledge and experience could help in the fight against climate change. "Rocket engines and wind farms, while seemingly very different, utilize similar turbine technology,” he says. "The fact that I can use my skills in an industry that can help our planet for generations to come is a bonus.”
Tamuto saw a post on LinkedIn about an available position at Invenergy. The growth potential, both for the company and his own professional life, as well as the unique company culture, convinced him to apply.
Once he came on board and got in his groove, Tamuto went back to school to pursue an MBA to expand his people and project management capabilities. He can still get in the weeds with data, but the business focus helped him balance his engineer’s tendency to look for the perfect answer with the fast-paced nature of the energy business. Having always enjoyed the people management side of his job, Tamuto appreciates how his MBA program provided him with the tools to help his colleagues build their careers as well.
“I view my job as a manager, scientist, engineer, and designer all rolled into one. This mix of duties not only makes each day exciting but draws on my personal interests and my academic training to help me be successful in my role,” he says. “That means we reach project conclusions faster and most efficiently, which is good at a place like Invenergy where our jobs require us to be on the forefront of the renewable energy revolution!”
To learn more about where and how you can put your experience to work for Invenergy, be sure to follow Invenergy on LinkedIn or visit our website for more information about careers at Invenergy.