About Us

Professional team

The AeroMINE™team is led by Dr. Carsten Westergaard, who is the inventor and founder of AeroMINE. He has a life time experience in utility scale wind.


All team members have elaborate experience from utility scale wind and other relevant industries, working globally as team members. Jointly, the team has more than 100+years of experience in global utility wind energy business and technology innovation with more than 100 combined patents in wind. The team has been through numerous small and large wind turbine platform launches in their careers.

Team bio

Experienced advisors

AeroMINE™developments are overseen by an advisory board. Dick Williams, chairman of the advisory board has a lifetime of experience in the energy industry and the Houston entrepreneur community as a former President of Shell Wind, chairman of the Houston Technology Center and interim director of the recently launched Houston Exponential initiative. 


The advisory board consist of 4 more members from the Houston ecosystem with expertise in serial entrepreneurship, intellectual property and energy law.

Advisor bio

Great partners

AeroMINE™ has been developed and tested in partnership with Texas Tech University and Sandia National Laboratories.

Partner bio

Team

Dr. Carsten H. Westergaard

Dr. Carsten H. Westergaard, invented AeroMINE and developed the initial business case based on his 25 years of experience and observations in wind energy, aerodynamics and business development in the renewable energy segment. AeroMINE was formulated during his time limited tenure at Texas Tech University as a professor of practice where he researched and taught wind energy.


In his career, he has participated in numerous innovative projects with small and large companies, small and large wind turbines, with public and private partners/funding. His first small wind project was a collaboration between LM Wind Power, ONERA (French NASA) and then Danish National Laboratory Risø in 1996. That particular project ultimately led to the Gaia 13kW wind turbine, which is still being sold.


In his tenure as director of global technology in Vestas Wind Systems research division he spearheaded the Vestas’ flap project together with The Danish Innovation Technology fund and Risø. As senior advisor to Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico on wind energy, he has amongst many other efforts, been an integral part of the SWiFT research grade windfarm program.


Carsten has served in numerous advisory board positions and chaired international reviews of large multi-year government research programs in several countries. Carsten earned his Ph.D. from the Danish Technical University with a thesis on optical computing and laser based turbulent flow measurements. During his student years he was at the University of Illinois, CERN in Switzerland and Baker Oil Tools in Houston. He has been holding a variety of management roles, including sales and marketing roles, working for LM Wind Power, Dantec Dynamics, Force Technology and Vestas Wind Systems in Denmark and the US. 


During his industrial career he has published more than 100 publications and 30 patents/pending.



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Dr. Feng Zhang

Dr. Feng Zhang has extensive experiences in industrial IoT, data analytics, control system, manufacturing, software engineering and product management in both automotive and renewable energy. He has served as Director of Global Digital Energy Center in Houston and Member of Executive committee for Envision Energy, the fifth largest turbine manufacturer in the world, leading digital innovation and data analytics platform development. With Envision, he also held multiple senior leadership positions in the past, including R&D Director leading wind turbine engineering in Shanghai and head of global technology management committee. 


Prior to Envision Energy, he was Deputy Director of passenger diesel engine development for GM-SAIC joint program in Shanghai. After he earned his M.S and B.S from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Houston in 2005, he started his career working for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI. as a senior powertrain control system researcher. 


He is a well-known expert in control system engineering and applications with numerous of journal papers, patents, conference proceedings and presentations.

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Dr. Søren Hjort

Dr. Søren Hjort is an aerodynamics expert with 20 years of experience in wind power and other fluid flow challenges. He started his career as an aerodynamic engineer for Siemens Wind Power in Denmark, designing tools and rotor systems for utility scale wind turbines. He joined FloDesign Wind Turbine in Boston as a senior engineer during the initial concept design and testing. Later, he became chief engineer for Wind Nordic, an expert wind turbine consultancy. As director of Volu Ventis, he has developed and patented hydrodynamic high lift fish trawling equipment (trawl doors). 


Søren obtained his MSc in Mechanical Engineering and PhD in Aerodynamic Research from the Technical University of Denmark, and has a post-graduate diploma in Aerodynamic Research at von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, where he earned an Award of Excellence for Numerical Research. Søren has published numerous scientific publications and has eleven patents/pending.

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Dr. William L. (Bill) Erdman

Dr. Erdman, is an expert in electrical systems and renewable energy consulting company. Previously, he was head of department in DNV-GL, focusing on wind and solar energy technology and deployment. Bill began his renewable energy career holding staff positions leading to vice-president at US Windpower - Kenetech from 1990 to 1997 where he was responsible for power conversion technology, intellectual property, and product/project development on the KVS33 variable speed utility scale wind turbine project. In 1997, he was a founder of Trace Technologies Corporation, which was the major supplier of utility scale, variable speed wind turbine converters & control systems to Zond Energy, Tacke Wind, and Enron Wind (now GE Wind Energy).  


In 2011, the American Wind Energy Association recognized Bill with its “Outstanding Technical Contribution Award at its fall meeting. Bill Erdman received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri. He was an inaugural IEEE Myron Zucker research award winner and is named inventor on over 75 domestic and international patents related to wind energy, photovoltaic inverters and grid interconnection technology.

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Board of advisors

Dick Williams, chair

Dick Williams is an independent consultant with extensive experience in the energy industry.  Dick joined Shell in 1980 after receiving his electrical engineering degree from Penn State. He worked in a variety of Shell Pipeline's regions as an engineer. After returning to Houston for several positions in the business and leading the commercial development effort of a major restructuring, Dick served three years as the commercial manager for Shell Distribution NA and was appointed President, Shell Wind Energy, Inc. in 2008.  

Shell’s Wind activities include operating 10 wind farms, eight in North America and two in Europe, with a capacity of 1000 MW and developing new projects in North America. 


Dick was one of the founding chairmen of The Wind Alliance, a consortium for academia, government, and industry established to focus on the long-term safety, operational, and technical success of the Wind Industry and is chairman of the Houston Technology Center.

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Michael Sklar

Michael Sklar is a tech entrepreneur and startup investor. He currently helps startups with their go-to-market strategy. He was most recently the Managing Director at Station Houston, the leading digital B2B hub in Houston Prior to Station, he was recruited by MercuryFund to become the CEO of Graylog, a German-based software company and relocated them to Houston for market and capital access. Michael’s corporate experience came after selling his company to VMware where he was on the sales and alliances leadership teams as the company grew from $400 million to $2B. He started his career as a sales person in Asia. Michael’s angel investments have included Sweet Leaf Tea  (acquired by Nestle) and Tympany (acquired by Sonic). Michael has an MBA in entrepreneurship from The University of Texas McCombs school of business and a liberal arts degree from Haverford College. 

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William Garner, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

William Garner, Co-Chair of GT’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group and Chair of the firm’s Renewable Energy Practice Group, focuses his practice on domestic and international hydrocarbon and inert gas transactions and renewable energy. He has experience working on worldwide natural gas projects, including unconventional gas. He has worked on projects in the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Poland, Kazakhstan, U.A.E., Algeria, Turkey and Mexico. William has also provided counsel to major energy companies, and served as an investment banker for the world's leading oil and gas investment banking boutique, advising on domestic and international upstream and midstream transactions.


Prior to joining the GT, William was senior counsel at a multi-practice global law firm.

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Partners

Dr. Brent Houchens, Sandia National Laboratories

Bio on its way

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Dr. Suhas Pol, Texas Tech University

Dr. Suhas Pol is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University. His expertise is in the field of fluid dynamics applied to wind energy and recently to healthcare diagnostics. Suhas also collaborates with wind energy industry partners and Sandia National Laboratories. He is a co-investigator of a wind energy start up funded project that requires cutting edge diagnostic tools implemented at TTU to validate next generation wind turbine concepts. Prior to his position at TTU he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was responsible for developing large-field instrumentation capable of characterization of flow physics around wind turbines and other large aerodynamic structures. 


In addition, Suhas has also participated in the national and regional NSF I-Corp training programs familiarizing him with the product-market fit searching process.

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