Craig Burton has been an innovator of pond aeration solutions since 2009. The most recent result of his engineering efforts is the PondHawk® (U.S. Pat. No. 9,290,398), a fully-integrated, solar direct, subsurface diffused aeration system to improve water quality in ponds, lakes, and lagoons.
Craig developed the PondHawk to address a need that arose — quite literally — in his own back yard. The Burton property includes a 30+ year old pond that suffered from a variety of toxic issues: algae blooms, red-tide like odors and little evidence of life.
Upon investigation, Craig discovered that most of the pond’s problems were related to stagnation and decomposing organic debris. He also learned that subsurface aeration was the optimal way to resolve the underlying issues. Drawing on his extensive off-grid solar experience, Craig created a solar direct subsurface aerator that eliminates the expense and complications of batteries.
Since installing a PondHawk, the Burton’s have enjoyed an algae-free pond that hosts fish, frogs, turtles and a blue heron!
Craig’s career has been singularly focused on solar energy, first designing and building off-grid photovoltaic systems in southern Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. He subsequently gained experience in manufacturing and product design working with several technology companies including GE Energy. As GE Energy’s Marketing Product Leader, Craig worked on strategic marketing and product positioning for their on-grid residential solar appliance known as Brilliance.
Born in Brazil of American parents, his extensive Spanish and Portuguese language skills brought him to the emerging international rural power markets of South America where he developed solar products for remote off-grid power applications. Here are a few additional examples of Craig’s engineering accomplishments.
Sandra Burton is a clean energy business leader with more than twenty years of experience introducing a wide range of innovative electro-technologies to the US and international markets. Here are just a few examples of Sandra’s projects.
After seeing the tangible benefits of subsurface aeration that the PondHawk® delivered on her own property, Sandra recognized the need and opportunity to deliver a unique, high-quality solar powered product to the market. She has in-depth experience working with the electric utility industry and on-grid solar installations, and has drawn on this experience to incorporate features that make the PondHawk a truly utility grade product.
Early in her career, she worked with Sandia National Laboratory, US Department of Energy, Hawaiian Electric Company, and the State of Delaware, where she received the Governor’s leadership award for developing and launching a statewide energy efficiency initiative that saved Delawareans over $10 million per year in energy costs.
In 2007, Sandra joined the start-up team at SunEdison where she led the Utility Program team that developed and negotiated the 24 megawatt utility solar program —the first of its kind — with Lakeland Electric, the municipal utility for the City of Lakeland, Florida.
Sandra now utilizes her considerable industry experience in leadership, marketing, business development and solar energy technologies to build and manage LINNE Industries and PondHawk®, the solar direct pond aerator.
Sandra has a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Utah and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Delaware. She is a Certified Energy Manager with the Association of Energy Engineers.
Dr. Mason Reed, Senior Technical Advisor
Dr. Mason Reed serves as LINNE Industries Senior Technical Advisor, bringing his extensive experience in photovoltaic prototype design, engineering design and manufacturing to the team.
Most recently, Dr. Reed was the Advanced Product Development Engineer for Motech Americas, where he was responsible for the design and certification of next-generation smart modules that incorporated distributed max power point tracking technology.
In 2006, Dr. Reed joined General Electric Solar after completing his Post-Doctoral Research at the National Research Council. While there, he managed the new facilities design and layout that relocated four laboratories combining a deposition lab, microelectronic processing lab, sample preparation lab and an optoelectronic/laser characterization laboratory.
Mason also served as Lead Engineer, where he established the complete manufacturing sequence process for a pilot solar cell line designed to improve solar cell efficiency by 15%. He was the program lead and designer of the Annual Energy Production Simulation Software that predicted photovoltaic power plant energy output within 1% of actual energy yield, which was later used to create system level performance guarantees. He was Program Manager for GE Solar’s Crystalline Silicon Rooftop PV System, where he was responsible for the complete design and engineering documentation for a 100 kW photovoltaic power plant for commercial building rooftops. This work required UL certification of design, coordination of fluid dynamic simulations and wind tunnel testing for wind load determination, and led to 50% reduction in mounting costs and 25% decreased plant assembly time.
Dr. Mason Reed holds a Doctorate in Material Science and Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.