Skibo Energy Engineering Team

For the last ten years, the founders of Skibo Energy have been exploring energy storage solutions finally deciding to focus on engineering sensible thermal energy storage (TES) that will lower the cost of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) solutions. The Skibo Energy TES technology can also be tightly integrated with industrial processes to enable the use of the heat of the sun along with the reuse of any available waste heat. In May 2020, Skibo Energy was self-funded to begin the R&D and development of the TES initiative. Short descriptions of each team member are listed below.

Paul Klemencic CTO/CFO

In 2008, Paul began envisioning the powerful social, economic, and political shifts to permanently decrease our world's dependence on oil. His vision of a customer first, efficient, and reliable renewable energy solution led to the formation of Skibo Energy in 2020. Paul’s expertise in the energy sector includes 18 years at Chevron, where he worked on drilling and refining power management solutions. This experience, when combined with his deep knowledge of Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management (TQM) methodology, fueled his passion for pursuing energy solutions that are simultaneously responsible to business, consumers and our planet. Paul has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Harry Levinson

Harry comes to Skibo Energy with decades of technical and management experience on large software projects for both government and industry customers. Harry began his career with 25 years at a small data communications company focused on high-speed hardware and software for Fortune 500 customers. His ability to view both the macro and micro systems engineering challenges then led to a successful 15 years at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute. With Skibo Energy, Harry applies these same principles to renewable energy solutions. Harry has a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Alex Zwiren

Alex brings experience in R&D from his time working in the aerospace and automotive sectors developing additive manufacturing technologies. His work at the time included microscopy of AM components, metallurgical analyses, design for additive manufacturing, implementing machine learning, and process analysis. He graduated with an MS in Mechanical Engineering from NYU and a BS in Material Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Alex currently works on computational model (CFD and FEA) development, material selection, and design.

Darien Skifstad

Darien is a recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He brings interest in sustainability, project management, structural engineering, thermal engineering, and engineering design. He has product test and evaluation experience for various hardware/software systems. He has developed the process simulation tools for Skibo Energy. 


Jacob Rushkoff

Jacob is a recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering and minor in Computer Science. He is excited to build upon his childhood interest in TES by applying his knowledge in chemical process system design, heat transfer and fluid mechanics, and creating computer models derived from basic physics. He has analysis and project experience for various renewable energy transition areas including coal, solar, and biofuels. He is the developer and programmer for specialized heat transfer modeling tools at Skibo Energy. 

Vince Hartwell, Ph.D.

Vince brings deep experience in systems engineering after 15 years with L3Harris. He has successfully led teams of engineers on numerous projects (R&D and production oriented) related to precision pointing systems and prototype development of smart electro-optical systems. He has substantial experience with conducting tests and data analysis.  He has a Ph.D. (experimental and numerical analysis focus) in Low-Temperature Semiconductor Optics Physics from the University of Pittsburgh.  BS and MS degrees in Physics are from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of South Florida, respectively.

Wowzer Now

Wowzer’s experience includes multiple oil and gas construction operations. She has deep experience in managing materials in a streamlined, efficient, and functional manner to improve the material handling process. She creates and improves construction and manufacturing systems by digitizing everything. Tracking everything with a hard copy but by the end of the project turn over is a snap with every document searchable.



David White

David White, principal of DLW Engineering, has more than 30 years of experience in product commercialization and both Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and Solar Industrial Process Heat (SIPH) design. DLW Engineering currently consults with Skibo Energy Systems for integration of their unique energy storage systems for CSP, SIPH, and grid decarbonization applications. He is also a board member for the DOE Gen3 concentrator program (Heliostat Consortium) and consults with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on rapid optical measurement systems for heliostats.


David White retired as Chief Engineering Officer for SkyFuel, Inc., where he was directly responsible for all engineering activities: management, product design, and process and control integration for thermal oil and molten salt applications.


Prior to Skyfuel, David was the president of Solar Kinetics, Inc., responsible for all solar research and management of two distinct commercial divisions that translated solar designs to spin-off technologies:


KW/2® reversed parabolic trough optics and applied them to fluorescent and LED lighting. We marketed and sold millions of dollars of products to achieve energy savings in commercial facilities, increase sales in retail spaces, and keep the talent cool in television studios.


Solox® ground water remediation moved DOE sponsored, solar-driven ultraviolet oxidation processes for decontamination to electrical reactor architectures that were profitably marketed to, and deployed at, several contaminated sites in the US.


David holds a BS, cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas with a concentration in process heat transfer, power plant design, and automated controls.

Mike Phillips

Mike is committed to speeding adoption of both evolutionary and revolutionary technologies. He brings deep experience in understanding large system development and improving their design and implementation from his career in US Air Force acquisition efforts followed by a career as a process guru at the Software Engineering Institute. His work is grounded academically with an MS in Nuclear Engineering from Georgia Tech and in Systems Management from USC.

Robert Ferguson

Bob Ferguson brings to Skibo Energy a varied history of engineering management, value engineering, deep analysis of requirements to enable early estimation of cost and complexity. Extensive project management and deep estimation experience along with his ISO-9000 quality work brings key risk management focus to the Skibo Energy team. His consulting on measurement has helped bring process improvement to everything from large companies to small projects. He has published papers in requirements engineering, release planning and sustainment planning of long-lived products.  

Robert Binder

Robert Binder brings to Skibo Energy 35 years of serial entrepreneurship for commercializing state-of-the-art systems engineering, control and instrumentation architecture, and advanced automated testing. He has deep experience as an engagement manager, advisor, and researcher for verification and validation of cyber-physical systems. He received the 2016 ISTQB International Software Testing Excellence Award. He holds a BA and MBA from the University of Chicago, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He is presently chair of the IEEE working group on Software Dependability.