T&D World Magazine

Jack Weininger: Finding the Best Answer

Jack Weininger takes non-working antique clocks apart and finding out why they are not working, then repairing the clock to working order. His hobby reflects what he likes best about his job as project development leader at GE: helping customers solve problems, “especially where the solution was not originally considered or thought of,” he said.

Weininger’s role at GE is the development of energy and asset performance projects for energy management. He also teaches two Power Systems Engineering Courses at GE’s Learning Center in Schenectady, New York: Competitive Power Generation and Industrial Energy Users.

Competitive Power Generation, which will be held from Nov. 18-21, provides participants with an understanding of the process required to develop an economically attractive independent power generation project involving cogeneration. The scope is based on fossil fuel-fired power generation cycles focusing on gas turbine-based systems.

Industrial Energy Users will take place Dec. 8-9 and covers major industrial energy users, (from an energy intensity standpoint), including their overall processes, how energy is consumed or used in that process and the effects of reliability practices in industrial plants through a reliability process workshop.

Energy use and generation is a major factor in every industry today, and it has a direct impact on the bottom line,” Weininger said. “Not only are energy costs escalating very rapidly, but the corresponding CO2 issues are causing everyone to look for better, alternate solutions.”

Weininger has 40 years of experience that has allowed him to understand many different industry energy needs from both the engineering design side as well as the actual operations side. He interfaces with all types of industrial and utility customers in his field application engineering role, helping them with making existing processes more efficient or meeting new or changed energy requirements.

“Each industry has its own unique requirements that must be considered in order to address its energy needs,” Weininger said.

Weininger started in the power generation world before he graduated from college by working at GE as a co-op student. The first 18 years of his career was in power plant design engineering where he learned not only the GE power generation equipment, but also the necessary support equipment and systems. “The overall view of the plant made me appreciate the bigger picture and the application of the various power plant equipment and systems. It also exposed me to many types industries as well as many different types of applications,” he said.

Weininger earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. He started his career with GE in Schenectady, New York, in the Projects Engineering Operation (PEO - part of I&SE), where he held various engineering and design roles. In 1977 Weininger moved to Georgia to open a new GE engineering and design southern office for PEO. He held various positions of increasing responsibility and became the manager of this office in 1985. In 1987, he lleft GE and joined National Ecology Company in Maryland as vice president of engineering. In 1989 Babcock & Wilcox purchased this company, and he was promoted to executive VP and managed the company for 10 years as a B&W subsidiary providing waste to energy design build and operation services. Prior to his current role at GE he served as VP of project operations for ESI of Tennessee, providing steam and power design build services for industrial and utility clients.

Based on his experience, he teaches students that there is never only one answer. “Our job is to determine which one is the best answer for the specific set of requirements, restraints, and conditions,” Weininger said.

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