Mike Donovan

Corporate Experience


Seasoned professional with demonstrated leadership ability, management experience, and technical expertise in both commercial and military positions. Highly successful in leading and motivating teams with cross-functional areas of expertise to achieve maximum productivity and efficiency. Direct experience in business development, sales, marketing, customer support, engineering, contract management, and product management. Demonstrated ability to manage budgets and financial returns for long-term projects as well as meeting cost, price, and profitability goals for day-to-day transactional business.


Founder and President
Strand Consulting Incorporated
May 2011-December 2017

Established consulting company after retiring from Solar Turbines Incorporated, using past experience in oil & gas, power generation, product development, project management, and 6 Sigma to provide project management and project engineering support services. Led projects at power stations, both domestic and international, including Australia, Colombia, Germany, Netherlands, and Canada.

​Director, Corporate Quality Continuous Improvement Programs
​Solar Turbines Incorporated
February 2006-March 2011

Responsible for development and execution of corporate-wide 6 Sigma for Solar business improvement. Implemented parent company (Caterpillar Incorporated) Vision 2020 long-term strategy at Solar, developing process improvement programs and measuring and reporting corporate-wide, high-level metrics. Managed training program for all 6 Sigma and Lean Manufacturing throughout company. Developed quality policy and set quality strategy for Solar. Managed group of sixteen 6 Sigma Master Black Belts, located around the world, as well as 8-10 other quality and manufacturing experts.

Director, Product Development, Turbomachinery Products
Solar Turbines Incorporated
October 2001-February 2006

Responsible for development and commercialization of new industrial gas turbine products for power generation and oil & gas applications. Reported directly to one of four Vice Presidents in a 5,500 employee, wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Incorporated. Managed a group of 120 people with 11 direct reports, including PhDs, advanced-degree engineers, and hourly employees. Areas of expertise included program management for new product development; advanced materials and processes; development test engineering and operations; heat exchanger manufacturing; and product support engineering. Managed operational annual budget of $12M and responsible for $50M+ of capital assets. Responsibilities included capture and management of externally-funded programs, including management of advanced gas turbine generator set development program from U.S. Department of Energy to a multiyear total of $70M.

Product Manager, Mercury 50
Solar Turbines Incorporated
February 2000-October 2001

Responsible for development and commercialization of unique, new-design gas turbine generator set. Directed a cross-functional team of 14 professionals to successfully complete design, development, and testing for demonstration of product performance, emissions, durability, and product field support. Accountable for cost and schedule control for development effort. Specifically requested to assume this position for a product that was not meeting performance or durability requirements. Within six months, established new development plan, product characteristics, and market forecasts. Led effort to develop various business-case financial analyses, and, based on results, gained company approval to proceed with product commercialization plan executed on schedule and within budget.

Manager, Marine Business
Solar Turbines Incorporated
July 1997-February 2000

Responsible for all aspects of Solar’s marine propulsion business, with peak annual revenue of $10M. Managed a team of 3 people to carry out worldwide market development and direct sales. Set strategy for marine product development, market entry, distribution channels, and field support for a market new to Solar. Responsible for setting long-range forecasts and directing sales activities to meet these forecasts. Developed economic trade-off computer models as sales tools. Increased profitability on marine units sold and directed efforts to reduce overhaul costs and improve engine durability, turning the product support part of the business profitable. Worked closely with Caterpillar Corporate marketing and sales in coordinating turbine and diesel offerings and with Caterpillar Financial Services to develop customer financing alternatives. Traveled extensively and worked in international arenas, including Asia, Europe, Australia, South America, and Canada.

Senior Project Manager
Solar Turbines Incorporated
November 1995-July 1997

Responsible for managing turbomachinery projects from booking to field commissioning, along with providing customers direct company contact during execution of equipment orders. Accountable for delivering quality product on schedule and ensuring full customer satisfaction while meeting company financial goals. Successfully managed power generation, oil & gas, and marine projects valued at more than $115M in revenue. Met or exceeded business and profitability goals for all projects. Provided business development/project management internationally, including Australia, Far East, Indonesia, Europe, and Canada.

Project Applications Engineer
Solar Turbines Incorporated
March 1991-November 1995

Responsible for directing internal activities associated with sale of new turbomachinery packages. Reviewed customer inquiries; selected equipment; assisted in setting sales strategy; prepared proposals; negotiated technical and commercial contracts; and provided accurate technical and project definition for firm-order transition to manufacturing project management. Performed numerous site analyses for distributed power, cogeneration, and combined cycle alternatives. Booked more than $45M in new turbomachinery business. Supervised two applications engineers during their training and initial regional assignments.

Program Manager
Solar Turbines Incorporated
October 1983-March 1991

Responsible for more than $11M in advanced turbomachinery development programs, both externally and internally funded, for expanding existing markets and entering new markets. Led market development activities and capture of $6M in government-funded contracts. Managed business development ventures resulting in collaborative teaming agreements with other major firms. Supervised program management team of 12 people and completed program work in both project-team and matrix-management environments.​