Tyler Palmer, a renewable energy proponent and consultant, died in a skiing accident on January 27, 2008. He was 37. Mr. Palmer was the president of GreenMountain Engineering, a consulting firm specializing in design engineering for clean technology companies.
Tyler had grown up in Vermont, where he developed a lifelong love of skiing and the outdoors. College took him to Boulder, Colorado, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering. In 1995, he joined Space Systems Loral, building instruments in the life sciences. His devices flew in NASA Space Shuttle experiments and were recognized in patents.
Early in his career, he distinguished himself as a consummate project manager. Leaving Loral for the San Francisco biotechnology startup Signature BioScience in 2000, he rose in the ranks. He was put in charge of a team of engineers who developed complex mechanisms for a wide variety of tasks within the organization — often with only days notice.
When that company folded, Tyler put his technical and organizational skills to work as a consultant, naming the new company after his home “Green Mountain” state, staffing the company with the best engineers in his former company team and finding their first clients through word of mouth in the medical devices industry. Business was brisk because the engineering was excellent. But Tyler, who had been taking evening classes and finding consulting work in solar power, wanted to take the group further — and in a distinctive direction.
At GreenMountain, Tyler built a business founded on the force of the idea that design engineers should be able to make a contribution to renewable energy and other environmentally friendly technologies. As a result, the consulting firm has attracted some of the most talented individuals in the field and created a community with a sense of mission.
Mr. Palmer also organized activities in a volunteer organization called Engineers without Borders. With his fellow engineers, Tyler found another outlet for his idealism with another eminently practical expression, helping build energy, water and other projects in Haiti and other poor countries.