Credentials: B.S. 2021
During his first year at UW-Madison, Grant Kirner of Prairie du Sac, joined Engineers Without Borders and began helping to design a 25-kilowatt solar, battery and generator system for a children’s shelter in Puerto Rico. That was his first introduction to renewable energy systems, and it sparked an interest in designing systems to help people transition away from fossil fuels.
Helping people is what attracted Kirner to engineering in the first place. His grandfather was an electronics engineer and was always fixing things for other people when Grant would visit his shop. “The enjoyment on his face while problem solving and helping others was something that I saw and wanted to feel myself,” he says.
Kirner continued working with Engineers Without Borders during his college career, serving as design leader and running weekly design meetings and collaborating with professional engineers.
In 2019, he was an intern at Alliant Energy, working on smart city technologies and designing a campus microgrid. In 2021 he interned at Westwood Professional Services assisting in the design of community or utility-size solar farms.
In his free time, Kirner enjoys volleyball, climbing, ultimate frisbee, soccer, basketball, tennis and many other outdoor activities.
He graduated with B.S. in electrical engineering in spring 2021 and expects to complete a master’s in electrical engineering from UW-Madison in fall 2022. After that, he hopes to work in a solar design and consulting firm.