Grainger CEME Seminars

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The Intersection of Engineering and Business

Event Type
Grainger CEME
2017 ECEB
Feb 20, 2017   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Bob Koonce


The intersection of Engineering and Business – real life lessons from a Nuclear Submarine Captain and Power Engineer Manager. Bob Koonce will provide an interactive talk on topics ranging from leading operations of advanced nuclear powered submarines to the development of modern power plants. The participant will gain a perspective on commercial and US government practices related to engineering. Bob will also share insights into career development for young engineers.



Bob Koonce served for over 20 years in the U.S. Submarine Force and retired from active duty in 2011 after commanding USS KEY WEST (SSN 722), a nuclear submarine based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During Bob’s career in the Navy, he served on five different fast attack submarines and deployed overseas conducting missions critical to national security. Bob served as both a junior and senior member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, which is responsible for evaluating the safe operations of all Nuclear Aircraft Carriers and Submarines. Since leaving active duty, Bob has been a consultant to large and small businesses primarily in the Energy Industry. He has been involved in the development of over 900 Mega-Watts of Combined Cycle Natural Gas Power Plant in the Midwest and consulted on multiple nuclear and conventional power plant issues including the Holland Energy Park in Holland, Michigan and Alliant Energy’s Riverside Energy Center Expansion in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Bob holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering as well as an MBA in Organizational Behavior and a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

Bob frequently speaks and writes on Operational Excellence and High Reliability Organizations based on the leadership and culture of the U.S. Nuclear Navy. He is co-author of Extreme Operational Excellence: Applying the Culture of the Nuclear Submarine Force to your Organization a book to be published in the fall of 2016. You can learn more about High Reliability Organizations by visiting Bob can be reached at

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