Award Winning Renewable Energy Architect
Rebel with a Cause
Dr. Alexander Suma’s career as a tinkerer began at a young age. As a kid, he took apart TVs and radios not to reassemble them, but to make new works of art from the circuitry. Even then, it was clear he wasn’t happy with “the way things are supposed to be.”
That trend continued in high school, where a rigid structure didn’t fit Alexander’s creative approach to life. After three years of asking too many questions, they graduated him early.
He moved on to MTS, where a physics teacher inspired Suma to explore his fascination with the architecture of nature. A lightbulb went off in his head.
Alexander threw himself headlong down a path of engineering at the Zuyd University. Charmed by architects like Santiago Calatrava, he became obsessed with applying nature’s forms and numbers to the field of architecture.
But upper academia wasn’t ready for his ideas.
Foto: Bram Saeys; Brainport Podcast
While studying for two Master degrees at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Suma faced resistance in his research. But he pushed through with his ideas, despite being told they wouldn’t work. It was at the University of Miami where Alexander had the breakthrough idea to harness the Venturi Effect to generate wind energy in urban areas. But professors continued to doubt him… “It will never work.” “It’s just a theory.” “There’s no proof.”
Faced with such feedback, most students would abandon their idea in favor of research that fits neatly into the academic establishment. But not Suma. These constraints only pushed him harder. He refused to accept such limited thinking, no matter its authority. One day while walking to campus, Alexander was stunned by the number of A/C units running nonstop in his Miami neighborhood.
For the rest of the walk he dreamed of better ways to use the natural wind & solar energy of the Miami area. During a boring lecture that day, he sketched out a few ideas. These early sketches of an open-air, rooftop energy system were the beginning of PowerNEST.
When Alexander showed his initial drawings to vice provost Bart Chernow, things took a drastic turn. “Lock the door,” said Chernow, “keep this a secret.”
Bart immediately called a patent attorney.
“According to Chernow, I had gold in my hands. I was not even allowed to discuss this with my mother so as not to jeopardize the patent,” said Suma.
Within a few weeks, Dr. Suma presented his design to a group of powerful angel investors. When the EU made a subsidy available to develop PowerNEST across the pond, his company IBIS Power was born in Eindhoven, NL.
Early results proved that Alexander’s Venturi Effect hypothesis was correct. His rooftop PowerNEST system uses the effect to create more power with less wind, making wind energy viable in urban environments for the first time in human history.
The numbers showed that Dr. Suma had challenged academic theory to create something entirely new in the energy sector.
Years of thoughtful tinkering had finally paid off for the rebellious young architect. More than a decade, 30 international awards, and many successful PowerNEST installations later, Suma is challenging his next establishment: Big Energy.
Alexander and his team at IBIS Power are currently developing more applications of their smart wind and solar tech, like the portable PowerRESPONSE unit for disaster relief areas, and PowerVIBES mobile renewable energy for events and festivals. Their goal is to design on-site, renewable power systems that pull human energy needs into harmony with nature. Worldwide gas independence through renewable energy is Dr. Suma’s vision, and he’s designing the hardware that makes it possible.
Alexander’s technology is disrupting the most powerful industry in the world. Instead of collaborating to help bring renewable solutions to the urban market, oil and gas companies worry about IBIS Power subverting the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Luckily for Suma, the world is changing. Real money is flowing toward green energy investments, as the tremendous growth of IBIS shows. Demand for PowerNEST is increasing rapidly worldwide. Energy independence appeals to corporations, governments and individuals across the globe.
PowerNEST is the first rooftop renewable system capable of generating the ideal “total energy independence” that many currently seek.
Soon, that same high-impact IBIS tech will be found in a full suite of power systems designed for every location. To meet human energy demands with renewable power created where it’s consumed, that’s the IBIS future. After years of developing, testing and installing PowerNEST, Dr. Suma has boots-on-the-ground experience as a global green energy pioneer. His ideas are changing the landscape of the renewable energy market.
Meet an Expert?
Alexander is available to be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for your next article or interview about wind/solar power, renewable architecture or clean energy.
Media & Expertise
Holland ConTech & PropTech;Hoe is het nu met ... Alexander, Rene, Anton & Stefan
Cobouw Trends & Transitie: Gamechangers on Tour
24U TV met Alexander Suma, IBIS POWER
In deze podcast praten we over de uitdagingen en valkuilen van innoveren en ondernemen op de energiemarkt. Waar loop je tegen aan? Waar vind je hulp? Waar moet je op voorbereid zijn? In deze tweede aflevering van A bumpy road, praat Tom Jessen met Alexander Suma, oprichter van Ibis Power en Fons Sweegers, startup coach Energy & Built Environment bij The Gate. Alexander vertelt over de uitdagingen waar hij tegenaan liep bij het opstarten van zijn bedrijf in duurzame energie-opwekking. Luister hier
Alexander Suma, Ibis Power: ‘Leiderschap is dingen zien en daarop actie ondernemen’. In de Green Leaders podcast van DuurzaamBedrijfsleven.
Alexander Suma, Ibis Power, over aankomende projecten Powernest
Press & Media
Education and Certification
Doctor of Philosophy, Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA, December 2010
Master of Science, Department of Building, Planning and Architecture, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, July 2007
Master of Architecture, Department of Building, Planning and Architecture, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, July 2007
Bachelor of Science, Structural Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, July 2006
Bachelor of Professional Engineering, Construction, major Structural Engineering, Hogeschool Zuyd, Heerlen, the Netherlands, July 2003
Registered architect, the Netherlands (Reg. Nr. 1.070915.008)
Professional Structural Engineer, the Netherlands
Master Facilitation, The Tavistock Institute, London, UK, Jan. 2021 – Present.
TechShare by EnterNext, IPO Finance and process preparation college, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Sept. 2018 – Sept 2019.
Leadership Insight and Intensive, the Recess College, Coaching and Yorkshire National Park, UK, Nov 2017 – Jun 2018.
Trainee Senior Executive Leadership, the Recess College, Yorkshire National Park, UK, June – Oct 2015.
Senior Executive Leadership, the Recess College, Yorkshire National Park, UK, Aug – Nov 2014.
Our Future Leaders, Advanced Leadership Course, the Recess College, Leiden, The Netherlands, May – Oct. 2013.
Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Business Summer School, ESADE, San Cugat, Barcelona, Spain, July 2012.
Master Class in High-Tech Entrepreneurship, ELAt, Incubatorennetwerk(t), Innotek, Leuven R&D, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Antwerp, University of Hasselt, December 2011.
Aug 2012 CEO and Founder, Ibis Power Holding BV
Feb 2014 CEO and Founder, Ibis Power BV
Aug 2015 Industrial Advisory Board, TU/e – Smart Energy Buildings & Cities
May 2016 Consultant Recess College Leadership Program
Jan 2012 – Jan 2014 Managing Director, Smart Energy Buildings & Cities, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
Jan 2012 – Jan 2014 Coordinator Renewable Energy in the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
Jan 2012 – Jan 2014 Coordinator NRG Digest, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
Jan 2012 – Jan 2014 Researcher in the field of Renewable Energy and Non-Destructive Structural Health Monitoring at School of Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology, the NetherlandsJan 2011 – Jan 2012 Scientist/Innovator, Structural Reliability, TNO Delft, Delft, the Netherlands
Jul 2007 – Dec 2010 Coordinator and Lecturer, Summer Scholars Program (SSP), University of Miami Department Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Coral Gables, FL, USA
Jan 2009 – Dec 2010 PhD Candidate, Research Assistant, Teaching Assistent (NSF grant), University of Miami, Department Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Coral Gables, FL, USA
Sep 2007 – Jan 2008 Architect, Jo Coenen & Co Architecten, Amsterdam, Maastricht, Berlin and Milan.
Sep 2005 – Sep 2006 Organizing Committee, International Conference Adaptables2006, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Journals/Dissertations/Conference Proceedings/Professional Magazines
Patankar B., R. Tyagi, D. Kiss, and Suma A.B. “Evaluation of an Integrated Roof Wind Energy System for Urban Environments,” Journal of Physics: Conference Series 753 (2016) 102007, The Science of Making Torque from Wind (TORQUE 2016), Munich, Germany, 2016
Ferraro, R.M., Khayrullina, A.A., Suma, A.B., and Moonen, S.P.G. “CFD Simulation for an Integrated Roof Wind Energy System,” Journal for Wind Energy, 2014
Honors and Award
Jul 2020 Seal of Excellence, EIT Horizon 2020, EU Commission
Nov 2019 Cobouw Award 2019 – Award for best product in the Dutch construction industry
Sep 2018 MKB Innovation Award, Kamer van Koophandel, #2 of 100 Listed Most Innovative Dutch SME’s by the Chamber of Commerce, the Netherlands
May 2018 Innovation Challenge, Building Holland, Best Sustainable and Scalable Building Solutions, RAI Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Mar 2018 2nd Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition, IEIC2018, Shen Zhen, China, Pre-Finals Berlin, Germany
Sep 2017 Duurzame Dinsdag Engie Jongerenprijs (Engie Young Entrepreneur Award in Sustainability), The Hague, the Netherlands
Jul 2016 Gerard & Anton Award, most promising scale-up of Eindhoven named after Gerard and Anton Philips (founders of Philips), Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Apr 2014 University of Miami Business Plan Competition, Business School, University of Miami, Florida, USA
Nov 2013 Defense Energy Technology Award, Department of Defense USA, Defense Energy Summit, Austiun, TX, USA
Nov 2012 TEDxAmsterdam Award – City of the Future Prize, Most promising idea for a sustainable future, IRWES
Nov 2012 Herman Wijffels Innovatieprijs 2012, 1st price for most promising sustainable innovation, IRWES
Apr 2012 BRAINS Award, team 1st Price for Sustainability
Feb 2012 K-idea award, team 1st prize, Kilometro-rosso, Italy
Oct 2011 Power Pitch Award IRWES, Innovatie Estafette 2011, Minsterie Infrastructuur & Milieu, Van Nelle Fabriek, Rotterdam
Jun 2011 TU/e Anniversary Award, Board of Directors Choice of Highest Potential Research, Eindhoven University of Technology
Apr 2010 First price in Research, Creativity, Innovation Forum and Citizens Award, University of Miami
Jun 2009 International Travel Award by NSF to attend and present research at the NSF CMMI Research and Innovation Conference 2009, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Oct 2007 StudentenSTAALprijs 2007 Technical Innovation, Dutch National Master Graduation Student Award in Steel Structure Design, the Netherlands
Oct 2007 StudentenSTAALprijs 2007 Novelty Award, Dutch National Master Graduation Student Award in Steel Structure Design, the Netherlands
Apr 2007 Realization and placement of price winning design Relax&Meet in the park of Government building of the Province of Limburg, The Netherlands
Apr 2007 Scholarship of The Netherlands Florida Scholarship Foundation for study at University of Miami, travel expenses, housing and stipend, Apr – Jul 2007
Jul 2005 Honors Award for promising talent and appreciation of ambitions by Provinciale Staten van de Provincie Limburg
Mar 2005 First price International Design Contest PreC2OMP, Design: Relax & Meet
Mar 2001 Young Enterprise International, University of Cambridge