Patrick Caramante ’80 M.S. ’86 Powers His Career with Renewable Energy

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Growing up on Long Island, Patrick Caramante ’80 M.S. ’86 was always interested in engineering and science. By the time he graduated from high school, he knew that he wanted to study mechanical engineering. “Mechanical engineering is so versatile,” he says. “I thought it would give me the ability to bring value to a wide variety of roles.” He was right.

His decision to attend Stevens was just as clear-cut. “I had applied to three or four colleges,” he recalls, “but when I learned that Stevens offered me the Alumni Regional Merit Scholarship, the decision was pretty easy.”

Today, Caramante is a leader in renewable energy, although his 40-year career has spanned every corner of the power industry. He started at New York’s Con Edison, following in the footsteps of his father and cousins. After gaining experience on the utilities side of the business, he moved into independent power and later relocated to Florida to take on asset management of a wind power group. As Senior Vice President of Engineering, Construction and Operations at Novatus Energy, Caramante oversees a portfolio of utility scale wind and solar projects in 11 states.

It is an industry that is continually introducing new and better technologies. “The wind rotors we have now – some are 117 meters in diameter– provide 33 times the output of the rotors in use when I first began working in wind power,” he points out.

Caramante credits Stevens with laying the groundwork for an interesting and successful career. “Stevens prepared me for industry. It was rigorous, and was meant to be so,” he recalls. “It was also a small, close-knit community, and we helped each other get through.” He still keeps in touch with friends and fraternity brothers from his college days. In recent years he has become more active in alumni activities, including planning for his 40th reunion.

He expects the reunion will be a great event, but will it be able to top his favorite campus memory? “I was active in student government and organized a concert featuring songwriter Harry Chapin,” he says. “We sold out the third floor of Stevens Center and I was right in the front row. When Chapin was singing ‘Circle’ during the encore, I was singing along. Before I knew it, he pulled me out of the audience to share the stage with him.”

Chapin’s lyrics – “no straight lines make up my life, and all my roads have bends” – have a lot in common with Caramante’s words of wisdom for today’s Stevens students. “Be open minded. The world is not black and white, and there are so many nuanced shades to life that being too rigid in your viewpoints is probably a bad idea at 20. The world is changing. Be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.”


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