Cecile Warner, NREL’s Solar Decathlon Champion, Retiring (sigh)

Cecile, you’re the envy of a lot of us, doing the ‘R’ thing.

I was in disbelief when I heard.   She’s brainy, brilliantly competent and utterly confident (she holds a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering), someone you want to work with.  She was part of NREL’s inner circle who developed and orchestrated the highly acclaimed U.S. Solar Decathlon for DOE back in 2002.  In fact, she was project manager for the ’02, ’05 and ’07 Solar D competitions.  Cecile was project director of Sunrayce 93.  She was on the ASES Board of Directors in 2000 (I loved sitting next to her at those meetings).   Among other accolades, Cecile received ASES’s Women in Solar Energy Award (2004).  She’s got a highly refined semantic wit, and she is one wicked funny human.  And she loves her work.

I know…she won the Colorado Power Ball.   Or maybe she secured a six-digit contract to write her memoirs.  I mean, she’s not old enough to retire.  Incredulously, she’s been with NREL for 31 years–31 years.

“Come May 1st,” said Warner, “I’m a free woman.  No present plans to consult or sit on boards.”

Most immediately, Cecile will be doing some family duty.  And for husband, David Warner, of NREL’s Office of External Affairs, and Vice-Chair for IREC’s Board of Directors, who’s equally smart (and almost as funny as Cecile)…what does her retirement mean for him?

“He has to keep his nose to the grindstone here, to make all this possible. So sorry for him! Actually, he still enjoys his work.”

We’re happy and thrilled for you, Cecile and, may I just say, a little green with envy.  Stay in touch, OK?

P.S.  Cecile’s still on the clock until the end of April; until then, you can send her your best wishes.

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