Meet a Solar Ready Vets Fellow: Kathrine Lukes
IREC leads the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. Offered at no cost, the fellowship matches solar industry employers with service members who are in transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
Kathrine Lukes: Operations Manager, ICARUS RT
Kathrine Lukes began her Solar Ready Vets Fellowship at Icarus RT in May 2019, and was later hired for a permanent position as Operations Manager.
Over seven years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Capt. Kathrine Lukes coordinated management of supplies worth over $6 million (such as procurement, accounting, repair, storage, issue, and maintenance). She supervised collection, safeguarding, and transmittal of public funds, and participated in the budget process, administration, and expenditure of allotted funds exceeding $1 million annually. She led the Headquarters and Service Company of over 400 Marines and Civilian Marines working together across the breadth of Camp Pendleton, California with diverse operations, and in this capacity she implemented innovative communications systems. While serving in the Marine Corps, Kathrine earned an MBA in supply chain and operations.
Kathrine was the first Solar Ready Vets Fellow, and through this program was connected to Icarus RT, a small technology startup in San Diego, California. In the role of Operations Manager, she developed and implemented organizational and project management systems for the company, and collaborated closely with the engineering team on development of a prototype and proof of concept. Through this process, she gained much deeper knowledge of solar technology, physics, and engineering, and helped company leadership to ensure cross-functional integration across engineering and business development dimensions of the organization as the company grew.
Kathrine’s knowledge of asset procurement and management, paired with critical thinking skills, allow her to identify innovative and cost effective solutions. The ability to work effectively among competing priorities made her well positioned to establish robust systems, processes, and other key business infrastructure.
At the end of her fellowship, she accepted a permanent position as Operations Manager with Icarus RT, and has mentored additional SRV Fellows navigating their own transitions to the solar industry.