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The Schmuecker Renewable Energy System Team

Jay Schmuecker

  • Manager of Pinehurst Farm LLC
  • Project Manager of the Raphael Schmuecker Memorial Solar-Hydrogen System
  • Retired engineer from Caltech’s NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Schmuecker’s 50+ years as a NASA engineer in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) proved to be invaluable in developing the project, from early ideas and calculations scrawled on a sheet of paper to the final hydrogen-powered John Deere tractor working in a field outside Blairstown, Iowa.

“At JPL, we pride ourselves on doing things that have not been done before,” says Schmuecker. “The solar-hydrogen system is such an endeavor. Working on spacecraft taught me that doing things the first time takes more time and money than initially estimated, and problems are encountered that will be corrected as the development proceeds.”

Highlights of Schmuecker’s career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

  • Worked on spacecraft that visited each planet in the solar system.
  • Mariner II. Responsible for the design and fabrication of part of the structure of this spacecraft and the spacecraft mechanical assembly, which flew by Venus in 1962.
  • Mariner IV. Supervised the engineers who designed and assembled the Mariner IV, which took the first pictures of Mars in 1965.
  • Mariner V. As Engineering Mechanics Division Representative to the project office, he was responsible for the Division’s structural, mechanical, electrical cabling, electronics parts, electronic packaging, materials and mechanical assembly activities in support of spacecraft, which flew by Venus in 1967.
  • Mariner IX Mars Obiter. Served as the Engineering Mechanics Division Representative for the aircraft, which orbited Mars in 1971.
  • Voyager Outer Planet Flybys. Managed the 100 personnel who designed and built the mechanical parts of the twin spacecraft launched in 1977 that flew by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

David Toyne

  • Owner and Consultant, Solutions for Automation, Tujunga, California
  • Lead Designer and Developer of the system, including: all component and system design, and control programming. Supervised construction of proprietary system, including instrumentation, programming and, all process control equipment, including Haber-Bosch ammonia reactor. Represents the project at several international conferences.

As a systems engineer with over 45 years of experience in new design and installation of specialized equipment, robotics, and one-of-a-kind machinery, Toyne’s expertise has been invaluable in the development of the Schmuecker Renewable Energy System.

Toyne’s Solutions for Automation serves a wide variety of industries. Client and project lists include:

  • Designed/redesigned and developed kinematics modeling of Spiderman vehicle, Universal Florida Islands of Adventure.
  • Managed on-site construction of $10 million feature fountain for the Niagara Fallsview Gateway Casino, Niagara Falls Ontario, Canada.
  • Technical evaluation and coordination, design specifications, budgets, schedules, and contracts for Atlantis show for Forum Shops Expansion at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
  • Designed and installed hydraulic servo system of Cyro Prison crane and other special effects for Demolition Man, Warner Brothers Studio.
  • Developed emergency flood control equipment for MTA New York City for subway stairway and vent.
  • Designed automated assembly, welding, and printing machine for breathing respirator filters.

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