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Howard Kinkade

Howard Kinkade

Manager, Products Management, Gas Compressor Business, Solar Turbines

Howard Kinkade is Manager, Products Management, Gas Compressor Business for Solar Turbines Inc. (A Caterpillar Company).  He is accountable for the development and program execution of new and sustaining product strategies. Howard has 35 years of Engineering and Product Development leadership, including extensive application of traditional and innovative Lean Product Development Methods. Having spent the last 10 years leading teams and organizations through innovative change and re-birth, Howard believes in the importance of leadership’s engagement in creating high performing cultural values that continuously evolves and constantly improves toward a common vision.

Following ten years as an engineer in the aerospace industry, Howard joined Solar Turbines first as a NPI leader in 2004.  His background and experience include engineering analysis, design engineer, test engineering, NPI leader, project engineering,  project manager, and various Engineering Management positions.  In 2008, Howard  joined Solar’s Gas Turbine engine Products Development group.  During this period he incorporated lean principals and developed teams with unique cultural values.  Howard lead two engine NPI programs which achieved new heights in time to market (30% faster), initial product quality, and financial performance.

Howard has earned positions of increasing responsibility and influence in Solar Turbines.  His leadership and lean methods  have been benchmarked by Caterpillar (Solar Turbines) and numerous companies from around the world.  Since, becoming the Manger of Products Management he has led a cultural transformation in Engineering, including a transition from our traditional “Push and Chase” culture of managing our workflow to a true pull system.  

Howard’s under-graduate degree is in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  He continues to serve Cal Poly as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Industry Advisory Board.

Articles by Howard Kinkade
Lean Principles Speed Workflow in New Product Development
After successfully implementing lean principals in manufacturing, Solar Turbines took them to product development processes, reducing firefighting and boosting development velocity. LEI’s Chet Marchwinski recently talked about the effort with Solar Products Manager Howard Kinkade. More »