John Van Dine, Founder and Vice Chairman of SAGE
Foot for foot, solar panels generate less power than energy-efficient building glass saves, John Van Dine postulated in 1989. That prompted him to leave the thin-film solar cell industry and refine electrochromic glass technology, then in its infancy. In addition to efficiency, he realized the glass could end the age-old tradeoff between natural light and an uninterrupted view on one hand, and glare, heat and fading on the other.
Van Dine has devoted the last 25 years to developing and commercializing new electrochromic materials and thin-film processing technologies for the glass industry. He founded SAGE in a small laboratory in Valley Cottage, N.Y. The business grew quickly, and he moved SAGE west to Minnesota – “the Silicon Valley of the window industry” – where today it proudly leads the world in the production of dynamic glass for buildings.
Growing a company into a world leader isn’t new for Van Dine. In the 1980s, he helped build Advanced Photovoltaic Systems (acquired by BP Solar) from a startup enterprise to a publicly traded international manufacturing and marketing organization. As director of development and engineering, Van Dine’s efforts helped create the world’s largest thin-film photovoltaic solar panel glass manufacturing plant.
He holds numerous patents in the areas of thin-film processing and electrochromic technology. Van Dine graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and completed graduate studies in solid-state physics.