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Northshore High Tech: Phoenix Controls solves power problems

Leann Kostek

Leann Kostek of Phoenix Controls.
Photo courtesy of Gordon Mitchell.

Northshore High Tech by Dr. Gordon Mitchell
If your hydroelectric generators aren't working efficiently, Phoenix Controls can help. The Bothell company has an international reputation for solving tough power generation problems.
   Leann Kostek, an engineer with Phoenix, described the company's 17-year history and talked about her own adventures as an engineer.
   I first met Leann at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers where she is one of a few volunteers who help manage a $17 billion member insurance program. Her service to the engineering community, as well as her work with local engineering fairs, distinguish her as a leader.
   When I asked Leann about the profession of engineering, she suggested that "it is really for you if you like to solve problems." She explained that most of the work that Phoenix Controls completes is either designing new generator controls or finding ways to make existing systems more efficient. An engineer in this sort of work can make a substantial environmental (and profitable) difference by improving operating efficiency by 1%.
   The company was recently aquired by ABB, the large European company, that has subsidiaries providing products and services to transportation and electrical industries. Even though Phoenix has only 25 employees, it serves an important role in ABB business strategies to be a leader in the power generation field.

Gordon Mitchell has a background in the engineering management of high tech organizations. He is a principal of Future Focus, a Woodinville company that provides an unusual investigative service, working with commercial clients who suspect they may be victims of electronic eavesdropping. Future Focus performs specialized inspections to locate bugs and taps that may have been installed by unethical competitors or dissatisfied employees. Gordon can be contacted at 489-0446 or via e-mail at