Continuous Solutions is an innovation company,” said Founder and CEO Dr. Nyah Zarate of her sustainability-focused engineering lab that works extensively with design projects in the energy and electric motor industries. Dr. Zarate and her team of experts take an innovative and collaborative approach to engineering that focuses on renewable energy and a future without fossil fuels.
According to the Energy Information Administration, although energy sources are diversifying in the US, fossil fuel production and consumption remain historically high. Data from March 2020 shows the U.S. consumes over 114 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. In addition to being the leading anthropogenic cause of climate change, burning fossil fuels emits air pollutants associated with a range of adverse health effects, including respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Given the risks associated with fossil fuels, there is a need for high-tech solutions to usher in a more sustainable energy future. Dr. Zarate recognizes that need and meets it with practical forward-thinking engineering, positioning Continuous Solutions as a bridge between energy-related sectors.
“I believe the energy solutions we need exist at the intersection of government, industry, and academia,” says Zarate. “And if more businesses like Continuous Solutions enter that space, we can move forward much faster.”
While Continuous Solutions engages a broad range of technological developers, it has primarily worked with the Department of Defense, seeking energy solutions that are efficient, sustainable, and renewable in place of fossil fuels.
Now in its sixth year, Continuous Solutions specializes in a range of service capabilities, including software and hardware design and development for the energy sector. They have developed proprietary technologies, such as an electric motor controller that reduces vibration and noise, microgrids to power future electric ships, and ultra-efficient high-performance generators. Additionally, they provide customer consultation services for power technology projects and offer a customized phase-by-phase development process to find viable energy solutions, including advanced modeling and in-house prototyping.
Continuous Solutions joined the Portland State Business Accelerator in 2016. Zarate says her experience with PSBA has been beneficial from the very start, recalling the impact of the application process. Though she was in her second year of business at the time, she says the questions PSBA presented helped her expand her vision of what the company could be.
“Creating a presentation of where I wanted the company to be in five or ten years helped codify my vision for Continuous Solutions,” says Zarate. She also credits her connections at PSBA as a catalyst in its success. When Continuous Solutions joined PSBA, Zarate recognized that PSBA had the resources and links to a university she had always desired to cultivate within her company. The Continuous Solutions team now works closely with the Portland State community, often providing capstone opportunities for engineering students eager, as Zarate is, to find solutions to green energy challenges by bridging the gap between government, industry, and academia.