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issue: July 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Fred Keller of Carrier

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For more than 30 years, Fred Keller has been providing innovative solutions to Carrier’s Engineering and Research department and the HVAC industry as a whole, leading teams through challenging projects to success.

“I have been confronted by a number of challenges during my career with Carrier. The greatest challenges have not been the technical challenges—these are easily tackled by surrounding oneself with talented engineers,” Mr. Keller explains. “The greatest challenges and most exciting achievements have been to mold technical talent into successful product development teams. I have been absolutely amazed by what can be accomplished by small, energized, and committed teams.”

In his current position as vice president, Engineering of Carrier’s North American Residential Division, Mr. Keller manages the design of Carrier’s residential ducted products such as gas furnaces, air-conditioners, heat pumps, small packaged products, and indoor air quality products.

Throughout his career, Mr. Keller has focused on improving the environmental impact of heating and cooling products. First hired as a junior engineer at the Bryant Heating and Cooling Company (Indianapolis, IN, U.S.), Mr. Keller was promoted to development engineer, working on residential gas-fired ammonia water-absorption chillers.

After being promoted to director of Split-System Development for Carrier’s Residential Division in 1991, Mr. Keller worked on preparing Carrier’s product lines for the 10 SEER DOE Minimum Standard.

“One of the most valuable learning experiences of my career was learning that the best technology in the world will not be a commercial success unless your customers are also excited by the technology,” he says. “The key to product success is designing products that capture the imagination of customers. To accomplish this, customers have to play a key role in the product development process from concept to production.”

Describing his management style as “leading by doing,” Mr. Keller believes one of his greatest strengths is facilitating complex problems into smaller, manageable projects. “My employees know that I would not ask them to take on any task that I would not be willing to do myself,” he says.

According to Mr. Keller, the most rewarding achievement of his career has been playing a key role in improving the environment. “This has occurred both by developing high-efficiency, non-ozone depleting products and by active participation in the United Nations Environment Programme and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” he says.

Mr. Keller earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN, U.S.). He has also attended the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Advanced Studies Program and the UTC Sr. Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School, and has completed graduate courses at Purdue University.

In his spare time, Mr. Keller breeds and shows llamas. “We have a herd of 40 llamas,” he says. “Most weekends in April through June are spent at shows. I am also apprenticing to become a llama judge.”


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