James L. Topper (BS ‘69, MS ’76, Mech Egr) retired from Consumers Energy Company on July 1, 2011. Topper, a licensed professional engineer, spent his entire career in the electric power industry, beginning in late 1969 with the Lansing Board of Water and Light, and then moving to Consumers Power Company (now Consumers Energy Company) in 1978.
While at the Board of Water and Light he was involved in a number of projects, including the installation of the electrostatic precipitators on the roof of the Eckert Station, and was responsible for the conceptual design of the tall chimneys at the Eckert/Moores Park Complex.
During his time with Consumers Energy, Topper was responsible for major regulatory compliance and plant betterment studies and projects at the company’s fossil, hydro, and nuclear plants. In the last five years of his career he was involved in the initial planning for the company’s new Clean Coal Plant and was responsible for the planning and contractor selection for the overhaul and upgrade of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant.
Topper and his wife, Donna, are life members of the MSU Alumni Association and live in Mason, Mich. Their son, Nicholas, is a recent graduate of MSU with BA and BS degrees in Communication Arts and Sciences.