Tuck’s Energy Boom

Improving the efficiency and availability of energy is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. It's also an area in which Tuck is thriving.

By Jeff Moag

Feb 14, 2018

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T

hese are exciting times in the energy sector, a $6 trillion economic juggernaut that touches every aspect of modern life. With surging demand, fickle commodity prices and a technology revolution in full swing, the energy business is hurtling headlong into a future that is both full of promise and muddled with uncertainty.

In these volatile times the energy industry is crying out for wise leadership, and is seemingly short of executives with top MBA training. That’s an irresistible combination for many Tuck students, who relish the field’s challenge and opportunity to lead businesses through this transition. Leaders are adapting to changing business models, technology innovation, consolidation, and growth in various sub-sectors, as well as meaningful growth in areas such as renewable energies and a strategic corporate focus on climate and sustainability.

“We have opportunities right now to disrupt some of the largest, most profitable, and most deeply entrenched industries on planet Earth,” says Mike Miskovsky T’89, a solar pioneer now leading an electric vehicle battery startup. “If that doesn’t get a business person excited, I don’t know what does.”

Wise business leaders must be responsible stewards of our planet's energy resources. One of the goals of the Energy Center at Tuck is to give students the tools needed to utilize energy in an efficient, socially responsible, and environmentally friendly manner.

Daniel Revers T’89 
Managing partner and co-founder, ArcLight Capital Partners;
Tuck Overseer

There is increasing focus on renewable energy, which currently accounts for about 15 percent of the U.S. energy generation mix but is projected to claim 86 percent of new generation investment from now to 2040, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Novel technologies have also upended traditional markets. Hydraulic fracturing, for example, ignited a boom in oil and natural gas, taking the United States from an import to a net export of energy.

“There’s no better time to take part in the business transformation of energy,” says April Salas, executive director of Tuck’s Revers Center for Energy. The center was endowed in 2016 to inspire and shape tomorrow’s leaders in energy. We also have an opportunity, Salas says, to construct an energy ecosystem around the broader Dartmouth community, including the Thayer School of Engineering and the new Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth, which also was established in 2016. This ecosystem engages prominent Tuck alumni in the sector and, perhaps most importantly, taps the initiative of students themselves.

While the disruption in the energy industry is creating demanding challenges and exciting opportunities, the constant is its critical role as an enabler to a better quality of life for millions around the world.

Elyse Allan D'79, T'84 
CEO, GE Canada

“Students told us ‘this is an area that we feel passionate about.’ It’s a growth industry and it’s an industry that requires MBA skills,” Salas says. That groundswell has been building since at least 2009, when Tuck students helped form the Dartmouth Energy Collaborative with students from Dartmouth, Thayer, and Vermont Law School. “That really cemented our view of the relevance and importance of having a center focused on the sector at the business school,” Salas says.

Daniel Revers T’89, managing partner and co-founder of ArcLight Capital Partners and a member of Tuck’s board of overseers, supported the Revers Energy Initiative since 2012, and endowed the Revers Energy Center last year. The Center complements the core MBA curriculum by supporting student pathways across the industry. In addition to energy-specific elective courses and a first-ever Energy GIX in Morocco, the center hosts campus speaker series, sends students to key industry conferences, oversees student projects and more.

“The number of opportunities for Tuck students to learn about the energy sector and the related career paths has been growing substantially,” says Erin Mansur, the Revers Professor of Business Administration and the center's faculty director.

By 2030, the way the world produces and uses energy will be massively transformed. There will be daunting challenges and ample opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs who are ready to act on this Energy Shift.

Eric Spiegel T'87 
former CEO, Siemens USA;
author,
The Energy Shift: Game-Changing Options for Fueling the Future

About a third of all Tuck students take Mansur’s energy economics course. In September, Stephiney Foley T’18 and Alen Amini T’18 spearheaded a Tesla case competition, one of many energy-oriented initiatives incubated in the center. A cornerstone of that work is the mentorship program pairing center student fellows with Tuck alumni who are leaders in the energy industry, including former Siemens CEO Eric Spiegel T’87 and Elyse Allan D’79, T’84, the CEO of GE Canada.

Tuck alumni are active across the energy sector, from energy startups, to consulting and banking, from potentially disruptive new technologies like liquid metal batteries and cleaner fuel for oceangoing ships to the daunting challenge of mitigating risk in this dynamic industry that is so essential to modern life and commerce. These are the stories of six Tuck alumni working to transform the energy industry.

Read the stories of Tuck alumni in the energy industry by clicking on the photos below.

Sarah Barpoulis T'91
Robert Wallace T'84
Pace Ralli T'09
Damali Rhett D'99, T'06
Phil Guidice T'85
Mike Miskovsky T'90
 

*This article originally appeared in print in the winter 2018 issue of Tuck Today magazine.