When I became a student fellow of the Revers Center for Energy, Sustainability and Innovation in the spring of 2020, I was excited by the prospect of helping to shape the energy industry conversation on campus. The Revers Center’s activities were an important part of my decision to apply to and attend Tuck, and I wanted to help further the Center’s mission of making Tuck the “preeminent business school for learning practical leadership in the energy industry.” Each Revers Center student fellow must complete a project, and my idea for a podcast struck while reflecting on the many outstanding conversations about energy I had with industry leaders, alumni, and fellow students at Tuck.
The energy industry encompasses a broad and diverse range of businesses—from oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and power generation to electricity transmission and energy efficiency technologies. Over the past decade, the energy sector has been undergoing a seismic change as renewable energy has become cleaner and more mainstream, and investors and consumers have demanded more efficient energy processes. I wanted to bring conversations on these topics to a wider audience—envisioning the podcast as a way to bolster the profile of the Revers Center to prospective Tuck students, alumni, and industry leaders while encouraging business school students and young professionals to consider careers in energy. The mission of the podcast, Tuck Energy Currents, became to “elevate the energy conversation at Tuck, Dartmouth, and beyond by exploring industry trends and career pathways across the energy sector.”
I drew my initial guest list from contacts I made at Revers Center events during my two years at Tuck, as well as through my experience as a Private Equity Fellow at the Tuck Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital (CPEVC). I had developed a career interest in energy finance and the future of energy infrastructure and was simultaneously working on a CPEVC fellows project on private equity investment in the power industry. Consequently, several of my podcast guests had a finance background or were involved in energy infrastructure investment. My guests included a classmate who started a solar panel hardware manufacturing business, the CEOs of a leading independent power producer and a major petrochemical manufacturer, and the founding benefactor of the Revers Center, Dan Revers T’89.
The first season of Tuck Energy Currents consists of 12 episodes that will be released throughout the winter. My guests and I explore the changing nature of private investment in energy infrastructure, the growth of investment in renewable power generation, the role of green banks to bring clean energy technologies to underserved communities, and the future of the electricity grid.
Tuck Energy Currents episodes typically begin with my guest outlining the path to their current role, followed by explorations of their business, and the economic, environmental, and industry trends shaping their branch of the energy industry. Each episode concludes with guidance to audience members on pursuing careers in energy. While our initial target audience is young professionals, I think that the conversations will eventually attract a general audience interested in the business of energy.
I started Tuck Energy Currents as an initiative that would outlive my time at Tuck, and I am very pleased to announce that a group of T’22 students is working to produce the next season of the program. Umut Asikoglu T’22, Justin Meier T’22, and Susie Peerson T’22 will be selecting guests, handling hosting duties, and editing the next series of episodes, and I cannot wait to see the imprint they make on the podcast.
I would like to thank April Salas of the Revers Center and Jim Feuille of the CPEVC for encouraging me to get this project off the ground. Thanks also go to Umut, Justin, and Susie for helping to edit podcast episodes and carrying the program into its second season. Finally, a very special thanks to Madeleine Bothe of the Revers Center for guiding me through every step of the production process. I am thrilled to contribute Tuck Energy Currents to the Revers Center, and I hope the podcast will continue to strengthen the Center as a premier venue for business school students to explore the energy sector. Happy listening!
Eric Lukas is a 2021 graduate of the Tuck School of Business, where he was a Revers Center for Energy Fellow and a Private Equity Fellow. He is an associate with the Power & Utilities investment banking group at Barclays and is based in New York.