What's It Really Like

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Students are invited to meet with energy professionals in small, informal groups to learn about everyday life in their careers, their career paths, the current climate in their fields, and insights into the future. ND Energy also collaborates with the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development to help students sort through the many choices in the growing energy sector. Some featured events include:

Houston Sustainable Energy Trek 2024, March 10-13, 2024. Over spring break, 10 undergraduate students traveled to Houston, Texas to learn about the sustainable energy sector, visiting with alumni and energy professionals at Accenture Innovation Hub, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil Baytown and Global Headquarters, Linde Clear Lake HyCO Facility, and Sunnova Energy. They also visited Medical Bridges, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to collect and ship donated medical supplies and equipment to places around the world in most need of free, medical assistance. In addition to discerning their career paths, student also witnessed first-hand what it's like to be a "powerful force for doing good in the world". 

Erin O'Keefe '02, S.E., Senior Engineering Manager, Utility West at AES Clean Energy. Greg Benz '76, R.A., AICP, Senior Vice President at WSP.  Jennifer Carr, Operations Support Engineer at Peak Reliability in Vancouver, WA, with experience in non-traditional career paths and women in electrical engineering. Michael Grady, Owner of Eireann Emerald Solutions, a consulting firm focusing on green power, and consultant for Innergex Renewables, working with Native American tribal governments. Leesa Duckworth, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

In previous years, students have met in small groups with energy professionals to ask about the details of their work lives. Participants included Lisa Zyonse, Pennie Waggener, and Jordan Ridenour, Consumers Energy; Magaret Merkel and Sean McCloskey, Naval Nuclear Lab; John Kinney, Director of Advanced Technology Business Development, General Electric Aviation; Therese Dorau, Director of Sustainability, City of South Bend; Vince Barletto, Sr. Project Engineer, Cypress Creek Renewables; Subhash Shinde, Associate Director of ND Energy and formerly Research and Development Manager at Sandia National Labs and Senior Scientist/Engineer at IBM; Thomas Degnan, Tony and Sarah Earley Professor of Energy and the Environment, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame, and formerly of ExxonMobil and 3M; and Katie Otterbeck, Campaign Organizer at Impact/Environment Colorado; Peter C. Burns, Henry Massman Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences; Prashant Kamat, Rev. John A. Zahm Professor of Science, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Jason Hicks, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Eric Matlis, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Office of Sustainability, University of Notre Dame.

For more information or to get involved, contact Anne Berges Pillai, Education and Outreach Associate Program Director, at 574-631-9106 or apillai@nd.edu.