Spotlight on Students’ Energy Internships

What better way to help you understand some of the internship opportunities available to you as a member of the Cornell Energy Club (CEC), than to have the students themselves share their experiences. Most students are wrapping up their internships or will soon start to wrap up their internships, and as a result we touched bases with some of them to get a feel of some of the energy roles they embarked on this summer. 

Our volunteer today is none other than our very own Robert Brink, President of the CEC:

This is Rob Brink checking in from the GE Renewables headquarters in upstate NY, a little more than halfway through the internship project and absolutely loving it.  I'm based on the Marketing Strategy team representing Energy Storage, a market where GE has been making some big moves.  

My partner and I started off doing market sizing and analysis for different energy storage uses, but it has quickly morphed into helping make go / no-go decisions on numerous projects, as well as informing the strategic focus of the business.  As an intern, it's hard to imagine having a more impactful experience, and as a clean tech enthusiast I really couldn't ask for a more exciting position.  

Between preparing for our report-out to the head of the Renewables business in a couple weeks and making sure to connect with as many people here as possible, it's going to be a sprint to the end of the internship.  Looking forward to sharing more about the experience to fellow club members in the fall.

We will continue to share periodic updates on the internships embarked upon by our members. But should you have questions or would like to get in touch, do not hesitate to contact us.

Posted on August 2, 2015 .

Why You Should Join the Cornell Energy Club at Johnson

Perhaps you are already a subject-matter-expert in the energy industry or you are contemplating venturing into this dynamic industry or just trying to understand how you fit into the global energy puzzle, whatever your expertise or interest level is, the Cornell Energy Club (CEC) has a spot for you.

The VP of Education, Rizwan Quraishi, recently shared 5 reasons why you should be a part of the vibrant CEC:

       I.            Networking opportunities

The CEC provides excellent networking opportunities, such as the annual Johnson Energy Connection where you’ll have the chance to explore the depths of specific industry areas with seasoned professionals. That many of these professionals will be alumni of Johnson and/or Cornell will be an added advantage for you to learn, connect and explore.

II.            Career options

The CEC does not lean towards any one area of the broader energy industry. There are adequate learning and career opportunities for students interested in traditional, non-traditional or functional areas in the energy industry. The club keeps its members informed about internship as well as full time job opportunities in the energy industry.

III.            Compliment to Johnson’s strengths

Leveraging Johnson’s strength in a generalist, well rounded MBA program, the CEC helps you compliment your functional skill-set and develop a big picture perspective that many employers seek and value today. The club organizes periodic 101s that will provide you a holistic view of the energy industry.

IV.            Industry exposure

There’s a lot happening in the industry – and you don’t necessarily have time as a graduate student to stay connected with the industry when in an academic environment. The CEC helps you stay connected with the industry through various events such as its newsletter, case competitions and group discussions.

V.            Passionate people doing interesting things

Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, says that when you're surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible. Beyond the events and activities, that’s what the CEC is all about.

We understand that everyone’s energy goals may be different, but whatever those goals are, the CEC can provide you with the resources needed to achieve them. So, come and join these energetic group of energy enthusiasts as we uncover together the next big thing in energy!

            Please connect with us on LinkedIn or send us an email.

Posted on August 1, 2015 .

Cornell Combined Heat and Power Plant Tour - A Look into Utilities

View from the South of the CCHPP addition.jpg

One of the main objectives of the Cornell Energy Club (CEC) is to provide energy-focused educational opportunities to members of the club. In fulfilling this objective, the CEC organized a visit to the Cornell Combined Heat and Power Plant (CCHPP) on April 30th 2015. The 25+ students in attendance, mostly Johnson students, were treated to the technological marvel of the CCHPP.

The system, as described on CCHPP’s website, includes two Solar Titan combustion turbines (15 MW each) coupled with Rentech heat recovery steam generators.  Each turbine combusts natural gas to provide the power needed to turn an electric generator. Excess heat leaving the gas turbine is recycled through the heat recovery steam generator to produce steam for campus needs.  The CCHPP generates approximately 180 GWh yearly meeting majority of the campus electrical power needs.

The event, which lasted approximately one hour, gave students an opportunity to learn about how Cornell meets its total electricity demands, its winter heating demands, and strategies being taken to mitigate the effects of outages should they occur.

Feel free to reach out to Aditi Srivastava or any of the board members should you have more questions.

Posted on May 6, 2015 .

Energy Club Officer Jeremy Kuhre On The Radio

Jeremy Kuhre, left, organized a group to attend the People's Climate March

Jeremy Kuhre, left, organized a group to attend the People's Climate March

Last week I made my radio debut on 88.1 WRFI in Ithaca, NY. I had the privilege to be the guest for The Forecast, a local radio show dedicated to educating listeners about climate change related issues.  

The interview began with questions on the triple bottom line (i.e. people, planet, and profit). From there we discussed the bus I organized to the People’s Climate March, how climate change is viewed in MBA and business settings, and the fossil fuels divestment campaign. After a few softballs, Art, a renewable energy entrepreneur and host of the show, got into the tougher questions of whether or not our economic system was up to the task of addressing climate change. I responded that I thought it was, but not without changes. First, negative externalities around fossil fuels needed to be addressed by putting a price on carbon. This would help enable the second major change needed which is to move to a circular economy. Today’s economy depends on a Take-Make-Waste model where “Take” (resource extraction) and “Waste” (pollution) cause serious environmental degradation. A carbon price would reveal the true cost of extraction and pollution thus supporting a closed-loop, or circular economy.

The show ended with Art asking me about how to “get through” to evangelicals (I’m Mormon) about climate change. It's been my experience that evangelicals tend to be skeptical about climate change because of their political beliefs, not because of their religious beliefs. Therefore, making the connection between conservative values and environmental stewardship would yield the best results. Feel free to listen to a recording of the show on the show’s website.

Posted on April 27, 2015 .

Houston Energy Trek - Spotlight on Traditional Energy

With the various advancements and technological breakthroughs in the renewable energy sub-sector, the future of traditional energy is currently unknown. What is however known is that from the US to Australia, from Russia to Nigeria, from China to Saudi Arabia and everywhere in between traditional energy sources remain very important, and play very critical roles in world economies.

The Energy club at Johnson understands the pivotal role that traditional energy plays in the world, thus makes a concerted effort to ensure that its student body is well educated not only in renewable energy but also in traditional energy. Education of the student body comes in various forms, such as lecture series, speaker series, the Johnson Energy Connection and treks to energy firms.

One such event happened recently, when Victor Omoniyi, VP of Marketing, organized a trek to Houston in partnership with Yale School of Management. The event was focused on energy in general, and included visits to renewable energy companies, investment banks, consulting firms and oil majors. One of the oil majors that was visited was Shell. Shell highlighted their Accelerated MBA program, a program designed to recruit potential future leaders to replace their ageing workforce.

Whatever your passion for energy is, Johnson’s Energy club has an opportunity for you. If you are particularly interested in traditional energy, then come and join us to unlock the next big opportunity in traditional energy.

If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to Victor Omoniyi:


West Coast Clean Tech Trek


San Francisco has been the epicenter of clean-energy leadership. So we took the opportunity to visit a few prominent clean tech firms on our third day.  Our first stop was SolarCity, backed by the celebrated Elon Musk. Solar City has installed over a third of all U.S. residential PV with innovative solar financing options. We learned about this success and also its ambitious goals to develop distributed power generation for the future grid.  Afterwards we stopped by Intel and Google's Energy Group to hear about the impressive initiatives they've undertaken to source clean energy and invest in it.

We then headed south to SunEdison, a large utility and commercial scale solar energy developer that recently started to play more in the residential solar space. SunEdison has also taken the lead on yieldco issuance, notably with the recent acquisition of First Wind Holdings by its yieldco, TerraForm. Learning about its business strategy and different product offerings was fascinating and complemented by the fact that two recent Johnson alums were there to show us around and answer questions!  

We wrapped up our third day with a visit to Bloom Energy, a ground-breaking fuel cell technology company. We learned about the Bloom Energy Server and the value-add that its clean, reliable energy has served over 20 large companies, including Google, Walmart, and Ebay. It was spectacular seeing the stacks of bloom energy servers with our own eyes.

Posted on March 26, 2015 .

Energy Club goes to ARPA-E

By Jeremy Kuhre, MBA ’16

I spent three days in the future Feb. 9 through 11, and I’ve returned to tell you: It’s a brave new world. I’ve seen 3D-printed cars; synthetic chemical processes that, when genetically spliced into plants, make them grow faster; radiative panels that passively cool buildings in direct sunlight; a backpack that, when worn through a building, produces a full-3D model instantly; and, perhaps most notably, a chemical coating that allows ALL of the ketchup to slide out of the bottle. A brave new world indeed.

During the first day, Bill Gates set the tone for the rest of the conference: “We want energy to be carbon-free.” There was a tangible sense of excitement at the conference for the maturation of disruptive technologies such as energy storage and next generation renewables that will be critical in addressing the climate crisis. Ahmad Chatila, CEO of SunEdison, the largest renewables developer in the world, pronounced that “energy storage is the most important thing right now—it will change the world as we know it.” He went on to predict that it will unlock widespread adoption of electric vehicles and intermittent sources of electricity generation such as wind and solar. Indeed, Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, reminded attendees that, of all new electricity generation added to the grid in 2014, solar was the largest, beating out both coal as well as gas. Balancing the idea that technology alone will solve our problems, Alex Laskey, president and founder of Opower, spoke of the importance of feedback loops and behavioral economics in addressing our energy profligacy.

Despite the intractable problems before us, it was difficult to leave the summit without a sense of awe and hope for our future. Johnson has enabled me to do more than simply witness the clean tech revolution; I feel like a key player in driving its destiny. Welcome to the future.

Posted on March 12, 2015 .

Cornell Energy Club takes 2nd place at Spark Clean Energy Case Competition

Yuki Mizutani, MBA ’16, Daniel Álvarez-Valencia, MBA ’15, Teodoro Guzmán-Elizondo, MBA ’16, Devin Sutcliffe, MBA ’15, won second place nationally in the Spark Clean Energy [Em]Powering Grid Resilience Competition.  The competition raised the question of how communication could be improved between the utility and its customers to build a more responsive and secure grid. We proposed a mobile app and accompanying business plan that draws customers in with personal energy management features and then leverages customer engagement to restore power outages more quickly. We presented our solution on the first day of the conference and were warmly received by industry executives and researchers alike.

Find out more here.

Posted on March 12, 2015 .

Thanks to everyone for an amazing 2014 Johnson Energy Connection!

Johnson hosted its fifth annual Johnson Energy Connection at Sage Hall, Sept. 26 and 27, an event that brings together alumni experts in the energy sector to share their industry knowledge and insights with MBA students and with one another, and also welcomes graduate and undergraduate students from colleges across Cornell University. Co-organized by the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and SGE Club, the event was sponsored by Chevron and Emerson.

Alumni industry professionals represented a broad spectrum of companies involved in the energy sector, ranging from behemoths like GE and ExxonMobil to smaller startups such as Alteros Energies and Sunible. The lectures varied from new developments in technology to financing options in the energy industry. A few highlights:

  • Jaime Martinez Soto, MEng ’12, MBA ’13, business development manager at Emerson Process Management in Mexico, spoke about Emerson’s foray into new technologies that would increase efficiency and safety on oil rigs.
  • Paul Mutolo ’94, partnership director at NYS Center of Future Energy Systems and co-founder of Standard Hydrogen Corporation, dissected the efficiency of fuel cells and electric batteries, explaining why he thinks hydrogen makes the most sense for future vehicles.
  • John Renehan, MBA ’07, manager at GE Power & Water, touched on the biggest markets for energy — emerging economies — and how increased fuel efficiency in these markets can bring about massive savings.
  • Bill Davis, MBA ’99, vice president of liquid natural gas (LNG) market development at ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing, presented links between LNG and the future of energy.
  • Brad Gallant, MBA ’08, senior associate with DTE Energy Services talked about the new rage in renewable energy finance: Yield companies (more familiarly known as yield cos), defined by Forbes contributor and peak oil and climate change investment specialist as “a publicly traded company that is oriented towards income as opposed to growth.” Gallant discussed the benefits of yield cos but also expressed concern about overvaluations.
  • Seth Helfgott ’05, associate with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, spoke about the waning interest in the field of clean-tech energy among venture capitalists and about other, more bullish sources of finance.

This year, the afternoon plenary panel, “Transforming the Energy Industry through Innovation,” attracted a full house of students and alumni. Moderated by Mark Milstein, director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, panelists included Helfgott, Brian Bauer ’85, executive-in-residence at the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot, and Mike Train, MBA ’91, president of global sales at Emerson Process Management. Afterwards, students were able to interact with alumni during company “office hours,” during which time they were encouraged to pose industry- and career-related questions to alumni, share experiences, and talk business.

Thanks to all for an incredibly successful event!


Posted on February 28, 2015 .