Cornell Energy Connection (CEC), Cornell University’s premier energy conference, is taking place on campus September 30th and October 1st. The conference provides a unique opportunity for students from across campus to engage with industry leaders, learn about career opportunities, and expand their professional network. 


This year’s conference theme is Transformation and Turbulence in the Energy Industry. Participating energy alumni, professionals, and students will attend and engage in keynote speeches (Katherine Hamilton and Jigar Shah from the Energy Gang Podcast) and interactive panels on the first day. On Day 2, select attendees will participate in Newtonian Shift, a business strategy simulation that illustrates how changes will impact the energy industry moving forward.


Check out our infomative video from the 2013 conference here and contact Aidan Renaghan ( with any questions.


Keynote Speaker Bios

Katherine Hamilton

Katherine is a Principal at 38 North Solutions. Previously, she was a Director at QGA Public Affairs, introducing energy efficiency, smart grid, and trade association clients into the portfolio of the firm’s clean energy team. During her previous role as President of the GridWise Alliance, Katherine developed relationships with hundreds of companies in the smart grid sector. Her experience as policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of more than $6 billion, gave Katherine an understanding of the venture capital model and allowed her to develop relationships in the investor space. Katherine has advocated for biomass (Co-Directing the American Bioenergy Association), renewable energy (as Manager of Government Relations for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory), and energy efficiency (as program manager for the Federal Energy Management Program’s SAVEnergy audit program and a Certified Energy Manager).

She has testified as an expert witness before the Maryland State House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate, and has served as an advisor to the Governor of New Jersey and the Vice President of the United States on renewable energy issues. Katherine began her career at Virginia Power (now Dominion Energy), designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments, performing energy audits, and advising customers on load management technologies and innovative rate structures.

Katherine has degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne, and studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College.


Jigar Shah

Jigar Shah is the President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital. Jigar was the founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. After SunEdison, Jigar served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change.

Jigar sees business model innovation as a leveraged tool for driving the next productivity revolution – resource efficiency. He is committed to helping entrepreneurs and large companies alike implement resource efficiency solutions using "no money down" project finance models. In 2013, Jigar authored Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. He holds an MBA from The University of Maryland and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He sits on the boards of sPower and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Tentative CEC Presentations Include:

Challenges for Large Power Generation Facilities in a Changing Market
Jason Blackburn (MBA ’07) Emerson
Integrating Distributed Energy Resources with the Electric Grid of the Future
Zach Pollock (BS Natural Resources ‘10) PA Consulting Group
Generating PESO's - Prioritized Energy Saving Opportunities in Emerging Economies
Samir Menon (BA Computer Science '95) ERM
The Invisible Revolution
Leah Bissonette (BS Human Ecology '73; MS '76) Sunshine Soldiers
Transformation and Turbulence in the Energy Industry: A Utility’s Perspective
Brad Gallant (MBA ‘08) DTE Energy Services
Monetizing Energy Savings Predictions and Measurements
Gregory Thomas (BS Eng ‘77) Performance Systems Development
Behind-the-meter Energy Storage
Robert Brink (MBA ‘16, BSE ‘07) Advanced Microgrid Solutions
Designing Innovative Products in the Energy Space
Dan Nadav (MBA ‘02) Qnergy
The Challenge: Making Your Energy Bill as Fascinating as Your Social Media Feed
Susan Mann (MBA 2004) Avangrid
How Utilities Can Leverage (and Improve Upon) the Customer Relationship to Create Value in the World of Decentralized Energy
Sam Uyeno, West Monroe Partners

Company Office Hours

The following companies will be holding office hours during Cornell Energy Connection from 3:45-5pm. Sign up will be in-person at the registration desk on Friday morning. There will be 3 sessions of 20 minutes each. Space is limited. First come, first served. Below are the names of the participating companies:


Advanced Microgrid Solutions -

Avangrid Service Company -

DTE Energy Services -

Emerson -

NextEra Energy, Inc. -

Noresco -

PA Consulting Group - http://www.

Performance Systems Development -

PSEG Energy Resources & Trade LLC -

Viridius Property -

West Monroe Partners -

Newtonian Shift

Newtonian Shift is an invitation-only, hands-on learning experience. The Newtonian Shift is a business strategy simulation used by utility executives that illustrates the coming transformation in the utility sector. Students, sponsors, and alumni will work side-by-side to understand multiple perspectives and collaborate to meet the needs of consumers while addressing systematic changes in the energy marketplace. 

To learn more, please visit their website.