Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40 award program highlights emerging leaders throughout the region and their work in America’s transition to a clean energy economy. The cohort of 2016 recipients are being announced on Sept. 28, Sept. 29, and Sept. 30.
Director of Research & Development, Energy Power Systems & XALT Energy
Dr. Fabio Albano has made his mark in both the business world and academia. He was a co-founder of Sakti3, a startup company specializing in solid-state lithium-ion battery technology. He has developed materials for cathode, anode, and solid electrolytes and demonstrated manufacturing processes for first usable prototypes. Dr. Albano has published work on the design and optimization of power supplies for wireless integrated microsystems, implantable medical devices, materials science, circuit design and widespread sensing applications. This work has led to 16 patents issued in both North America and Europe, two R&D 100 award nominations, and awards in France and Italy. Dr. Albano is fluent in four languages.
Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Market Development, Opower – Oracle
Mathias Bell leads the regulatory affairs work in the Midwest for Opower. Previously, Bell worked at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit consulting organization, partnering with utilities, policymakers, and regulators on regulatory and business models for energy efficiency and other distributed energy resources. He is a co-author of Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for a New Energy Era. Bell is a graduate of Carleton College.
Founder, ZEF Energy
Matthew Blackler has been living in Minnesota for four years, where he has worked with renewable energy, electric vehicles, and charging infrastructure. Previously, in London, he was part of an award-winning team that used geographical information software to create a platform for offshore renewables and resource planning. Since establishing ZEF Energy, he has joined forces with other technology experts to form Power Over Time, a smart grid firm. Power Over Time specializes in the mass control of electrical devices with high power demand, such as electric water heaters, air conditioners, and electric vehicles. This allows better power utilization and, ultimately, the opportunity to provide regulation services that allow for deep integration of renewables in the United States’ electrical grid.
Energy Services Coordinator, Cedar Falls Utilities
Erin Buchanan works as an Energy Services Coordinator for Cedar Falls Utilities in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In 2011, Buchanan was named a “rising star in public power” by the American Public Power Association. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, with a B.S. in mathematical decision sciences. She also holds an M.S. in statistics from Iowa State University.
Public Policy and Strategy Manager, Xcel Energy
Julia Eagles is a Public Policy and Strategy Manager at Xcel Energy. In this capacity, she works on evolving utility business models, coordinating company regulatory strategies, and preparing comments on state and federal energy policy. Before joining Xcel Energy, Eagles spent eight years working for local energy and environmental organizations. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Macalester College. In her free time she enjoys biking, cross-country skiing, taking trips to beautiful locations, and growing and eating good food.
Founder and CEO, DATTUS Inc.
Anurag Garg is actively enabling a clean energy economy for America through his role as founder and CEO of DATTUS Inc. DATTUS empowers industrial facilities with data-driven intelligence that helps them improve operational efficiencies, reduce unplanned downtime, maximize asset utilization, and improve the safety of personnel and the environment. Garg’s leadership has drawn significant recognition in clean energy competitions, including the 2013 DOE Clean Energy Challenge and the 2013 CleanTech Open. He was recognized in the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition and was named to the Founder.org Class of 2015. Garg earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and has since established himself as an innovator and leader within the field.
Senior Energy Engineer, Energy Insight, Inc.
Tanuj Gulati has more than 10 years of experience in the energy efficiency field. Gulati moved to the United States from India in the early 2000s and earned an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisiana. He has continued his professional growth with Energy Insight, Inc., earning numerous Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) certifications (CEM, CEA, CDSM, and CLEP). Gulati was named AEE’s Region III Energy Innovator of the Year 2016 at the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C. Gulati is active in ASHRAE, WEEC and other industry groups and is an accredited Green Globe Auditor.
Director, Power Generation Strategy, Westwood Professional Services
Mallory Lindgren is from Faribault, Minnesota and lives in the Twin Cities. She has worked for Westwood Professional Services since 2007, and currently serves as the organization’s Director of Power Generation Strategy, overseeing strategy for the wind and solar markets. Lindgren holds a B.S. in hydrology from Saint Cloud State University.
Marion “Molly” Lunn
Deputy Director, Office of Energy & Recycling, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
Marion “Molly” Lunn is the Deputy Director for Energy & Recycling at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. Previously, Lunn worked in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as well as with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She earned a master’s in public administration from Columbia University and a B.A. from Emory University.
Staff Attorney, Environmental Law and Policy Center
Josh Mandelbaum is a Des Moines-based staff attorney with the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC). Before joining ELPC, Mandelbaum practiced law with Lane & Waterman LLP in Davenport, Iowa. He previously served as a senior policy advisor to Iowa Governor Thomas J. Vilsack and Lt. Governor Sally J. Pederson. Before his work in the Governor’s office, Mandelbaum held a fellowship at the U.S. Department of Transportation in the Secretary’s Policy Office. Mandelbaum is a 2000 Truman Scholar, a 2001 magna cum laude graduate of Brown University, and a 2009 honors graduate from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Director, Public Affairs, Invenergy LLC
Katie McClain is driving the development and articulation of Invenergy’s corporate culture, communications strategy, brand, and message as the company finds new ways to reach internal and external audiences. McClain graduated from DePauw University and holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. Outside of Invenergy, McClain spends her time with her two children and enjoys traveling and sharing those experiences with her family.
Vice President, GlidePath
Chris McKissack is Vice President at GlidePath Power. He leads the company’s project delivery activities, including land acquisition, permitting, and grid interconnection, through the process of financing and construction. McKissack previously held advanced roles in engineering, transmission, and power marketing at Lincoln Clean Energy, where he was instrumental in bringing wind and solar generation online. He has also worked with GE Energy and ComEd. McKissack earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He is certified as a Professional Engineer and as a Project Management Professional.
Principal, 5 Lakes Energy LLC
Before joining 5 Lakes Energy, Jamie Scripps served as Assistant Deputy Director for the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. In this capacity, she was instrumental in helping to design and implement Michigan’s clean energy programs. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Scripps practiced law in Traverse City, Michigan and Washington, D.C., where she specialized in environmental law. Scripps also served as Deputy Policy Director for the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC). Scripps earned a J.D. from Michigan Law, a master’s degree in leadership studies from North Central College and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan.
Manager, Advanced Power Grid Modeling, Argonne National Laboratory
Jianhui Wang has made extraordinary contributions to aid in the country’s transition to a clean energy economy. He currently serves Argonne National Laboratory in a leadership capacity as manager of Argonne’s Advanced Power Grid Modeling (APGM) section, working towards the creation of a smart grid which will employ real-time, two-way communication technologies that allow consumers to connect directly with power suppliers. Dr. Wang is the principal investigator for a multitude of energy-related research projects. He manages a group of 12 research staff and postdoctoral researchers and 14 visiting students and scholars. He is a Fellow of the Computation Institute at The University of Chicago, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame and an Affiliate Professor at Auburn University. He has also held visiting positions in Europe, Australia, and Hong Kong.
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, Case School of Engineering
Dr. Hongping Zhao is an Assistant Professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and leader of the Case Semiconductor, Optoelectronics and Energy Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University. Zhao received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Lehigh University. She is a recipient of the Rossin Doctoral Fellowship and the 2008 and 2009 SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics) Scholarship. Her interdisciplinary research areas include energy-based device technology, developing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for solid state lighting and photovoltaics. Dr. Zhao has published more than 40 refereed journal articles with over 2300 citations. She holds four patents on LED technologies.