2021-2022 Energy Institute Fellows

The Energy Institute’s (EI) Fellowship program offers a unique platform for senior and emerging academic, public, and industry leaders to share their expertise with the broader University of Texas community. EI Fellows contribute to Energy at UT – UT’s interdisciplinary research footprint of 350+ scholars and 30+ centers working across the energy landscape – by engaging in seminars, working groups, student/faculty interactions, and media opportunities. EI Fellows also support the Energy Institute’s pursuit of its core thematic focus, Fueling a Sustainable Energy Transition. The Fellowship program is non-resident and non-stipendiary, and the first cohort of Fellows joined the Energy Institute in 2020.

Senior Fellow

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Brett A. Perlman, CEO & President, Center for Houston’s Future

Brett Perlman is currently CEO and President of the Center for Houston’s Future, a non-profit focused on developing consensus-based solutions to important social issues for the entire Houston region and on mobilizing community leaders to implement those solutions. Perlman is a former Commissioner on the Public Utility Commission of Texas, after which he founded an entrepreneurial management consulting firm. Brett is an independent Director of Just Energy Group, a gas and electricity retailer. He holds advanced degrees in public policy from Harvard University and in law from the University of Texas.

Senior Fellows are accomplished senior executives and public leaders in their field, such as energy, business, law, policy, finance, and engineering. Distinguished professional accomplishment, usually involving at least 20 years of experience, is required for consideration as a senior fellow.

Energy Transition Fellows

Vijay Betanabhatla headshot

Vijay Betanabhatla, Director | Industry Solutions at AutoGrid

As an Associate Director at Guidehouse with 15 years of experience in the industry, Vijay Betanabhatla helps electric utilities, power generators, and consumers adopt 21st century technologies. He provides project and program management, financial advisory, data analytics and regulatory policy support to electric utilities, state commissions and corporations across North America. Vijay currently serves on the Central Market Leadership team at Guidehouse. Vijay is working with Guidehouse Data Science team to bring Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning solutions to solve traditional electric industry challenges. Vijay worked at Baker Tilly and in the ERCOT control room before coming to Guidehouse.

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Anna Ebers Broughel, Director at Clean Energy Leadership Institute

A passionate educator, Anna Ebers Broughel is a Director of Energy Leadership at Clean Energy Leadership Institute, overseeing six CELI fellowships with ca. 230 fellows in 4 time zones. In addition, she teaches graduate classes in energy economics and policy at the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Maryland College Park. Prior to joining CELI, she was a senior energy economist and statistician at the engineering consulting firm Tetra Tech and an ORISE Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy. Since 2020, she has served on the Council of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics and has been a visiting fellow at the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. A native of Estonia, she is an academic director of a summer school in sustainability at the Estonian Business School and a nano-degree lead, teaching classes in artificial intelligence in business. Anna is a co-Founder of Academics on FI(RE), a community that connects professionals interested in passive investing.

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Alexander Girau, CEO at Group1

With 15+ years of high-impact experience in the fields of battery materials, chemical engineering, and technology commercialization, Alexander Girau has positioned himself at the cross-roads of the global Energy Transition. Currently, he is Executive Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Group1, a stealth mode company commercializing technology developed in the laboratory of 2019 Chemistry Nobel laureate and UT-Austin Professor, Dr. John Goodenough. He also is the Founding CEO of Advano, an advanced material company developing and commercializing nanosilicon-based anode materials to improve the energy density of lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics, mobility, and stationary storage. Alexander is an inventor of 16 granted patents across materials, processes, and cell design. He was a Visiting Researcher at Tulane University where he spearheaded collaborations surrounding battery materials and processing technology. Alexander matriculated as a Ph.D. candidate at Tulane University and took a leave of absence to commercialize his graduate research, becoming the foundational technology of Advano. He is an alumnus of the famed Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator (Advano S17) and has an M.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Tulane University with a B.S. in Chemistry and Math/Computational Science from Loyola University of New Orleans.

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Dana Harmon, Executive Director, Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute

Dana Harmon serves as the Executive Director of the Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute in Austin. She is working to ensure the radically evolving energy sector provides opportunities for underserved communities to thrive, leading collaborative efforts between industry, academia, and the social sector. Previously, Dana held leadership positions in multiple successful energy technology start-ups. She is a Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She serves on the City of Austin Resource Management Commission as well as on the Board of the Association of Women in Energy. She earned a B.S. of Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Tim Latimer, CEO at Fervo Energy

Tim Latimer is the CEO of Fervo Energy. Fervo commercializes technology to develop geothermal assets as the foundation to a 100% clean energy future. Tim was previously a Drilling Engineer with BHP where he worked in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins. With a growing appreciation of the urgency of climate change, Tim left the petroleum industry 2015 to pursue an MBA/MS in Environment and Resources from Stanford University where he launched Fervo Energy. Tim is a Fellow at Activate and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is a native of Texas.

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Michael E. Legatt, CEO & Founder, ResilientGrid, Inc.

Dr. Michael E. Legatt founded ResilientGrid, Inc. to empower critical infrastructure operations that continually strengthen resilience and reliability. His current work with electric utilities facilitates and fosters a transformation towards improved organizational culture, enhanced collaboration in emergency situations, and a support of organizational creativity as a means to both reduce operating errors and operational costs. For ten years prior to founding ResilientGrid, Dr. Legatt served as the principal human factors engineer for ERCOT. He has PhDs in both Energy Systems Engineering and Clinical Health Psychology/Neuropsychology.

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Scott Nguyen, CEO, Bodhi

Scott Nguyen is co-founder and CEO of Bodhi, a design-focused clean energy software company that strives to usher in the next wave of wide-scale solar adoption. He has spent his career inventing technology and business models to accelerate our transformation to a cleaner, more efficient energy economy. Previously, he helped spur Austin's inaugural low- income solar program, sent robots to explore the oceans, and introduced renewable energy technology into Shell’s Portfolio. Scott is the holder of 17 USPTO patents and received a PhD in Physics from Harvard University and a BS in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Sudeshna Pabi, CEO, Acclime Labs

Sudeshna Pabi is currently the Founder and CEO of Acclime Labs, and also serves as Principal Advisor to Larta Institute where she provides guidance to innovative start-ups. She has also served as Technical Leader at Electric Power Research Institute with focus on clean energy solutions for problems related to energy and environment. Dr. Pabi holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University and a B.S. from Indian Institute of Technology. As a NASA graduate research fellow at Stanford University, Dr. Pabi assessed the climate impacts on the carbon budget of the Arctic Ocean by coding numerical models and developing remote sensing algorithms.

Energy Transition Fellows are emerging professionals with proven success in bridging academic and practical applications. Relevant experience can include entrepreneurship, research excellence, and thought-leadership in scholarly, business, and societal spheres in renewable and alternative energy, energy markets and finance, transportation systems, environmental sustainability, energy security and resilience, and technology and innovation.