Energy Systems Management MS
Maggie Winslow, Program Director
Graduates will develop skills in strategic management, communication, change management, stakeholder engagement, and critical and systems thinking. These skills will prepare them for jobs with utility companies (electricity and water), government agencies in regulation and compliance, solar power companies and other renewable energy generators, or nonprofits engaged in promoting renewable energy and conservation.
The dramatic transformation in electricity underway today, driven by environmental sustainability, bottom-up decentralization, and rapid technology advances, requires leaders who can bridge engineering, economics, law and public policy to help develop the 21st century grid. This well-designed master's program is building the new wave of energy professionals that the industry desperately needs.
Lorenzo Kristov, PhD
Principal, Market and Infrastructure Policy, California Independent System Operator
After graduating with a BS in Energy Engineering in Brazil, I was looking for a way to have a broader perspective in the energy field. The imminent transition to a cleaner path in the energy sector always intrigued me and I was happy to find Energy Systems Management (ENGY) which allowed me to work with people who have the same goals for a clean energy future. In my first year at ENGY, I developed a critical view about the energy industry in California which helped me land an internship at Tesla. I will be working in the Environmental, Health and Safety department, performing energy audits, waste management and safety within its factory. Being an ENGY grad student gave me the tools to find work at a innovative company that is paving the way for clean transportation."
GABRIELA VOLPATO '20, Environmental, Health and Safety Intern, Tesla
After my first year of studies in USF’s Energy Systems Management program I was hired as a Project Manager with Gridworks, a nonprofit group whose mandate is to 'convene, educate and empower stakeholders working to decarbonize electricity grids.' I have been fortunate to work and collaborate with a variety of energy stakeholders from DER providers, industry associations, researchers and utility personnel since beginning with Gridworks. My studies at USF allowed me to expand my knowledge of energy systems, establish industry connections and develop the necessary skills to succeed in the electricity industry."
ALEX SMITH '19, PROJECT MANAGER AND POLICY ANALYST, GRIDWORKS
I didn't know what possible next step I could take after working at Tesla. I also didn't know what doors USF could open for me. Half the reason I joined the program was to network with top executives and directors in the energy industry, and I knew that I had to capitalize on all of those interactions. What I didn't realize, though, was just how powerful those connections could be.
I'm now a month into a new project finance role at Borrego Solar after making the tough decision to leave Tesla. In some ways it was an easy transition, since my teammate gave a guest lecture in my Energy Economics and Finance course last fall. Through that lecture and course, I gained exposure to project finance and was able to pivot into this type of work. I like to think that my years of solar experience landed me the job, but having the connection and classwork got me that first look. For years, I begrudgingly tried to network for the sake of networking. Now, I've seen the power networking has in creating career opportunities."
MADELEINE BROWN '19, PROJECT FINANCE ASSOCIATE, BORREGO SOLAR SYSTEMS
I transitioned from energy efficiency to CleanPowerSF, the Community Choice Aggregate (CCA) program for San Francisco, after about a year in the Energy Systems Management program. Part of my reasoning for pursuing this degree was to better position myself for this transition, which actually happened more quickly than I expected. The interdisciplinary nature of this program has enabled me to serve as a utility player for the program, which is highly valued by leadership and allows me to work across teams engaging key accounts, monitoring and assessing policy impacts, and performing market analysis."
JUSTIN PINE '19, UTILITY ANALYST WITH CLEANPOWERSF, SFPUC
Midway through the program, and in no small part because of the program’s scope, I find myself working at an ambitious energy storage startup in the East Bay. My role focuses on optimizing installation methods, cost modeling, and (of all things) policy related to energy storage in California. I work simultaneously at a component level (designing customer systems for installation) and coordinating with the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) on that organization’s efforts in the legislature and the Public Utilities Commission.I think that this manifold scope of competency serves to highlight Energy System's Management’s multidisciplinary design: the philosophy of the program is that leaders in the energy sector need to have a baseline working knowledge of policy, economics, and engineering in order to nourish teams and companies that will sensibly impact the inevitable minimization of emissions resulting from energy use and production.I would encourage those from non-standard academic backgrounds to apply to this program, the industry needs people who can take uncommon perspectives on the business of making electricity. Know, however, that you are in for a rigorous crash course in the elaborate mechanisms (physical, historical, and political) that drive the largest machine on earth: our electrical grid."
MICHAEL LOWELL '19, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER, AMBER KINETICS