Tag: Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight on Marion Cundari, Senior Associate, Analytics Services – Post-Trade Services

“We’re working on things that roll up to tangible benefits for the clean energy sector. Not only am I challenged to grow and continue to learn, but the big picture is that our work is making an impact on more lives than just my own.”

Employee Spotlight on Marion Cundari

“I grew up on the south shore of Boston and I was actually really shy as a kid. But I loved being outside. I was one of those kids that would spend the whole day outside with my neighbors and siblings just playing. As I grew up, that morphed into having a sport for every season. I played soccer, I skied in the winter and even ski raced a bit in high school, and in the summer I sailed. Eventually I coached sailing. I taught kids how to race after racing myself. Thinking about myself academically as a kid, I was definitely a big ol’ nerd. I would get so stressed out about getting 100 on every assignment.

“I always preferred math and science. When I got to undergrad at UVM, I knew I wanted to go into engineering, but I didn’t know which specific sector. At first I was leaning towards biomedical engineering, but started broadly within mechanical engineering. Throughout that first year or two you have that flexibility to explore what’s interesting to you and that’s when the energy sector started to come to light. I absolutely loved thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. I enjoyed solving complex energy problems in the academic setting. I then extrapolated that to ‘well, we’ve got pretty big energy problems as a society, so that might be a career that makes sense for me.’ So that snowballed into taking renewable energy specific courses in undergrad, as well as a senior design project – which is your whole senior year as an engineering student – working with a local company in Vermont to develop a novel audio based condition monitoring system for wind turbines. My experience in undergrad helped guide me towards the renewable energy industry through my courses and hands-on experiences.

“I graduated back in 2017. I also did a minor in Economics while I was there, which at the time had a lot of people telling me, ‘you’re not going to use that; why are you stressing yourself out with a minor?’ But I was interested in it and it’s come full circle. I now work in a setting where I can apply my problem solving skills from engineering with that economics background on our settlement team.

“I’ve been at REsurety for about three and a half years. I absolutely love working at REsurety. I think we do so many things right as a company, and there are a couple core attributes that make it such an awesome place to work. First, the nature of what we’re working on is super interesting to me. We’re working on things that roll up to tangible benefits for the clean energy sector. Not only am I challenged to grow and continue to learn, but the big picture is that our work is making an impact on more lives than just my own.

“I think the other component that we do well is our team. We have a very diverse team with specialities across different sectors. We bring those diverse backgrounds and specialities into our problem solving strategy, and I think that’s really important. On the more lighthearted side, everyone’s really pleasant to work with and I always look forward to connecting with my colleagues in person.

“The renewable energy industry is still young, and relatively small if you compare it to most other industries. This means our generation has a lot of impact on the direction that we go in as an industry and that’s really exciting to me. I think a lot of the solutions needed to fully transition to a clean energy fueled future are still in development and some may not exist yet. We will be the generation that sees these developments come to fruition. There is always going to be a new problem for us to solve.

“Usually if I’m not working, you can find me in the mountains somewhere. In the winter I’ll be on skis, and in the summer I’ll be running. Usually Bruno, my dog, is with me. I think it goes back to who I was as a kid too – I just like to be outside.

“Beyond generally enjoying the outdoors I also like to race, mostly mountain trail running races. In addition to local trail races, I do Spartan Races, which I started when I was in college. Pre-pandemic, I was traveling a lot for them too and competing mostly at the mountain venues. I have a couple of companies that I work with that support my athletic endeavors. I work with SCOTT Sports on their running team. I also work with UnTapped Maple and Atomic Coffee Roasters. They help support me because it gets expensive to be buying sneakers and running fuel every month. I’ve even convinced a couple of our colleagues to do a Spartan Race with me. We do the Fenway Park Spartan Race each fall as a REsurety team and I enjoy motivating my coworkers to work out to train for that.”

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Employee Spotlight on Jessica Tomaszewski, Senior Research Scientist

“I decided to lean back into my love for the environment and found that I could apply my expertise in meteorology to support the fight against climate change.”

Jessica Tomaszewski Employee Spotlight

“I grew up in a northwest suburb of Chicago called Crystal Lake. As a child, I always had an interest in science, especially natural and physical science like earth science, space, and the environment. I remember in elementary school I was the founder of a “Save the Environment” club with some of the other kids in my neighborhood, so you could say sustainability and climate change have always been important to me. My passion for weather actually grew out of fear initially. When I was a kid I was terrified of thunderstorms, and I remember a small tornado narrowly missed my town when I was maybe five or six years old, and that moment left a deep impact on me by turning that fear into curiosity: I needed to know how tornadoes happen, why the clouds looked the way they did, why the clouds were located where they were. And so from that moment on – and I remember declaring in sixth grade – I was going to be a meteorologist, and I stuck to it.

“I ended up following that interest in weather all the way to Norman, Oklahoma, which is where I went to college to study meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. And there I quite literally followed the weather sometimes by doing a decent amount of storm chasing. I’ve seen some pretty mind blowing tornadoes, which was definitely a highlight of my time there in Oklahoma. Then eventually during college I decided – probably to the relief of my mother – that severe weather and storm chasing was more of a hobby of mine than a career choice. So I decided to lean back into my love for the environment and found that I could apply my expertise in meteorology to support the fight against climate change.

“I pivoted my focus to wind energy, which is what I researched in graduate school at the University of Colorado. My PhD dissertation there consisted of running lots of weather simulations of wind farms and how wind farms interact with the area around them, and that’s what steered my journey into the energy space via meteorology.

“My manager at REsurety, Jennifer Newman, and I have a longer history than just our time at REsurety. When I was an undergrad at the University of Oklahoma, Jennifer was a grad student there, so I kind of knew of her a little bit. When I went to grad school, Jennifer was a postdoc at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, also in Colorado. So there we interacted a little bit more through similar professional development groups and peer mentoring groups, and she eventually took the job at REsurety a couple years later. A few years after that, when I was getting ready to defend my PhD, she posted on LinkedIn that she was looking to hire a research scientist – someone who specializes in wind energy modeling – and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s me!’. So I applied and came over to Boston and I loved the people and the culture and the work that we do. It was a great fit and I knew right away that REsurety is really where I wanted to be.

“What excites me about the work that I do is getting to work with tons of really interesting data, and getting to repackage that data into stories of sorts, so interesting visuals or concepts to explain interesting or difficult-to-understand topics, and using those stories to then drive actions that support the clean energy transition. All that is something I’m really passionate about.

“My hobbies tend to sit on opposite ends of the exertion spectrum. I’m either on the couch in some corner of the internet or watching Netflix or reading, or I’m in the gym or on a run or trying Pilates and yoga. Pilates and yoga were definitely hobbies that I picked up in quarantine. I was taking a lot of Zoom gym classes and found this great instructor who’s in California, but her classes were only $5 and she was super fun to do Pilates with. That was one silver lining to the pandemic quarantine period. I also recently got a bike, so I’ve been having fun zipping around Boston on two wheels and exploring the area a little differently than I have in the past.

“I also have a dog. He is aptly named Cloudy, and he’s a Border Collie and Corgi mix who’s very cute and gets to take up a little bit of my time outside of work as well. I’ve had him for six years, and I got him in grad school, so he’s been my little cloud buddy for a while now.”

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Employee Spotlight on Austin Thomas, Power Markets Research Associate

“The weather had the fun, sciency things going on, and I always had an interest in it.”

Austin Thomas, Power Markets Research Associate

“I was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. I’m a very proud Chicagoan, always will be. Growing up I always had an interest in science in general, in various forms. I watched a lot of PBS documentaries, Nature, Nova – all that good stuff. I’d also watch the local news, which is probably strange for a child in elementary or middle school, but the two segments that always got my attention were weather and sports. The weather had the fun, sciency things going on, and I always had an interest in it. In high school I took a lot of science classes and I applied to meteorology programs for university. I ended up going to the University of Wisconsin, which was the first one that I visited and I loved it from the start. 

“I didn’t quite have a specialty area within atmospheric sciences or meteorology that I wanted to focus on. In 2013, organizations that might fund a Master’s or PhD student working in a research university weren’t sure what their budget was going to look like due to a government budget sequester. That trickled down to impacting admission decisions at universities for potential Master’s students like myself coming in to do research, and I was one of many students impacted. I took that as an opportunity to look somewhere else and try something different, so I decided to go to the University of Reading in England. I never had a study abroad experience during undergrad and I was excited to live overseas for a while. Reading has an excellent Meteorology department so it’s not like I was trading academic rigor for other life experiences. It was fulfilling in multiple senses. I had a really good time living in the UK, and I made a lot of great friends. I make regular trips back there to visit them and see football matches or explore parts of the UK I haven’t been to.

“I was there for a year and a half and in the final portion of the program I was fortunate enough to study wind energy modeling. I had spent a lot of time learning how the atmosphere works and learning about climate change prior to this. My knowledge of climate change was pretty good by then and it was very clear that this is a problem that affects all of us and we need to be acting swiftly on it. I’m a decent coder, I was not an amazing mathematician, so I was probably not going to write the next great climate model. I thought I could contribute to the solution side of climate change instead. 

“I got my PhD at the University of Vermont, and towards the end of it, I had the opportunity to present at a conference for the American Meteorological Society in 2020. I was able to road trip down from Vermont, and it was there that I actually met quite a number of REsurety employees. At that point I hadn’t heard of REsurety, but by being in more energy-focused sessions within the conference I encountered REsurety folks and attended their talks and did the classic networking thing. You always hear that networking is a skill to develop and you never know when it’ll pay off. I’m not the most gregarious or social person but in this case, it definitely paid off when I joined REsurety two years after that conference. After getting my PhD I ended up taking a job in consulting which was based in New York City. I was there for a little over a year, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. But then I saw that the power markets team at REsurety was hiring, and they were looking for someone to work on northeast markets, which is one of the main focus areas I had. So everything kind of fell into place pretty nicely.

“The electricity system is such a complex and nuanced structure with a lot of intricate moving parts, and it also underpins so much of what makes a modern society, particularly in America. It’s fun to work on something that is so foundational to everyone. Then there’s the whole climate change piece layered on top, and with my background that means that I’m highly motivated and constantly thinking about what our behaviors and decisions in the electricity sector can mean for lessening the impact of climate change. I spent a decade of my life studying this, and having an energy systems and meteorology background makes me feel like a tailor-made fit to be a REsurety employee.

“I watch a lot of sports, primarily the Premier League in the UK and college sports – I’m a big Badgers fan. I also try to spend a decent amount of time outside. With the amount of time I spend staring at my computer either in a personal or professional capacity, I definitely try to balance that out with outdoor things, whether it’s taking a walk around the neighborhood, going for a hike, or taking a day trip somewhere. I’m hoping to get back into golf next year. I played from time to time in high school, and I like following professional golf too. I also love visiting breweries and trying out new beer. When I lived in Vermont I went to every single brewery in the state over the course of about two years, which was about 55 in total.”

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Employee Spotlight on Morgan O’Connell, Revenue Operations Associate

“I love music and food, which relates to my love of cooking. But then when I’m able to grab some time for painting, that’s a different kind of vibe.”

Morgan O'Connell, Revenue Operations Associate

“I grew up around Boston on the South Shore. I would say as a kid, I loved learning and meeting new people. I was kind of an outgoing nerd. I’m a painter, so I would have my time to paint, but then I always wanted to learn something new at school and be a part of different clubs and groups. 

“I went to Lafayette College down in Pennsylvania, and I was an art and environmental studies double major there. Honestly, energy and renewables wasn’t something I had on my mind until college. I took an environmental geology class and the professor was inspiring and brilliant. I could tell that she believed in her students’ ability to make an impact. So that environmental geology class was the reason I switched to an environmental studies major.

“I got to do a thesis that combined art and environmental studies, which was the first of its kind. I did a lot of research into plastic pollution in local water systems and how it affects the environment and everything downstream. Then I wrote a paper and created artwork based on the learnings from my research. 

“I used to work at a large energy management company, and REsurety is exactly what I was looking for in the sense of pivoting completely to renewable energy. Also, working at a smaller company allows you to make a bigger impact and collaborate in ways that are not possible at a large company, and I’ve been enjoying that. I feel like everybody is more willing to adapt as well. Everyone is very interested in market changes and new legislation that affects our business and it should be talked about and worked through.

“REsurety is such a collaborative company. You might be in your silo at times, but the second you step out for happy hour or a bagel morning, that is when the magic happens. The conversations are really enlightening and I’m learning a lot.

“I’m most interested in energy storage as a technology and seeing how it advances. We saw that through solar and how big investments in solar can drive down prices and storage is now not attainable for most companies price-wise. So I think I’m most excited to see where storage goes. 

“When I’m not working, I’m probably hanging out with friends. I love music and food, which relates to my love of cooking. But then when I’m able to grab some time for painting, that’s a different kind of vibe.

“Also, I just joined the Young Professionals Board for a nonprofit called Friends of the Children, which is a different community outside of energy and art. They provide one-on-one mentorship to kids throughout their entire childhood who might not otherwise have that support or access to resources. 

“It’s related to the same kind of thing I did in college. For all four years I ran a volunteer program that was cooking for 30 women and children at a non-emergency shelter. That was on a weekly basis and when we made the food we got to hang out and eat with the residents. I learned a lot from women who have been through so many systemic obstacles and I felt like I’ve been in my own little bubble here in Boston, so it’s been good to be a part of a new community.”

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Employee Spotlight on Nikhil Ramakrishnan, Marketing Specialist

“Where I grew up in India was a huge inspiration to me and shaped who I am today. So being able to incorporate parts of that in my music and my creative process is rewarding.”

Nikhil Ramakrishnan, marketing specialist at REsurety

“I grew up all over the place. I was born in Pennsylvania, but I only lived there for two or three years before moving to New York. Then we moved to Singapore for a year. Then back to New York and eventually we moved to New Delhi, where I did middle school and high school. It was definitely a lot of different cultures and a little bit of culture shock here and there. 

“When I first moved to India, I didn’t grasp how cool the experience was. I had to learn the language from scratch. I had to start at a preschool level because I didn’t know anything. After two or three years, I became fluent in Hindi though, which was pretty impressive, I didn’t think I’d be able to do that.

“For a long time, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. When I was in high school, I took a couple of broad business classes that gave a feel for each field within business. Afterwards, I decided that business would be the best fit. And within those classes, I was pretty good at marketing. I also enjoyed the marketing side the most. 

“I always knew that I wanted to come back to the U.S. for college. I had done 8 years in India, it was time for a change. I went into college as a marketing major. After taking a few classes, I knew that that was what I wanted to pursue.

“I like the connecting with people aspect, because you really have to understand what a person is thinking or what a person is looking for. That human touch in marketing is something that you don’t often find in other parts of business. And there’s so many different ways of targeting people and reaching people. People think and behave in so many different ways. There’s not just one blanket method of targeting or hitting on somebody’s interest. 

“I also really enjoy music. I make music in my free time. It’s mostly hip hop and rap tracks. It’s cool to see how my music has evolved. It started out as just a hobby with my college roommate and it’s now grown to where we’re putting on local shows, meeting new artists from the area, and growing our network in the music space as well. 

“Living in India definitely shaped my taste in music. I actually wrote a whole song about the city that I used to live in. Where I grew up in India was a huge inspiration to me and shaped who I am today. So being able to incorporate parts of that in my music and my creative process is rewarding.

“I just graduated from Northeastern University about two and a half months ago. The clean energy field was always something that I was around growing up, because my dad worked in energy companies. It was never a situation where I was forcing myself to pursue energy. It was just if an opportunity to work in energy came up, I’d definitely consider it. It just so happened to work out that way with REsurety. 

“I’m looking forward to growing and developing more as a marketer in this new role. It already feels like the work I’m doing is very meaningful and making an impact on the organization. I’m also excited for the amount of growth potential that the energy field has to offer. I think the future is looking really bright for it and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

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Employee Spotlight on Sarah Sofia, Software Engineer and Solar Energy Expert

“I remember in high school, people were often surprised that I was interested in STEM and art, but I think they’re super connected and that a lot of engineering is creative.”

Sarah Sofia, Software Engineer and Solar Energy Expert

“I liked math and science but I also danced very seriously growing up, doing ballet, tap, and jazz. I remember in high school, people were often surprised that I was interested in STEM and art, but I think they’re super connected and that a lot of engineering is creative. Whether literally you’re building something or building a structure in your head for how to visualize a model, it’s all very connected to how you think about art and drawing or sculpting. 

“Increasingly it was very clear that physics and engineering was really what I loved to do. And my dad is very into science so he instilled an early interest in that for me. He has a small business that’s at our house and his team makes tools to test reliability, thermal conductivity, and thermal management of electrical components. As I get older, I have realized that being around a lot of circuit boards, working with my dad to build different things, and doing science experiments in the basement, made a lot of science and engineering feel more tractable as an adult. Like when I was little, I would go into the shop and make jewelry out of solder and ribbon cable and then as I got older I wanted to understand what they are and what they do. Participating in that and having someone lead me to see all of the possibilities from a young age was really valuable. I feel like that’s a big barrier for some because you can have so much separation from how things are made or work. So getting that growing up and being like ‘oh I know how to make something’ was special.

“I was very into physics and astronomy in undergrad, then my trajectory sort of slowly changed. After graduating, I wanted something with an impact on the world I was living in, in a more direct way. It felt like a pretty natural transition to engineering from physics and I found solar as a really cool application of physics. I liked being able to go all the way from the fundamental physics of what is happening on a micro level, all the way up to energy going into people’s houses. I was fortunate to work with industry in grad school. I wanted to maintain that and continue working in industry, where it really felt like I was directly connected with renewables getting installed now and less hyper focused on a very small portion of something that’s important in a solar cell. 

“As I have been in this world, I increasingly just think energy is super cool. I’m really interested to see, particularly as new technologies come more online, how they will change and shape the way our grid is evolving. I think getting to a higher and higher percentage of renewables and carbon free energy poses a lot of challenges, but they’re really exciting and interesting challenges. 

“My big hobbies at the moment are baking and quilting. I’ve always loved the transformative process of baking. As I’ve gotten into baking more complicated things and figured out how to optimize recipes and why certain things make certain things happen, I think it is really interesting. And then you get a treat at the end! Then during Covid, I took a remote quilting class through a fabric store in Cambridge. They did Zoom classes and sent materials. It’s slow, but very fun. Whenever there’s some progress that you see day to day it’s very satisfying.”

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Employee Spotlight on Shane Hall, Senior Software Engineer

Shane Hall

“For me engineers were heroes changing the world with pencil and paper.”

Shane Hall, Software Engineer, REsurety

“Middle school science class kicked off my dream to become an engineer. I grew up listening to my dad talk about my great-uncle George Philbrick, who pioneered operational amplifiers in early computers in the 1950s. For me engineers were heroes changing the world with pencil and paper.

“My dad’s mother was an artist, and her brothers were engineers and pilots in WWII and the Cold War. Afterward, her brothers worked in computing, satellites and GPS tracking, which is relevant to what we do at REsurety today, using satellite data to model wind farms and solar farms. Analyzing the natural world through technology is practically a family tradition for the Halls.

“I started undergrad as a pre-med, because everybody tells you that’s the thing to do. Towards the end of my freshman year, I met Professor James Manwell, who ran the wind energy center at UMass Amherst. He was developing practical applications of aerodynamics and statistics and I found that inspiring. I decided I was going to take every class he had to offer. I eventually changed my major and continued on to my master’s in Mechanical Engineering, working with him in the wind energy center.

“In my sophomore year, I got an internship with ISO New England, the regional balancing authority. That gave me a lot of valuable hands-on experience, writing code, looking at real world constraints, and visiting the operator’s room, with 80-foot screens and folks actually operating the power grid in real-time. They took us on tours of a wind farm and other generator types like hydroelectric and nuclear facilities. It really helped me connect the theoretical to the physical.

“For my undergrad final project, I used the wind tunnel. It hadn’t been used much for years, and was in a forgotten back room that no one seemed to have a key for. It was a total mess. I spent many late nights there because it was so loud, and operating it during the day would disturb the lab next door. I’d start my experiments at 10pm. We didn’t have a reliable RPM sensor, so I had a strobe light which I used to catch the RPM of the little blades on 10-inch wind turbines. It was just me in this giant, noisy, dark room with a strobe light going and blades spinning at 10 RPM. I got a chance to learn about ‘wake’ analysis outside of the digital realm.

“I took a break between undergrad and grad school and worked on a cattle farm for a while. It had nothing to do with what I was going to do with my education or experience. I feel the work ethic I learned and the appreciation for being able to get up really early, and do something really hard, was formative. Despite the poor pay and the long hours, I would still look forward to it the next day for whatever reason – mucking through cow dung was a really beautiful break from my data-intensive day-to-day through graduate school.

“I still take and value those breaks from the code, but now it’s going backpacking or snowboarding, not shoveling cow poop.

“After a summer of farming, I began my graduate thesis project on ice accretion on wind turbine blades. I developed a program that would model ice growth under various inputs and variable weather conditions. I coupled that with other modeling tools to answer questions like: How much does that affect power output, and are the blades at risk of breaking from the added weight and force? It led me to embrace software and use programming to solve problems.

“My first job was in market research on startups, which I quickly decided was not for me. Then I took a job at a commercial-industrial energy consulting firm, where I cut my teeth as a software engineer. I gained experience both in building production software and client interaction.

“In the U.S., everything is an open market, you have to incentivize money to flow into this industry in order to accelerate it. And I think that’s what REsurety does really well: we’re lowering the barrier for capital to make it into the renewable energy market.

“We make granular information and data accessible and digestible for anybody in the finance industry. They can surface valuable insights and make a safer or educated investment. Ultimately this means that we are building more wind farms and solar farms, faster and more cost-effectively than we would otherwise.

“There are two sides to that coin, because just as it’s difficult for the finance industry to fully understand the investment risk, it’s difficult for developers to efficiently gather that much capital at once. So if we can better partner financiers with developers, we can make faster strides in reducing our dependence on carbon-based power.

“Now, I’m really focused not just on solving the problem, but solving the problem at scale. The last year I’ve been working not just as an individual contributor modeling wind, solar and power markets, but also taking on an architecture role and working with our product team to define how we’re going to build massive scale services for our customers.”

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Employee Spotlight on Lizzy Kalikasingh, Associate, Risk Analytics

Lizzy Kalikasingh

“I was very science and math oriented. And my favorite time of the year was the science fair.”

Employee Spotlight on Lizzy Kalikasingh, Associate, Risk Analytics, REsurety

“The first memories I have of wanting to pursue a degree in engineering are from third grade. They gave us a huge book of career opportunities, and I was like, ‘Oh, chemical engineering sounds like a cool thing!’

“I was very science and math oriented. And my favorite time of the year was the science fair. One of my favorite projects was hot and cold pressure systems, that was in second grade. Buoyancy was third grade. Then in fourth grade I did molecules, how ionic bonds work, with the styrofoam balls and pipe cleaner diagrams of organic compounds. Yes, that was my favorite time.

“A tour across my county in Ohio was a pretty big influence on me wanting to go into renewable energy. My dad and I went and visited five or six farms to see how they installed solar panels on their barn sheds, and how it helps these very rural communities. I thought if my county could do it, anybody can do it.

“I did an internship during high school with an agricultural facility in my hometown that does biochemistry sorts of things. I assisted a professor in synthesizing bio fertilizer based on an algae component. In Ohio, there’s a lot of agriculture with chemical runoff that harms wildlife and the environment, so having something like an algae compound in the fertilizer gives a new perspective – you can take something natural and reproduce it to help the environment as well.

“After I graduated high school, I did a gap year in Taiwan. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I knew for some friends the experience contributed to them recentering themselves, and learning a new skill. I told the program they could put me anywhere, since I had already been to Europe and South America, where most other students choose to go. I wanted to go to someplace I had never been.

“When you’re in a country where you don’t know the language, you really have to rely on other people. So it was all about building connections and gaining independence. Taiwan is a very homogeneous country and I always felt like a foreigner everywhere I went. No matter how well I learned the language and how well I could navigate the train systems, it was still hard to assimilate completely, but everyone in the country was really friendly.

“I went to Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, and pursued a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. There is a lot of focus on renewables, with a campus wind turbine and solar farm. I had never thought a wind turbine was related to material science, but along with being electrical and mechanical, materials do play a big part of that construction. So, it was kind of a case study on degradation over time for certain types of materials, polymers and some rare earth metals. It’s something I definitely wanted to contribute to, so I did a lot of research in those facilities during my undergraduate career.

“Through a Great Lakes Energy Institute program, I became an operations intern at EverPower, a company that monitored and maintained a fleet of wind farms across the U.S. For them, I designed a tool that visualizes operational performance over time. It was like an app – you choose the month or time you want to inspect, and it’ll go through all the turbines and see if there’s anything that was meaningfully different from the selected look-back period. So you can see if a temperature sensor could be broken, if speed sensors are misreading, things like that. It would send a plot after it finished running, that with the resource report, was produced to the operations team. So that was very useful in determining how I wanted to go into data analytics based on operations rather than a research role.

“I then got an internship at REsurety, and never left! We have jerseys with our employee number on them. When I joined I was in the 20’s but I bet I’m 8 or 9 in seniority now. So it’s like I’m almost up to CEO-level seniority!

“I joined the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, and it has really put me in a position of learning and accountability, helping people in the company with promotion transparency or having a safe space to talk about social stressors and mental health. There is a lot of social justice fatigue, and sometimes it’s hard to bring the mindset into the workplace where people tend to compartmentalize. But when we add that perspective to our work community, it makes it feel like other perspectives are welcome and you are heard.

”Creating interpersonal connections is one of my stronger skills. Right now, I’m deep in data, more of a machine runner. So I look forward to being a manager, contributing to company culture, facilitating teams, and guiding younger generations as a mentor.”

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Employee Spotlight on Matt Livingston, Senior Associate, Risk Analytics

Matt Livingston

“I used to get home from school and instead of turning on cartoons, I’d watch the Weather Channel.”

Matt Livingston, senior associate, risk analytics, REsurety

“I think it’s pretty typical in the meteorology community to have a weather event when you’re very young that was either very memorable, like a big snowstorm, or very scary, like a hurricane or a tornado. And I had a bunch of those when I was a little kid. 

“I was only two at the time, but I have memories of the blizzard of ‘96, when we got 30 inches of snow in New Jersey. I walked out on my back deck, and there was a layer of ice on top of the snow. So I didn’t have to use the stairs. I stood on top of the ice because I was so small, and just walked around. 

“Then there were a couple of tornado warnings, and a couple of big thunderstorms that knocked some big trees down toward our house and on cars in our driveway. So I basically became fixated on the weather as a really young kid, following all these violent weather events. 

“I used to get home from school and instead of turning on cartoons, I’d watch the Weather Channel. And if there was interesting stuff going on, the TV just sat on the Weather Channel for six or eight hours. So that’s where it started. And then I knew I wanted to go to Penn State to study meteorology because they have a pretty laudable program for that.

“There should be a sign when you get off Exit 161 in State College: ‘You have reached the middle of nowhere.’ So yeah, it was a different environment for sure. But a lot of great people in meteorology come through Penn State, and they’ve got some cool weather out there. A lot of my professors were frankly the same people who write the textbooks for forecasting severe weather. And then, ‘Oh, there’s a severe weather outbreak today, let’s all talk about what’s going on.’ That’s just an awesome experience that was totally worth going to the middle of Pennsylvania for.

“When I was in my freshman year, Hurricane Sandy was a huge event. In my part of New Jersey, the National Guard was deployed and power was out for a month. Some of the towns in my school district are essentially a barrier island, and it was a reminder to everyone there that, you know, these islands are probably not going to be here very long. But there’s a lot of smart people trying to work on solutions, and I’m happy to be part of that.

“There are a lot of different disciplines within meteorology. There are the ones I think everyone is most familiar with, your baseline physics and fluid dynamics. You go through a couple of 400-level classes, and then you train to go on TV. And there are people who just do cloud physics, how different particles stick to each other in the air and become raindrops or ice, or how they interact with pollutants and particulates. 

“But Penn State offered a major called ‘weather risk management’ which felt more up my alley. I liked the idea that weather could have a tangible impact on the world. I wanted to say, as a result of storm XYZ or whatever extra rainfall, we expect some tangible impact that people might care about. We all live in the atmosphere every day, so this should be applicable to a wide range of industries. And I identified energy as one that I would like to get into. 

“So when the REsurety opening was posted on the Penn State jobs board, there wasn’t anything as interesting as this. With the people I interviewed with, there was a lot of excitement. I liked the idea of applied meteorology, rather than just forecasting. And I thought, ‘Oh, this is a new industry and it’s growing fast. It’ll be a fun one to be a part of.’ I don’t think that assessment was off. 

“One thing we focus on is building an effective portfolio of risks, finding risks that cancel each other out, and how storage can help offset those risks. An easy one for most people is that solar and wind in Texas have a relatively complimentary profile, so you should have both, not just one. But trying to communicate that to people is hard. We try to find visualizations that are useful. And a lot of that shows up in our software. 

“You can think of risk transfer like an insurance product. A wind farm needs capital investment to get built, just like you would get a loan to build a house, but they need to prove to the bank that they’re going to be able to repay that loan. Usually they’ve measured wind speed for a while, and essentially what I do is take that information and synthesize an idea not just of energy production but of what we think the long-term revenue production of this plant is going to be. Then we go to a hedge provider and say, ‘given this expected risk profile of future revenues, what premium would you charge to mitigate that revenue risk for the project’. And if both parties agree, everybody shakes hands, the wind farm gets their construction loan, and gets built. The hedge provider gets a premium as well as upside if the wind farm over-performs.

“When we’re doing risk transfer transactions, it’s nice to see my work turn into a wind farm, and that wind farm will displace coal, and hopefully be a greener path forward for the energy economy.”

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