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Praveen Kumar, Gutierrez Energy Management InstituteSHAPING TOMORROW'S LEADERS

UH Institute Paves the Way for UH to be the Leading Energy University

05/04/2017 | By Claire Andersen

The UH Gutierrez Energy Management Institute is preparing students to lead the future of the energy industry.

More than two dozen energy executives gathered at the Gutierrez Energy Management Institute (GEMI) on the University of Houston campus earlier this spring, participating in a daylong strategy session to talk about what the Trump administration might mean for the industry and how best to prepare for that change.

It was a perfect fit for the institute, established by the C.T. Bauer College of Business in 2001 to both study and prepare students for careers in the law, business and public policy aspects of the energy industry. Educating students to become future leaders in the industry is the key goal.

GEMI provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs and certificates, one being the Global Energy Management Professional Program (GEM-PP). The program focuses on producing students that have a thorough understanding of both the technical and business sides of the energy industry. 

Praveen Kumar, executive director of GEMI and chairman of the Department of Finance, is focused on changing the way energy corporations think about UH. “We have all the Ivy League talent and dedication, without the attitude,” Praveen Kumar said.

That’s changed, he said. GEMI-PP’s graduates have gone on to not only oil and gas companies, but also investment banks and other energy-related companies.

The institute is also focused on becoming a neutral venue that can serve as a go between for policy makers and senior executives. Through workshops and symposia throughout the year, GEMI creates a neutral space for both sides to understand and approach problems in the industry.

GEMI has also established itself as a premier research partner in the energy industry and continues to examine both short and long term challenges in the industry. One ongoing project focuses on identifying which biofuels can be refined to be useful for existing cars in a low cost way. Since beginning the project in 2008, the research findings have reached the influence of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and spurred federally funded research on similar issues.