Nuclear + Chemical Process Engineering
Dr. Robert Varrin has 40 years of experience in the nuclear and chemical process industries. For 25 years, Bob was a Principal Engineer at Dominion Engineering, Inc. (DEI) in Reston, VA. He served as President of the company for 17 years. In addition to his management duties at DEI, Bob served as the lead investigator for a wide variety of projects in nuclear, chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering for both commercial and government clients. His work for the nuclear industry focused on laboratory research and development, economics of nuclear power, mechanical system design, advanced reactors, chemistry, corrosion, materials, and thermal hydraulics. About a third of his time over the past 40 years has been spent onsite at commercial and government facilities, providing both technical and management support. Bob has worked at over 80 nuclear plants in seven countries. Prior to his career at Dominion, he worked at MPR Associates, the Institute of Energy Conversion, and Foster-Miller. Bob holds over 25 U.S. patents covering mechanical devices, chemical processes, methods for enhancing nuclear fuel performance, robotics, semiconductor processes, and economic modeling algorithms. He is graduate of Princeton University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, and a graduate of the University of Delaware with a PhD in Chemical Engineering.
Energy Transition Fellow
New Nuclear Deployment
Alex is a multi-disciplinary team leader with experience across Industry (Raphe, ExxonMobil) and Academia (MIT). Alex provides insights into feasibility, risks, and opportunities associated with new nuclear deployments needed to meet our world’s triple challenge: economic inequality, climate volatility, geopolitical instability.
At ExxonMobil, Alex led global teams of development planners and economists focusing on integrating over 10 disciplines encompassing cost, schedule, execution, subsurface, operations, and more, into near-term large-scale ($10B+) investment proposals, both offshore and onshore. Alex led all economics of the Uaru offshore project from Concept Selection to the $13B Final Investment Decision, as well as all economics of the Mozambique Rovuma LNG Phase 1 onshore project across a wide range of pre-feed decisions, from LNG plant capacity to liquefaction technology and power plant design choices.
At MIT, Alex studied boiling heat transfer, one of the most efficient ways to transfer heat away from a hot surface in energy systems, potentially enhancing safety margins and overall economic profitability, with applications ranging from small scale electronic systems to large scale nuclear systems. As part of his PhD in Nuclear Science and Engineering, Alex resolved the formation of the so-called liquid microlayer during nucleate boiling with unprecedented resolution, developed a numerical methodology to realize grid-independent simulations of microscopic moving contact lines, and collaborated with other Universities, National Labs, and Industry, across US, France, and Korea.
Alex has four Engineering degrees, including a PhD in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT, a Master’s in Nuclear Science and Engineering from the National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology in France, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Engineering from CentraleSupelec in France.
Energy and Environmental Policy
Steve Brick is an independent consultant who has worked for more than forty years at the intersection of energy and environmental policy. His expertise includes utility regulatory policy, energy economics, energy technology assessment, and air pollution control policy and economics. Since 2009 he has been a Senior Advisor in Technology and Policy at the Clean Air Task Force and a Senior Fellow in Climate and Energy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Steve is adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, where he teaches on energy, development and climate change. From 2005 to 2009, Steve served as the manager of the environment program for the Joyce Foundation in Chicago. In this capacity he directed a $6 million per year grant portfolio focused on energy and water issues in the Great Lakes region. Previously he served as Research Director at the Energy Center of Wisconsin, where he was responsible for a wide range of studies on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the environmental impacts of energy systems. Previously, Steve’s was Director of Environmental Affairs for PGE National Energy Group, Science and Policy Director for the Clean Air Task Force, and Co-Founder and Vice President of the energy consulting firm, MSB Energy Associates. He received his BA and MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Energy and Environmental Policy
Rauli Partanen (CEO, Think Atom, Finland) is an award-winning author, analyst and communicator on climate change and environment, energy systems, society and their interrelations. He has co-authored multiple books on those subjects in both Finnish and English. His book Climate Gamble (2015, with Janne M. Korhonen) has been translated into six languages. His latest book, “Energian Aika” (The Age of Energy), won the Science Book of the Year award in Finland in 2017. He co-founded and is currently leading Think Atom, a non-profit think tank. Think Atom studies how small nuclear reactors can be used to decarbonize energy systems, especially in the heating and industrial sectors.