Francis O’Sullivan is Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
His research interests span a range of topics related to energy technologies, policy, and economics. His current research is focused on unconventional oil and gas resources, the energy-water nexus, and solar energy. He has extensive expertise regarding the production dynamics and associated economics of North America’s shale plays. His work also includes the study of global gas market dynamics and the LNG trade, and he is actively studying the implications for international energy markets of emerging unconventional hydrocarbon resource plays, particularly those in China and Australia.
O’Sullivan has written and spoken widely on these topics, and has made presentations to the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy; the United States Environmental Protection Agency; the Brookings Institute; the Bipartisan Policy Center; the Center for Strategic and International Studies; the National Governors’ Association; the National Association of Regulated Utility Commissioners at CERAWeek; the American Physical Society, and to a range of other academic, policy and industry forums. He is an author of the 2011 MIT Future of Natural Gas Study, and a member of the MIT Future of Solar Energy study group. O’Sullivan is also an elected member of the National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability.
Prior to joining MIT, O’Sullivan was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he worked extensively in the areas of economic, investment and risk analysis, strategic planning, and operations in the private equity, oil and gas, electric utility, and renewable energy sectors.O’Sullivan received his BE degree from the National University of Ireland, and his EE, SM, and PhD degrees from MIT, all in electrical engineering.
Thomas (Tod) Hynes is a Senior Lecturer in the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. He teaches Energy Ventures, a graduate-level course that guides teams of business, engineering, science, and policy students through the process of creating new energy ventures.
Hynes is also the founder and president of XL Hybrids, a company which addresses one of the largest and most immediate challenges in energy – rapidly reducing dependence on petroleum for transportation. XL Hybrids has developed a proprietary hybrid electric powertrain which is cost effective for commercial fleets and can be installed in both new and existing vehicles in four hours. This hybrid powertrain is rapidly getting adopted by Fortune 500 companies and uses components from leading suppliers like Johnson Controls. XL Hybrids has also developed an advanced telematics platform which wirelessly collects vehicle operational data to optimize the performance of hybrid technology in real world applications. Hynes raised over $50 million to launch this venture, and assembled and manages a cross-disciplinary team.
Hynes is the cofounder of the MIT Clean Energy Prize and is on the Advisory Board. He also works with and advises startups and established companies active in energy. Hynes was the director of alternative energy for Citizens Energy for five years and launched the company’s wind development business. He successfully developed and sold over 230 MW of wind projects, and expanded the company’s wind business to include a project pipeline of over 2,000 MW. In addition to directing project acquisition, development, management activities, and operations, he assessed and developed new alternative energy business opportunities in energy efficiency, waste to renewable fuel, GHG offset projects, low head hydro, energy storage, and other sectors of the energy space.
Prior to joining Citizens Energy, Hynes was the principal director and cofounder of Strategic Energy Systems, a consulting and engineering services firm focused on distributed power generation and wind power. He also was the cochair of the Energy Committee for CERC, the organization that “greened” the 2004 Democratic and Republican National Conventions,. He has served on the steering committee of the Boston Climate Action Network since 2003.
Hynes holds a BS in management science from MIT.
Libby is a business and technology leader with experience research, product development, entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, and venture capital.
Libby served as the Global Director of Innovation for GE’s Ecomagination strategy, in which GE invested over $20B in clean innovation and generated over $300B in revenue. In this role, Libby led the development of physical and digital products, new business models, and global partnerships to address challenges in water, energy, and transportation. Libby also led strategy development for GE in the energy sector, and commercial development for the GE Ventures energy portfolio.
Prior to GE, Libby served as the Director for the U.S. Department of Energy, Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, where she worked with the White House and across the Department to establish a portfolio of new advanced manufacturing research and Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. Earlier in her career, Libby developed solar energy technologies at SunPower and Alion Energy, and co-founded a company focused on energy and cold-chain infrastructure in Africa and India.
Libby has served as an ex-officio member of the Secretary of Commerce Manufacturing Council, co-founded the MIT Energy Club, and serves on the founding board of the Boston Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network. Libby holds a BS & MS from MIT.
Jacquelyn Pless is the Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and an Assistant Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Her research interests are in the economics of innovation, energy and environmental economics, and public economics. In particular, her research explores the drivers of innovation for social progress with a focus on energy and environmental innovation. Her current projects are examining the effects of policies, their interactions, and management on firms' and scientists' innovations and decision-making.
Before joining academia, Jacquelyn held various positions in the public and private sectors. She started in policy, working in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and then at the National Conference of State Legislators supporting state and tribal governments on energy policy and project finance issues. She was also a research economist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the head of analytics for a boutique consulting firm helping companies in their reorganizations.
Jacquelyn is also an Honorary Research Associate with the University of Oxford, a Research Affiliate of CESifo, and a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow on stakeholder capitalism. She holds MS and PhD degrees in mineral and energy economics from the Colorado School of Mines and a BA in economics and political science from the University of Vermont (Honors College).