I graduated from the FLAME (Flexible Learning Advanced Masters in Energy) programme in November 2003. I had just completed an MBA from Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in 2002. The FLAME programme was a great fit for me because I wanted to make a transition into the renewable energy industry, specifically biomass, in order to build on my work experience in the U.S. pulp and paper industry and my Chemical Engineering degree. The programme helped me hone my technical skills, understand policy, gain credibility, and network.
After working as a government contractor for the past year at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), I recently obtained a post as a federal employee for DOE's Biomass Programme. This programme conducts core R&D on fuels, heat and power, and chemicals derived from biomass resources with the objectives to dramatically decrease or end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to spur the development of a domestic bio industry. My responsibilities include coordinating with our national laboratories, universities, private industry, and other government agencies on the management of DOE funded biomass R&D projects. I also assist with strategic planning, analysis, budgeting, and solicitations in support of the Program's Technical direction.