Carnegie Mellon University

Daniel Wetzel (M.S. '11)

EST&P alum Daniel Wetzel is a Senior Associate at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in Snowmass, Colorado. His main area of interest lies in RMI's Electricity and Communities practice.  RMI is a non-profit with a think-tank approach, and is responsible for renewable energy integration across organizations and communities, aiming to come up with a cost competitive renewable energy model. Their approach is similar to the industry where they develop business models, measure and evaluate costs and efficiency, and come up with renewable contracts that are profitable for their clients.

During his senior year as a Chemical Engineering undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon, Dan realized he found the traditional chemical engineering approach less interesting, and wanted to explore more cutting-edge technologies. Making a decision to diversify his education, Dan found the EST&P master’s program to be a proper fit. After receiving his master’s in EST&P, Dan was employed as a formulation scientist with Reckitt Benckiser.  He worked on a Lysol formulation for the company, as well as green product development, and found his job extremely fulfilling.

Dan states, “Energy is a big deal and people don’t think about it or realize it. Quality of life is tied up in energy and it is the foundation for all GDP growth. Therefore, solutions have to be informed by the needs of the grid.” Dan is currently involved with Spark Clean Energy and wants more students to be excited about clean energy and its future.

Wetzel credits his experiences at EST&P with helping him land his current job at RMI. The program laid a foundation for Dan to “gain industry insight and a foundation in energy and sustainability.” He realizes that “the program was the key to diversification, and helped get his foot in the door.”

-Interviewed by Saakshi Gupta (M.S. '2015)