Planning for the Future

Improving the Nation's Electrical Grid

Electricity is critical to American competitiveness, and researchers at Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center (CEIC) are working to ensure that the electricity we have in the future is efficient, reliable and meets the needs of the public.

Adam Newcomer, a recent graduate who is now working for one of the nation's largest electric companies, was one of those researchers. During his time at CMU, Newcomer worked closely with CEIC executive director Jay Apt, and credits Apt with having a lasting impact.

"Through its focus on interdisciplinary education, CMU taught me how to analyze a problem from many different perspectives and through a variety of frameworks," said Newcomer, who earned his Ph.D. in engineering and public policy in 2008. "Jay Apt was a great mentor because he taught me how to best apply those skills by first focusing on asking the right questions."

Newcomer says Apt helped him understand that if you are not first asking the right questions, the best analysis is meaningless.

"He pushed me to think as critically and carefully about the question as the analysis itself," Newcomer said.

Newcomer says that throughout his time at CMU, Apt encouraged his professional goals, provided honest and constructive feedback and challenged him to develop skills for success.

"Jay's guidance and support have been fundamental to my success both at CMU and now, within industry," Newcomer said.

Newcomer is excited about his work as a strategy analyst because the decisions he is helping to make today will affect the electric power sector over the next 20 to 50 years.

"I hope to be a part of transitioning the U.S. to a more efficient, lower carbon and cost effective future power system," Newcomer said. "If we are not asking the right questions now about how our future energy needs should be best met, we could be living with those poor decisions for a long time."

Related Links: CEIC | Engineering & Public Policy | Tepper School of Business

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