Carnegie Mellon University

CEMA conference

July 12, 2019

Tepper Hosts International Energy and Commodity Markets Conference

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Commodity and Energy Markets Association was held June 21-22 at the Tepper School of Business. CEMA was established in 2017 to bring together researchers and practitioners who share interests in commodity and energy markets. 

This year’s organizing committee included Nicola Secomandi, Professor of Operations Management, Head of the Ph.D. Program, who has been on the executive committee for CEMA since 2017, as well as Duane Seppi, The BNY Mellon Professor of Finance, Head of the Master of Science in Computational Finance Program, who serves on the association’s advisory board. 

Previous CEMA meetings have taken place in major European cities, but Secomandi said the organization asked him to organize the conference at Carnegie Mellon University to broaden its geographical reach.  “It makes sense to do it here,” Secomandi said. “My research focuses on energy and commodities, and other Tepper faculty share similar research interests.” The organization’s focus is in part related to the Tepper Sustainability Research Initiative.

The scientific committee for this year’s meeting included Tepper School faculty members Nicholas Muller, Associate Professor of Economics, Engineering, and Public Policy; Lester and Judith Lave Development Chair in Economics, Engineering, and Public Policy; Bryan Routledge, Associate Professor of Finance; Fallaw Sowell, Associate Professor of Economics; and Chris Telmer, Associate Professor of Financial Economics, as well as Seppi and Secomandi. The program included almost 30 sessions, each with multiple talks, featuring research presentations on topics like energy storage, renewable energy, climate change, and cryptocurrencies, as well as two keynote presentations.

The research presented included a paper co-authored by Burton Hollifield, PNC Professor of Financial Economics, Head of the Undergraduate Business Administration Program; Steven Baker, (Ph.D. 2013), Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce; and Emilio Osambela, former Tepper School faculty member and Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., on the investment choices of environmentalists in polluting companies. Another authored by Routledge and Ariel Zetlin-Jones, Associate Professor of Economics, focused on how ledger technologies may help protect against speculative currency attacks. Secomandi gave a presentation on hedging in incomplete markets.

Tepper Ph.D. student Bo Yang presented a paper coauthored with Secomandi and Selvaprabu Nadarajah (Ph.D. 2014), Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration, on optimizing merchant energy production. Nadarajah also spoke about meeting corporate renewable power targets.

Two other presenters were Tepper alumni: Michel Robe (Ph.D. 1995) and Sheridan Titman (Ph.D. 1981). Robe, The Clearing Corporation Foundation Professor in Derivatives Trading at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, spoke about agricultural futures markets. Titman, Walter W. McAllister Centennial Chair in Financial Services for the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, gave the closing keynote presentation, which focused on valuation and hedging of operational assets. “I was especially happy to welcome back one of our graduates as keynote speaker,” Secomandi said. “He is an esteemed professor in energy and finance.” 

Following the annual meeting, Secomandi is guest and co-guest editing special issues of the Journal of Commodity Markets and Production and Operations Management, respectively.