Integrating theory with field perspectives

GEM Faculty

Integrating academic theory with real-­world business is a challenging task, especially when it is focused on such a dynamic and ever­-evolving industry like energy. That’s why the Global Energy Management (GEM) program strives to recruit faculty with extensive experience in this dynamic and global sector. Over 87% of our professors bring their years of energy industry experience into the classroom and help students understand how theoretical concepts are applied in real-world business situations. Our professors’ experience spans five continents and averages over 15 years in the industry. All meet the rigorous AACSB requirements needed for this internationally recognized accreditation.

Andy Bertsch, DBA - GEMM 6400 Leadership and decision-making in the global energy environment

Andy Bertsch holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree and an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Management Consultancy (APDMC) from the Henley Management College in England. Henley is a world­class school of management and is one of the few business schools to hold triple accreditation including AACSB. With over 20 years of experience in executive management and management consultancy, Dr. Andy Bertsch has actively guided or participated with organizations, education institutions, and government agencies as they have undergone transformation through environmental assessments, mission analysis, visioning, strategic analyses and formulation, and implementation. 
Dr. Bertsch actively researches and consults in fields of culture, leadership, entrepreneurship, strategic planning and implementation, and economic development.

Jennifer Bredt, MS - GEMM 6630 Project development, management, and leadership in Renewable Energy

Jenny Bredt is a renewable energy professional with over 16 years of experience in the industry. She has held positions in government, consultancy, and private companies all focused on the development of renewable energy projects both domestically and abroad. Ms. Bredt’s experience covers the value stream of renewables from greenfield development through construction. Notable projects have included: wind, solar, and biomass resource assessments on tribal lands (across the US), Masdar (Abu Dhabi), Granite Wind (CA), Keechi Wind (TX), Deerfield Wind (MI), Skookumchuck Wind (WA), Battery Utility of Ohio (OH) and Moapa Solar (NV). Ms. Bredt has built upon her project management skillset and advanced into organizational leadership roles focused on business transformation and strategy; change management and continuous improvement; interdisciplinary team, project, and business unit efficiencies. 

Jenny is currently the Director of Operational Excellence at Renewable Energy Systems (RES), the world’s largest independent renewable energy company. RES has an 18GW global portfolio of development, construction, and operational projects. Jenny is also a member of the Advisory Council for the Global Energy Management program at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Ms. Bredt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geological Sciences and a minor in French from the University of Colorado, Boulder. A graduate certificate in Geographical Information Systems from the University of Colorado Denver and a Master of Science in Global Energy Management also from the University of Colorado Denver.

Ralph Cantafio, J.D., MS - GEMM 6200 Environmental, regulatory, legal, and political environment in the energy industry

Ralph A. Cantafio, Esq. is a Managing Partner at Feldmann Nagel Cantafio & Song PLLC with law offices located in throughout Colorado.  Ralph's practice emphasizes Oil and Gas Law, Commercial Transactions, Commercial Litigation and Arbitration/Mediation focusing on the Natural Resources industry. He is licensed to practice law in Alaska, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.  Mr. Cantafio holds a J.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MS in Mineral Economics from the Colorado School of Mines and an MS in Global Energy Management from the University of Colorado Denver. Ralph is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado Denver, teaching Natural Resources Law. Ralph also presents and lectures widely as to a broad breadth of oil and gas, renewable and natural resource related issues.

Janie Chermak, PhD - GEMM 6100 Global Energy Economics

Janie M. Chermak is a Professor of Economics at the University of New Mexico. She holds a B.A. in geology from Western State College and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mineral economics from the Colorado School of Mines. 

Professor Chermak is an applied natural resource economist, specializing in dynamic optimization, with an emphasis on energy, water, and climate change research. She has published numerous articles in academic journals, including The Energy Journal, Energy Economics, Resource and Energy Economics, and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management This work includes optimal production paths for natural gas wells, the implications of one­size­fits all regulation on natural gas production, as well as valuing new technology for natural gas well completions. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Gas Research Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has presented her work around the world including the American Economic Association Annual meetings, the British Hydrological Society, the European Geophysical Society­American Geophysical Union­European Union of Geosciences Joint Assembly, the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and the International Association for Energy Economics annual meetings. 

Jill Engel-Cox, PhD - GEMM 6000 21st Global Energy Issues and Realities

Jill Engel-Cox is Director of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Over her 30-year career, Dr. Engel-Cox has been an engineer, researcher, program manager, and strategic planner for a diverse suite of renewable energy, clean technology, and environmental programs in the United States, Asia, and the Middle East. Her first job was climbing smokestacks in Los Angeles, followed by leading industrial pollution prevention programs for small and medium-sized businesses and R&D laboratories in the United States and internationally.

In the past decade, Jill has led international strategic planning and technology assessments for renewable energy and environmental sustainability research programs, working extensively in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. She also teaches industrial processes and environmental communications courses at Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals Program.

Professor Engel-Cox received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering/Environmental Science from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Lisa Hamil - Lifecycle of Oil & Natural Gas

Lisa Hamil, CPL, has over 30 years of experience in oil and gas and recently took a new position with Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC as a surface land negotiator in the DJ Basin. She has experience in many areas including acquisitions and divestitures, land negotiation and administration, production technology, oil and gas accounting, and investor relations. She has worked in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. 

In addition, she is Co­founder of Energy360, whose mission is to build consumer energy knowledge and engage them in a critical conversation about the future. Working with a group of energy professionals with diverse backgrounds who collectively have spent decades dealing with the logistical, political and economic issues associated with energy, her goal is to help uncover the misinformation around all forms of energy and help consumers understand the role they play in the future of energy. Energy360 recently co­sponsored, with the Consumer Energy Alliance and UCD, the inaugural Energy Day Colorado family festival focused on STEM education and how STEM can lead to careers in the energy industry. 

She currently teaches the “Life Cycle of Oil and Natural Gas” class through the Global Energy Management Program at the University of Colorado at Denver, is a Board member of the Denver Petroleum Club, AAPL member, DAPL member and is active on the Education and Advocacy committee.

Chris Hansen, PhD - GEMM 6699 International Travel Course

Chris Hansen specializes in energy sector economics and data analytics, with more than 15 years of experience in the global energy industry. He currently serves in the Colorado Senate, representing the east-central and southeast neighborhoods of Denver of District 31. 

Previously, as Senior Director at IHS, he led a global portfolio of energy events and partnerships, including programs and communities for CERAWeek, a 3000-person executive event focused on energy markets. In addition, he directed a social media analytics development team with a suite of products across several industries. Dr. Hansen was based in Dubai in 2008-09, where he managed a comprehensive review of the Emirate’s energy sector. He is a co-creator of the OptGen analysis, IHS CERA’s unique tool for applying financial portfolio techniques to power generation.

Before joining IHS, Dr. Hansen was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where he analyzed electricity and gas sector reform in India, and published several papers in professional journals on energy sector economics and policy analysis.

Gary Hapken, CPA, MBA - GEMM 6500 Managerial accounting in global energy markets

Gary Hapken has nearly 45 years of experience in accounting and finance with over 40 years of experience in the energy sector. Mr. Hapken's current full-time position is with an oil & gas focused Private Equity fund. Primary responsibility for all aspects of accounting, tax, treasury, insurance, audit, and Limited Partner administration and reporting. Also responsible for back office support for information technology, human resources, and office services. 

Mr. Hapken's career began with Price Waterhouse Co. in auditing where his CPA certificate was obtained. After 4 1/2 years, he left public accounting for the energy industry. His career in energy has included work in synthetic fuels development, oil and gas exploration and development, and the transportation of natural gas. He has lived and worked overseas for more than 10 years in various countries including Argentina, Colombia, Peru, the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Yemen. 

Professionally, Mr. Hapken has had direct responsibility for all areas of finance and accounting as well as purchasing, warehousing, materials handling, office services, human resources, and IT. Additionally, he has extensive experience in the areas of process improvement, systems design & implementation and project management. Mr. Hapkem is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Colorado State Society of CPAs. 

Academically, Mr. Hapken has taught energy accounting workshops for a number of years in the United States and South America with an emphasis on the international aspects of energy accounting. He is currently an adjunct professor at University of Colorado in Denver with the Global Energy Management Masters program. Mr. Hapken has a BS in Accounting from the University of Northern Colorado and an MBA from Regis University. Both degrees were issued with honors. His hobbies include photography, hiking and international travel. 

Maen M. Husein, PhD - GEMM 6300 Technical Aspects of Energy Science

Maen M. Husein is a professor at the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta. He received his B.Sc. in chemical engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Irbid, Jordan, in 1995, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, in 1996 and 2000; respectively. Maen worked as a software engineer in the Power System Group at CAE Inc., Montreal, Quebec, from 2000 to 2002. Maen cofounded and was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of nFluids, a spin­out company focusing on commercializing novel nanoparticle­mediated drilling fluids.

Maen’s research interest spans topics in energy and the environment since the two are highly interrelated. Improvements in the efficiency of an energy recovery and/or utilization process reduce the environmental footprint of the said process. Current projects in Maen’s group are centered on nanotechnology and its application to optimize energy recovery/utilization and to remediate the associated environmental impact. On the energy side, Maen applies nanoparticles (NPs) to improve the efficiency of the recovery and the upgrading of unconventional oil and gas. On the environmental side, Maen’s research focuses on the remediation of waste products from oil and gas recovery, refining, and upgrading processes, e.g. oil sands process affected water (OSPW) treatment and produced water (PW) treatment. 

Maen taught many graduate and undergraduate courses; including Engineering & Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Renewable Energies, Non­Renewable Energy, Industrial Wastewater Treatment, Air and Water Pollution Control. 

Brent Mattson, Ph.D. - GEMM 6400 Leadership and decision-making in the global energy environment

Dr. Mattson is a seasoned leader with over 25 years of experience in talent management and learning and development in some of the world’s most respected organizations.  He is an expert consultant, coach, instructional designer, and facilitator who leverages practical and analytical approaches to enable leaders to solve complex business challenges.  His areas of expertise include career development, psychological assessment, change management, acquisition integration, facilitative leadership, conflict resolution, team dynamics, and coaching.

A strategic thinker in the field of individual and organizational learning and performance improvement, Brent has also gained recognition for his innovative, multi-disciplinary approaches.  Organizations he has led have been awarded more than 80 U.S. and global patents for their work on employee health and energy management, safety, and product innovations. 

Brent has led talent management and learning and development organizations for some of the world’s most respected companies. He most recently served as Vice President and Chief Talent Officer for nVent Electric. Other notable roles include Vice President and Chief Talent Officer for Aramco, Vice President, and Chief Talent Officer for Schneider Electric, and Vice President of Organization Effectiveness for GE. Brent holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. John’s University and a Master’s and Doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota in the United States.

Farhana Morales, MA - GEMM 6240 ESG in Energy and Commodities 

As a dynamic ESG and sustainability professional, Farhana Morales focuses on improving sustainability factors in the companies she works at. She has 14 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, including three years in Algeria, North Africa. Most recently she transitioned to the retail industry where she currently works at Target Corporation as Sr Manager of Corporate Responsibility, ESG. Her focuses lie in ESG disclosures, peer analysis, and gap analysis. She has advised several times via various mediums on how to navigate the ESG landscape and the challenges it poses.  

Being a woman of color, she has experienced the struggles and challenges that people of color face. She is a strong proponent of diversity, equity, and inclusion and always tries to ensure everyone feels represented. Farhana is also a board director at Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver where she exhibits her passion and dedication to helping ensure affordable housing can be enjoyed by all. Farhana graduated with a bachelor's degree in Information Technology with a minor in Communications from the University of Denver and a master’s in Finance with a minor in Business Analytics from Colorado State University, Global Campus. Combining her IT background with Finance has proven to be quite fruitful in uncovering sustainability solutions.   

Michael J. Orlando, Ph.D. - GEMM 6600 - Introduction to financial management in the global energy market

Michael J. Orlando is an economist and petroleum engineer with over 30 years of experience on various facets of energy and resource industries in general and upstream and midstream oil and gas sectors in particular. Clients solicit Michael for his views on how macroeconomic, political, and technological developments affect the outlook for energy markets and optimal business and financial strategy. He provides expert analysis and testimony for commercial litigation and helps organizations to assess political and regulatory risks and develop strategies for managing relations in those multi-stakeholder bargaining environments. 

Michael began his career with Shell Oil Company, in reservoir and environmental engineering assignments for exploration and development projects in the Gulf of Mexico. He later served as a Research Economist in the Federal Reserve System, and then as Vice President and Branch Executive for the Fed’s Denver Branch, where he was responsible for regional economic research, energy markets analysis, policy advising, and public communication. 

An award-winning teacher, Michael has developed courses in finance, economics, political science, and management. His research spans a range of topics in applied microeconomics, including publications on energy and environmental policy, the economic geography and industrial demography of innovation, the economics of payments networks, financial regulatory policy, and corporate governance. He has also co-authored a textbook on money and banking. 

Michael holds PhD and MA degrees in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA from Tulane University, and a BS in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. He is currently Managing Director for Econ One Research in Denver 

Deb Ryan - GEMM 6710 Carbon Markets: Navigating the Future of Business

Deb Ryan is the Head of Low Carbon Commodities for S&P Global Commodity Insights, a division of S&P Global and the leading provider of information and benchmarks for the energy and commodities markets.

Based in Denver, Deb leads the Low Carbon Commodities team, which focuses on analytics that underpins carbon and methane emissions, as well as the market mechanisms for carbon and low-carbon commodities. Deb brings almost 20 years of upstream oil industry experience, having worked as a Petroleum Engineer for both oil and gas operators, and in consulting.

Deb is a Professional Engineer in Colorado and Texas with a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and Masters's degree in Petroleum Engineering, both from Curtin University in Australia, and an MBA from Penn State, US. Deb serves on the International Board of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and previously served as the Treasurer for the Women’s Energy Network Foundation.

Johanna Schmidtke, PhD - GEMM 6450 Strategic Management for the Energy Industry

Johanna Schmidtke has lectured at the University of Colorado Denver business school since 2020. Johanna is a Senior Consultant (contractor) to the Loan Programs Office (LPO) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where her work focuses on innovative clean energy transactions. Prior to the LPO, Johanna was an investor in the energy sector, first as an Investment Director at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco, and later as a Managing Director and member of the investment committee at Ara Partners, a private equity fund focused on industrial decarbonization. Johanna began her career in consulting advisory with Lux Research, later moving to corporate development & strategy at First Solar.

Johanna holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Cambridge and a B.S. from the University of Arizona. 

Steven Seay, PhD - GEMM 6410 Human capital management in the global energy environment

Steven Seay, Ph.D., a product of Silicon Valley, California, and a Harvard-trained strategist, is the Principal Partner at Crimson Eagle Inc., a human capital strategy firm located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Dr. Seay is the former CLO and Head of Leadership Development and Talent for Saudi Aramco Oil Company, based in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.

At Saudi Aramco, Dr. Seay led one of the most successful turnarounds of business, moving from an offering of 2,800 training seats per year to 23,000 seats in less than 12 months, while increasing quality 48%, all while implementing quantitative measurements.

Dubbed a ‘phenom’ by his peers and business leaders, Dr. Seay is an author, speaker, and in addition to other duties, the chief negotiator for Crisis Solutions, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based global crisis negotiations firm. Steven has advised multinational clients on such issues as organizational strategy, negotiation techniques, human performance dynamics, human capital planning, Mergers & acquisitions human capital infrastructure and implementation as well as organization effectiveness strategies. Steven’s problem-solving expertise provides him with the ability to assist corporations in solving the most complex problems.

Dr. Seay is a frequent leadership/management lecturer at many institutions to include the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), the University of Colorado-Denver and Liberty University. Dr. Seay has delivered over 3,000 sold out corporate workshops to include Strategic Negotiations, Leadership, Effective Communication, Managing Change, Consulting Skills, and Customer Service, to name a few. Steven was the runner-up for the 2008 Business Week Professor of the Year.

Said one executive, "Steven never merely speaks to an audience, but seeks to involve them personally through illustrations, stories and personal examples, touching all three learning styles."

In addition to both Fortune 500 domestic and international consulting, Steven has served as Vice President of Human Resources at Best Buy and Jostens, both US companies. Steven holds a B.S. degree in Organizational Psychology, an MBA in Strategy, and a Ph.D. in Management and Organization Psychology.  Steven has two daughters, Savannah and Tess, and two Grandsons, Mason and Makai, all of which he never sees enough!

Melissa Wood, MBA - GEMM 6470 Energy marketing and communication

Melissa Wood is a proven leader with two decades of progressive marketing leadership and management consulting experience from major brands, particularly within the energy industry. Her career spans key functional marketing areas including marketing strategy/plan development, process improvement, product management, execution and evaluation, new product and market development, brand positioning and advertising, market research, and customer as well as employee communications. 
In 2006, Melissa launched Advanta Consulting, LLC, a strategic marketing consulting firm. Clients include: Xcel Energy, PNM Resources, IBM Global Energy Practice, NiSource, Cricket Communications, Gates Corporation, and Energy Outreach Colorado, to name a few. 

Previously, she served as the Director of Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Management for Xcel Energy where she led: market management, market research, information services, and advertising and brand management. Prior to Xcel Energy, Melissa held marketing and consulting positions at Qwest, R.L Polk, and Gartner Group. She provided consulting services for AT&T, IBM, Gateway, NEC, Nikon, Samsonite, and numerous other consumer durable companies. 

Melissa earned a B.A. from Boston University and an MBA from the University of Colorado, Denver. Melissa remains dedicated to serving the community. She graduated from Leadership Denver and is an avid volunteer. She has served as a guest lecturer for the University of Colorado Denver for the past decade. In 2011, Melissa began teaching for the GEM Program; students particularly value her enthusiasm and passion for marketing in energy and appreciate the real-world examples she brings to the table. In 2012, the University of Colorado Global Energy Management students honored her with the Outstanding Professor Award.