Welcome message from CCME Energy Center Officer Charles McConnell
Welcome to the UH Center for Carbon Management in Energy (CCME). Our world is changing rapidly and the need for greater amounts of energy to fuel global growth is challenged by the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions we produce as a society. Carbon management is central to our mission and vision and we aspire to be a world leading center for education, research and marketplace solutions.
Critical to our success are the many globally recognized industry leading enterprises working in concert with world class researchers here at UH, as well as our extensive network of collaborators in academia, government and the NGO community. Our strategic intent will be guided by our Industry Advisory Board of Founding Members and aligned specifically to drive relevance and impact for our CCME investments and programs.
The energy that will fuel the world in Oil & Gas, Petrochemicals and Electric Power will be transformed to meet the challenges of our carbon constrained future with solutions that demand cost effective and accretive impact in the market. The producers, consumers, workforce of the future and the next generation of our society can look to our CCME as a place where that transformation will be developed and integrated into our world.
How We’re Changing the Game
The CCME is structured to address marketplace challenges and to provide pathways for solutions. The founding philosophy is that our external Advisory Board is best positioned to address these challenges from not only a general market perspective but from their own internal business operations and the needs of their clients and stakeholders. The CCME will draw from this Advisory Board these focus areas and the necessary priorities for short- medium – long term outcomes that will be required.
Our research teams will be purposely designed to be multi-disciplined to provide broad systems-based solutions. The teams will be collaborative across the UH campus and outside to assure the capabilities and capacity to produce outcomes will be aligned with the priorities the CCME will set in the strategic plan. External collaborations will be not only industry based, but also include other universities, national laboratories, research centers and international consortia to assure a broad and deep approach to carbon management solutions that can meet global needs in all circumstances.
Key deliverables will be the areas of engineering and science research, development, and deployment of new technologies. Business analysis and scenarios for new business models will be a CCME focus as will the legal, policy, political and social impacts of carbon management in the energy transition future we envision.
About the Institute
The CCME leadership team will be jointly supported by UH Energy, Division of Research, and the UH Law Center. With this broad campus-wide base, the CCME can draw upon key core faculty in the areas of engineering, science, law, business and policy. Specific SME’s that the core team will engage will lead and contribute to research projects that will have multi-disciplined challenges in a collaborative project-based approach to ensure an integrated systems approach and solutions that are informed by the whole and not the individual disciplines. You will see in our project team designs that the CCME will identify the challenges utilizing our Industry Advisory Board inputs, will identify SME’s and schools of key disciplines required, and then purposely seek external collaborations from the extended network of UH Energy Stakeholders in industry, outside universities and global research centers.
Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Co-Director
Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti is the Vice President of Energy and Innovation at the University of Houston. Prior to his current position, Krishnamoorti served as interim vice president for research and technology transfer for UH and the UH System.
During his tenure at the university, he has served as chair of the UH Cullen College of Engineering’s chemical and biomolecular engineering department, associate dean of research for engineering, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering with affiliated appointments as professor of petroleum engineering and professor of chemistry.
Dr. Krishnamoorti obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 1994.
Professor Tracy Hester, Co-Director
Professor Hester teaches environmental law courses at the University of Houston Law Center. His research focuses on the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies and risks, such as climate engineering, nanotechnologies, genetic modification, advanced wind and other renewable power projects, as well as other novel compliance and liability issues.
Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Professor Hester was a partner in Bracewell & Giuliani LLP for sixteen years and led the Houston office's environmental group.
Professor Hester is currently vice-chair of the Greater Houston Partnership's Sustainability Advisory Committee, and he joined the World Commission on Environmental Law in 2018.
Charles McConnell, Energy Center Officer
Charles McConnell is the energy center officer of the Center for Carbon Management in Energy at the University of Houston. Prior to joining the CCME, McConnell was the executive director of the Energy and Environment Initiative at Rice University. McConnell served as the assistant secretary of energy in the US Department of Energy from 2011-13 and was responsible for the Office of Fossil Energy’s strategic policy leadership, budgets, project management, and research and development of the department’s coal, oil and gas, and advanced technologies programs, as well as for the operations and management of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the National Energy Technologies Laboratories.
McConnell also previously served as vice president of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology in Columbus, Ohio and with Praxair, Inc. serving in a variety of operations, sales and global business and technology roles including hydrogen, gasification and energy as the global VP of energy and hydrogen.
McConnell is currently a board member of the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) Foundation in North Dakota, is a member of the National Coal Council, has served on the Society of Petroleum Engineers and National Petroleum Council subcommittees, and has held a number of board positions including chairmanships of the Gasification & Syngas Technologies Council and the Clean Carbon Technology Foundation of Texas. McConnell holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University (1977) and an MBA in finance from Cleveland State University (1984).
Industry Advisory Board
Our Founding members are the thought leaders from the global marketplace in O&G, petrochemicals, and electric power and they provide the market insights and priorities for the strategic focus of the CCME. Investing in the CCME provides a capability and capacity to research and develop the solutions required for a sustainable low carbon future.
Core Faculty Researchers
Faculty selected from a host of many different disciplined colleges across campus work in collaboration with CCME and our Industry Founders to focus on key research topics in cross-disciplinary teams. External collaborations will augment these teams.
Our industry partners are critical to the success of the CCME and provide the market challenges to the CCME. The partners are then positioned to utilize the CCME capabilities and capacity to test and demonstrate and implement technology, policy, legal and educational transformation. Development and field commercial testing is essential to the deployment and implementation of new technologies and business models.