Pierre Conner is the Executive Director of the Tulane Energy Institute and Professor of Practice, Management Science

Sponsored by Tulane Energy Institute

“Everybody’s involved in energy, either making energy, moving it, trading it or using it,” says Pierre Conner, Executive Director of the Tulane Energy Institute. “We are all in the business of energy.”

It’s for this reason that the Tulane Energy Institute added a Master of Management in Energy (MME) program in 2011. This unique one-year program equips new college graduates with the knowledge and skills they need for leadership roles in energy and enables early to mid-career professionals to transition into new roles, such as going from engineering to management.

With a focus on applied knowledge and the option to specialize in areas including analytics, electric power, renewable energy or trading, the MME program has a record-high employment rate of 93 percent. “No matter where you come to us from, you’re leaving at a higher level with a better trajectory,” explains Conner, who brings to his role nearly 40 years of experience in energy finance and operations. “We estimate almost $200 trillion will be spent in energy and changing energy systems between now and 2050. There needs to be lot of people who understand the business and can make good investments.”

Of course, there’s a strong focus on sustainability and renewables in regard to climate change and the adoption of clean energy. Experiential and practical learning offer real-time information, projects with real companies and hands-on exercises. Industry immersion includes visits to solar fields, production platforms, power plants and refineries to deepen students’ understanding of all things energy. Students even experience actual market conditions in the classroom by doing simulations in Tulane’s $3 million Trading Center.

“We consume a lot of information around energy, because we are going to do something about it,” says Conner. “Prices, policies … we incorporate that into the coursework. We are working on real-world problems, incorporating current events and trends.”

The Tulane Energy Institute is housed within Tulane’s Freeman School of Business and is also closely connected with Tulane Law School and the School of Science and Engineering.

“We continue to stay on the forefront of emerging technology, and I envision we’ll continue to make sure that our MME program can reach a broad spectrum of potential students,” Conner adds. “Our focus on energy education is to prepare our graduates for the energy future.”