Featured Speakers


Robert Hirsch
Senior Energy Advisor, Management Information Systems Inc.

Robert L. Hirsch is a former senior energy program adviser for Science Applications International Corporation and is a Senior Energy Advisor at MISI and a consultant in energy, technology, and management. Hirsch has served on numerous advisory committees related to energy development, and he is the principal author of the report "Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management," which was written for the United States Department of Energy.

Scott Tinker
Texas State Geologist; Director, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas

Scott Tinker is the Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and the State Geologist of Texas. He is also the acting Associate Dean for Research, and a Professor holding the Allday Endowed Chair in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. He is an internationally known energy expert, giving invited lectures more than 40 times a year to industry, government and academic groups, striving to bring them together in a common understanding of energy.

Arthur Berman
Independent Geologist and Principal, Labryrinth Consulting Services

‚ÄčArthur Berman is a geological consultant with thirty-two years of experience in petroleum exploration and production. He is specialist in prospect and play evaluation, reserve assessment, risk evaluation, subsurface geological and geophysical interpretation, and database management. Art has an M.S. (Geology) from the Colorado School of Mines and a B.A. (History) from Amherst College. Art’s clients include E&P companies and capital groups in the energy sector.

Laura Atkins
Director of Petroleum Research, Hart Energy

Laura Atkins is the director of Petroleum Research for Hart Energy. She has more than 20 years experience in the upstream oil and gas industry starting as a petroleum engineer, then moving into management and international new business development. She has worked in Latin America, the Middle East, India and China. Prior to joining Hart Energy, she spent three years in Vienna, Austria working for OPEC as Senior Research Analyst for Energy Technology. She is the primary author of Hart’s Global Shale Gas Study and Global Heavy Crude Oil Outlook, and significant contributor to the Global Shale Oil Study and North American Shale Quarterly. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in international affairs from Harvard University.

Tadeusz Patzek
Chair, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas

Tadeusz Patzek is the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin.  He also holds the Cockrell Family Regents Chair #11. Between 1990 and 2008, he was a Professor of Geoengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Berkeley, he was a researcher at Shell Development, a unique research company managed for 20 years by M. King Hubbert of the Hubbert peaks. 

Bill Powers
Editor, Powers Energy Investor

Bill Powers, editor of Powers Energy Investor, previously published the Canadian Energy Viewpoint and US Energy Investor. He has studied all aspects of the energy sector with an eye towards uncovering outstanding investment opportunities. He completes both primary and secondary research to identify small to mid-sized exploration and production (E&P) firms with strong value propositions, experienced management, strong balance sheets and growing production.

David Hughes

David Hughes is a geoscientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He developed the National Coal Inventory to determine the availability and environmental constraints associated with Canada’s coal resources. As Team Leader for Unconventional Gas on the Canadian Gas Potential Committee, he coordinated the recent publication of a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s unconventional natural gas potential. Over the past decade, he has researched, published and lectured widely on global energy and sustainability issues in North America and internationally.

Deborah Rogers
Financial Analyst; Advisory Council Member, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Deborah Rogers began her financial career in London working in investment banking. Upon her return to the U.S., she worked as a financial consultant for several major Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. Ms. Rogers served on the Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2008-2011. She was appointed in 2011 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to a task force reviewing placement of air monitors in the Barnett Shale region in light of air quality concerns brought about by the natural gas operations in North Texas. She is also the founder of Energy Policy Forum, a consultancy and educational forum dedicated to policy and financial issues regarding shale gas and renewable energy. In addition, she lectures on shale gas economics throughout the U.S. and abroad at Universities, business venues and public forums and has appeared on MSNBC and NPR. She has also been featured in articles discussing the financial anomalies of shale gas in the New York Times (June, 2011) and Rolling Stone Magazine (March, 2012). In addition, she will appear in the upcoming documentary GasLand 2.

Michael Kumhof
Senior Researcher and Deputy Division Chief, International Monetary Fund 

Michael Kumhof is Deputy Division Chief of the Modeling Division in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Research Department. His main responsibility is the development of the IMF’s global macroeconomic model GIMF, a DSGE model that is used heavily for IMF policy and scenario analyses in multilateral and bilateral surveillance, for the World Economic Outlook publication, and for work on G-20 issues. He is co-author of the IMF Working Paper: “Oil and the World Economy”.

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Mark Lewis
Managing Director for Commodities Research and Head of Energy Research, Deutsche Bank

Mark Lewis is a Managing Director in Commodities Research at Deutsche Bank, where he is the Head of Energy Research. His research on Power, Gas and Emissions Markets has been ranked Number 1 by the benchmark Energy Risk survey of global commodities investors in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. 

Kjell Aleklett
Professor of Physics and Global Energy Systems, Uppsala University

Kjell Aleklett is Professor of Physics and Global Energy Systems at Uppsala University in Sweden where he leads the Uppsala Global Energy Systems Group (UGES). He organized together with Colin Campbell the First International Workshop on Oil Depletion in May 2002 at Uppsala University. It was in connection with this workshop that ASPO, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, was established. Since 2003 he has been president of ASPO International. In 2005 Kjell Aleklett was also asked to give testimony on Peak Oil before for the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality. In 2007 he was asked by the OECD to write a report on “Peak-Oil and the Evolving Strategies of Oil Importing and Exporting Countries: Facing the Hard Truth about an Important Decline for the OECD Countries.” He frequently lectures and gives interviews on Peak Oil at community, national and international events. His hosts have included international transport and oil corporations, governments and security agencies. He is the author of the 2012 book “Peeking at Peak Oil”. 

Jeffrey J. Brown
Independent Geologist;  Vice-President, ASPO-USA

Jeffrey J. Brown is a licensed Professional Geoscientist and a member of the ASPO-USA Board of Directors. He has discovered several oil and gas fields in West Central Texas, and currently manages an exploration program searching for oil and gas fields in this region. Jeff has conducted analysis of the Peak Oil issue for several years, and has written and coauthored several articles on Peak Oil related topics, with a special emphasis on world net oil export capacity. In early 2006, Jeff first proposed a simple mathematical model for oil-exporting countries called the “Export Land Model” (ELM), which is now regarded as foundational for analysis of this critical issue. Jeff is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University.

James Galbraith
Professor of Economics and Chair of Business-Government Relation, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas

James Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., Chair of Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin, and a professorship in Government. Galbraith’s most recent book, Inequality and Instability was published in February 2012 by Oxford University Press.

Jason Schenker
President and Chief Economist, Prestige Economics; Guest Host of Bloomberg Television's 'Street Smart'

Jason Schenker is the President and Chief Economist of the financial market research and consulting firm, Prestige Economics, LLC. Mr. Schenker writes market commentary, produces forecasts, manages Prestige Economics consulting projects, is the author of multiple books, and guest hosts the Bloomberg Television show “Street Smart.”


Charles A.S. Hall
Professor, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York; Co-author, Energy and the Wealth of Nations

Charles Hall is a Systems Ecologist who received his PhD from Howard T. Odum.  Dr. Hall is the author of ten books and more than 270 scholarly articles.  He is best known for his development of the concept of EROI, or energy return on investment, which is an examination of how organisms, including humans, invest energy into obtaining additional energy to improve biotic or social fitness.  


Robert Rapier
Chief Technology Officer, Merica International

Robert Rapier works in the energy industry and writes and speaks about energy and the environment. He has worked on cellulosic ethanol, butanol production, oil refining, natural gas production, and gas-to-liquids(GTL). He has a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, and is presently employed as the Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President for Merica International, a renewable energy company. Merica is involved in a wide variety of projects, with a core focus on the localized use of biomass to energy for the benefit of local populations. He is the author of Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil.

Steven Kopits
Managing Director, Douglas-Westwood

Steven Kopits is the Managing Director of Douglas Westwood LLC (USA).  He has more than 20 years experience in strategic management consulting and investment banking. He has raised capital for oil and gas technologies companies, assisted oil majors in acquisition and disposal projects, and assisted power companies with plant acquisition and divestiture due diligence. Steven most recently worked for the investment bank of Dahlman Rose & Co. and earlier for New Jersey power developer LS Power. He worked in Central Europe for many years, including as a Director for Financial Advisory Services at Deloitte & Touche and as a Senior Consultant to the Barents Group, a KPMG subsidiary.

Sonia Yeh
University of California, Davis

Sonia Yeh is a research scientist at the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis. She is a faculty member of the Graduate Group in Transportation Technology and Policy (TTP) and an adjunct professor at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University. Her primary research interest is to advance the understanding of future energy systems and their environmental and social impacts, and to seek solutions that improve the societal process of making decisions toward a low-carbon energy system. Dr. Yeh's expertise is in energy market economics and modeling, lifecycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, alternative transportation energy use and modeling, sustainability standards for biofuels, and technological change induced by government policy.

Loren Steffy
Senior Columnist, Houston Chronicle 

Loren Steffy is the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle. His column appears on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and he writes a daily blog that discusses business topics. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business, the BBC and the PBS NewsHour. He is the author of Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit published by McGraw-Hill in 2010. 


Greg Gordon
Investigative Reporter, McClatchy Newspapers

Greg Gordon, an investigative reporter, has spent 35 years uncovering waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct in Washington. Since joining McClatchy Newspapers' national staff in 2006, he has helped expose Wall Street's role in the 2008 financial crisis, partisanship in the Justice Department and gaps in U.S. homeland security. This fall, he shared in an Emmy nomination for a collaborative television documentary with PBS' Frontline and Propublica examining the FBI's handling of its seven-year, $100 million investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks.


Robert Jensen
Professor, School of Journalism, The University of Texas

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center in Austin. Jensen joined the UT faculty in 1992 after completing his Ph.D. in media ethics and law in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a professional journalist for a decade. At UT, Jensen teaches courses in media law, ethics, and politics.
He is the author of the forthcoming book Arguing for Our Lives: Critical Thinking in Crisis Times.

Louis Powers
Independent Petroleum Engineer; Former Chief Petroleum Engineer, ARAMCO

Louis Powers worked with Exxon for 21 years prior to entering a private consulting business in 1979. Lou’s experience includes 50+ years in production research, reservoir engineering, operations management and consulting. After 19 years working primarily in Texas for Exxon, Lou spent 2 years (1977 to 1979) in Saudi Arabia as ARAMCO’s Chief Petroleum Engineer. Lou is a graduate of two OSU’s – Oklahoma State (BS 1957) and Ohio State (MS 1958) in Mechanical Engineering. He is the author of "The World Energy Dilemma."

Kyriacos Zygourakis
Professor and Chair, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University

Kyriacos Zygourakis is the A.J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering of Rice University. He received his B.S. from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His research interests span several important areas of bioengineering and chemical reaction engineering. Currently, his group is focusing on cellular engineering, the development of multi-scale models that describe the growth of heterogeneous cell populations, and the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels from biomass. Prof. Zygourakis has published more than 110 articles on coal utilization, pollution control reactors and cellular engineering, has contributed several book chapters, has directed research programs funded by NSF, DOE, NIH, and NASA, has served on the Texas Council on Environmental Technology and has chaired several committees of professional organizations.

Jack Alpert
Director, Stanford Knowledge Integration Lab

Jack Alpert is Director of Stanford Knowledge Integration Lab. He is trained both as and engineer and cognitive scientist, and studies learning and behavior in dynamic systems. Has written the two "Timeblind" books and is producing the "Too many People," video series to help individuals understand human activities in the physical world.

Tom Whipple
Former Senior Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency; Editor, Peak Oil News and Peak Oil Review

Tom Whipple is one of the most highly respected analysts of Peak Oil issues in the United States. He is a retired 30-year CIA analyst who has been following the Peak Oil story since 1999, Tom is the editor of the daily Peak Oil News and the weekly Peak Oil Review, both published by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil USA. He is also a weekly columnist on Peak Oil issues for the Falls Church News Press. Tom has degrees from Rice University and the London School of Economics.

Carey King
Research Associate, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas

Carey King is currently a Research Associate at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the Jackson School of Geosciences. He works as part of several other collaborative research groups at the University of Texas at Austin: The Webber Energy Group and the Gulf Coast Carbon Center of the Bureau of Economic Geology. Carey has both a B.S. with high honors and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Carey has published technical articles in the academic journals Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Research Letters, Nature Geoscience, Energy Policy, Sustainability, and Ecology and Society. He has also written commentary for Earth magazine discussing energy, water, and economic interactions. Dr. King has three patents as former Director for Scientific Research of Uni-Pixel Displays, Inc.

Mukul Sharma
Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas

Mukul M. Sharma is Professor and holds the “Tex” Moncrief Chair in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he has been for the past 27years. He served as Chairman of the Department from 2001 to 2005. He founded Austin Geotech Services, a specialty consulting company and co-founded Layline Petroleum, a private E&P company. His current research interests include hydraulic fracturing, improved oil recovery, injection water management, formation damage and petrophysics. He has published more than 250 journal articles and conference proceedings and has 12 patents.

Will Martin
Author, "Investing for the End of Cheap Oil

Will Martin is a recent MBA graduate of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. At Cornell Will was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow and concentrated on studying sustainability in business through the school’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise. Prior to his MBA, he worked in the energy industry, living in Singapore, Houston and Dubai. He currently works in the energy industry in California. He is the author of the forthcoming book, "Investing for the End of Cheap Oil."


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