Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries

Study Director:


Dr. Charles Fairhurst - (Co-Chair)
Itasca Consulting Group, Inc.

CHARLES FAIRHURST (NAE) is Professor Emeritus from the University of Minnesota and Senior Consulting Engineer for Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. His leadership in several innovations has revolutionized the field of rock mechanics. He also is the author of more than 100 publications that span nearly all aspects of rock mechanics and rock engineering. His primary professional interests are rock mechanics and its application to problems in civil, mining, and petroleum engineering and the geological isolation of nuclear waste, and his current interests include the use of integrated analytical and numerical modeling, together with field observations, to guide designs in rock engineering. Dr. Fairhurst???s recent and continuing developments in numerical procedures applicable to rock engineering have greatly expanded the possibilities for more rational design, but practical application is still in the early stages. He is a member of the American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA), American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Underground Construction Association, International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM), Sigma XI, and former member of the U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics. Dr. Fairhurst received a Ph.D. in mining engineering from Sheffield University.


Dr. Elaine T. Cullen - (Co-Chair)
Prima Consulting

ELAINE T. CULLEN is the President of Prima Consulting Services, Inc. She has over 38 years of experience working to improve safety and health in mining, beginning her career with the U.S. Bureau of Mines. She was a Principle Investigator for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Spokane Research Lab, where she lead a research team to develop and evaluate effective safety training for miners. Dr. Cullen has created eleven safety training videos, nine for the mining industry, one for oil and gas production, and one for commercial salmon fishing. Dr. Cullen has won numerous national and international awards for her work, including a Telly Award for her documentary on the Sunshine Mine fire that killed 91 miners. She is particularly interested in the power stories have to connect to trainees and convince them to work more safely. Dr. Cullen is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Women in Safety Engineering (WISE), the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), the National Safety Council (NSC), the International Society for Mine Safety Professionals (ISMSP), and is a Certified Mine Safety Professional (CMSP) as well as an MSHA certified safety trainer for both surface and underground. She is currently working on an occupational ethnography of land-based oil and gas workers, and is using the findings of her study to create training materials for those working on drill and service rigs. Dr. Cullen is also member of the National Academies of Science Committee on Earth Resources. She earned a B.A., M.B.A., and Ph.D. from Gonzaga University.


Dr. Leigh Freeman
Downing Teal, Inc.

LEIGH FREEMAN is the Principal and General Manager of Downing Teal, Inc. He has over 30 years of domestic and international experience in the resource industries. Early in his career, Mr. Freeman served in technical, management, and executive positions with large and small resource companies, including 10 years with Placer Dome. He co-founded Orvana Minerals, where he served on its board of directors as well as serving as President. Mr. Freeman is a regular speaker at international mining and investment conferences on the topics of talent, minerals education, innovation, sustainable development, and the business of mining. He is a recognized advocate of the junior mining sector. He serves in leadership roles for the Society of Mining Engineers, Society of Economic Geologists, Industrial Minerals Association, International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technologies, as well as Montana Tech, South Dakota School of Mines, University of Arizona, and Queen???s University. Mr. Freeman received his B.S. in geological engineering from the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology.


Dr. Burt S. Barnow
The George Washington University

BURT S. BARNOW is the Amsterdam Professor of Public Service in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University. Dr. Barnow has over 30 years of experience as an economist and manager of research projects in the fields of workforce development, program evaluation, performance analysis, labor economics, welfare, poverty, child support, and fatherhood initiatives. He has extensive experience conducting research on implementation of large government programs, and he has specific experience with the unemployment insurance program. His current and recent research includes an evaluation of the Center of Working Families programs for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a project to develop and evaluate demonstrations that test innovative strategies to promote self-sufficiency for low-income families for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to coming to George Washington University, Dr. Barnow was Associate Director for Research at Johns Hopkins University???s Institute for Policy Studies, where he worked for 18 years. Dr. Barnow has also worked for the Lewin Group, U.S. Department of Labor (including 4 years as Director of the Office of Research and Evaluation in the Employment and Training Administration), and the University of Pittsburgh. He has a B.S. degree in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


Mr. Sterling J. Rideout, Jr.
U.S. Department of the Interior

STERLING J. RIDEOUT, JR. is the Assistant Director of Program Support in the Office of Surface Mining of the U.S. Department of the Interior. He is responsible for developing and implementing national policies, guidelines, and technical guidance for active and abandoned mine land reclamation in order to implement the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. He also oversees policy direction on state, federal, and Indian regulatory as well as abandoned mine lands programs, grants administration, reclamation technology programs, bonding and the Applicant/Violator System and technical training program. Mr. Rideout received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Morehouse College, and an M.S. in technology management and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland.


Dr. Gerard (Jerry) Ventre
Independent Consultant

GERARD (???JERRY???) VENTRE is a consultant in photovoltaic (PV) systems engineering, specializing in workforce development, system design, and product assurance. He has over 35 years of experience in research, development, design, systems analysis, and education. For 20 of those years, he led the PV and distributed power programs at the Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida. During that time he also managed the U.S. DOE???s Photovoltaic Southeast Regional Experiment Station, with emphasis on test, evaluation, and application of photovoltaics and advanced technologies. He developed the Florida Photovoltaic Buildings Program, including the most comprehensive PV quality assurance program in the United States. Workforce activities have included a survey of workforce needs for the PV industry; task analyses, curriculum and training program development for both practitioners and trainers; chair of a national committee on PV entry level learing objectives for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP); senior advisor to the National Administrator for the Solar Instructor Training Network; consultant and advisor to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) accreditation and certification programs; and contributing author of IREC???s document on best practices and recommended guidelines for renewable energy training. He has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels, including PV systems, has over 150 technical publications, and is co-author with Roger Messenger of the highly regarded text entitled ???Photovoltaic Systems Engineering.??? Dr. Ventre received his B.S. degree in aerospace engineering, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Cincinnati.


Mr. John A. Pappas
Texas A&M University

JOHN A. PAPPAS is the Vestas Director of the Wind Energy Center of the Texas A&M Energy Engineering Institute and he serves as Academic Co-Chair of The Wind Alliance Technical Committee. He previously was part of the executive management team of the Center for Electromechanics, one of the largest research institutes at the University of Texas. Mr. Pappas has served as the Program Manager and Director of Business Development as well as Principal Investigator on numerous projects, attracting tens of millions of dollars in external funding. He helped develop the multi-gigawatt generators for electric accelerators, novel high-power converter systems, controls and measurement systems for high-voltage power supplies, and advanced manufacturing processes for the oil and specialty materials industries. Mr. Pappas is a member of the American Wind Energy Association and is the author of 25 refereed papers in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers??? publications. He holds an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Mr. Reginal Spiller
Allied Energy

REGINAL SPILLER is the Chief Operating Officer for Allied Energy. Previously he was the co-founder of Frontera Resources, and served as Executive Advisor, Exploration and Technology. Mr. Spiller was an Executive Vice President at Frontera and in charge of the Company's exploration and production activities from May 1996 to March 2009. Mr. Spiller has over 25 years of experience in the international oil and gas industry. He was deputy assistant secretary for gas and petroleum technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy, and served as the international exploration manager for Maxus Energy Corporation. Mr. Spiller is an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists. He is currently a member of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources and has previously served on the NRC Committee on Earth Resources and two NRC ad hoc study committees. Mr. Spiller holds an M.S. degree in Hydrogeology from The Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. in geology from the State University of New York.


Dr. Roy Radner
New York University

ROY RADNER (NAS) is Leonard N. Stern School Professor of Business at New York University (NYU). He is also a Professor of Economics and Information Systems at the Stern School, and Professor of Environmental Studies at NYU. Prior to joining NYU, he was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Professor of Economics and Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Radner???s research interests include bounded rationality in decision making, self-enforcing global climate change treaties, strategic analyses of petty corruption in developing countries, theories of information processing and decentralization within firms, and pricing of information technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Economic Association, a Past-President of the Econometric Society, an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and a past recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Dr. Radner received his Ph.B. (with Honors), his B.S. and M.S. in mathematics, and Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from the University of Chicago.


Dr. Kathleen A. Alfano
California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education

KATHLEEN A. ALFANO is the Director and Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) CREATE (California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education) Renewable Energy Center of Excellence and she has led the ten-college consortium, CREATE, since its development in 1996-1997. As Director of NSF???s Renewable Energy Center of Excellence, she is involved in efforts across the United States to define and implement credit technician curricula in many areas of renewable energy, including wind, solar, geothermal, and energy efficiency. She served as a Program Director and co-lead for the ATE Program at the National Science Foundation in 2007-2008, and previously as Dean of Academic Computing and Professional Programs, and she continues to be a faculty member at the College of the Canyons. She also oversees the Cisco Academy Training Center for California and Nevada, and serves on the national board for the Cisco Academy Program. She has over 25 years of successful faculty leadership, administration of technical departments, and leadership of state and federal curriculum projects, especially in the areas of technical education. Dr. Alfano has a B.S. in chemistry, an M.S. in education/counseling, and a Ph.D. from UCLA in higher education, work, and adult development.


Dr. Kenneth C. Rogers
Nuclear Regulatory Commission [Retired]

KENNETH C. ROGERS is retired from membership on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to which he was appointed in 1992. Prior to his appointment to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Dr. Rogers was the President of Stevens Institute of Technology, where he had also served as Acting Provost/Dean of Faculty. His expertise includes particle accelerator, plasma, and high energy particle physics and physical electronics, as well as nuclear facility operations. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Nuclear Society (ANS), and he is a recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Millennium Award Medal. Dr. Rogers received a B.S. in physics from St. Lawrence University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University.


Dr. Sally M. Benson
Stanford University

SALLY M. BENSON is the Director of Stanford University???s Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) and a Research Professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering (ERE), in the School of Earth Sciences. The ERE research group investigates fundamental characteristics of carbon dioxide storage in geologic formations as a means of climate change mitigation. Prior to joining GCEP, Dr. Benson worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, serving in a number of capacities, including Division Director for Earth Sciences, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences, and Deputy Director for Operations. She is the author and co-author of over 160 scientific publications. Dr. Benson received a B.S. degree in geology from Barnard College at Columbia University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and mineral engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.


Dr. Joel L. Renner
Independent Consultant

JOEL L. RENNER is a geothermal consultant with over 30 years of research and management experience related to mineral and energy resources. His experience includes management of multidiscipline research groups, business development, resource assessment, and independent research. Mr. Renner is an internationally recognized expert on geothermal energy. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Mr. Renner worked for over 20 years with the Idaho National Laboratory, where he was the Manager of the Geothermal Program, Principal Investigator and Manager of the Geothermal Reservoir Technology Program, and Manager of the Renewable Energy Unit. Mr. Renner has provided technical expertise on geothermal resources to the Department of Energy. He also has developed collaborative research with the University of Utah, Southern Methodist University, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Mr. Renner received a B.A. in mathematics from Carleton College and an M.S. in geology from the University of Minnesota, and he had a Ph.D. candidacy in applied earth science at Stanford University.


The Honorable Emily Stover DeRocco
Manufacturing Institute

EMILY STOVER DEROCCO is President of The Manufacturing Institute and its new National Center for American Workforce, and Senior Vice President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). She oversees the education and research arm of NAM and the design and operations of the new national center dedicated to fostering a new generation of manufacturing workers for the 21st century. Ms. DeRocco???s previous positions include her nomination by President George W. Bush as the Assistant Secretary of Labor in 2001. During her tenure with the U.S. Labor Department, Ms. DeRocco chaired and co-chaired numerous boards and commissions, including the Education and Workforce Committee of the Secretary of Education???s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the Education and Workforce Committee of the Department of Commerce???s Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing, and the President???s Committee on Economic Adjustment for the Defense Department???s Base Realignment and Adjustment Commission. She has over 10 years of private-sector experience in managing a national non-profit organization and prior federal-government experience at the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Interstate Commerce Commission. She earned her undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and her Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center.