We are exceptionally pleased to welcome Seth Blumsack, Ph.D. as an MSL Advisor. Seth is Associate Professor of Energy Policy and Economics in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He is also Chair of the Energy Business and Finance program; Faculty member in the Operations Research program at Penn State University; Co-Director of the Penn State Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Initiative; and is the John T. Ryan Faculty Fellow in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He also holds a position as an Adjunct Research Professor with the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center and the Centre for Energy and Mineral Economics at the Curtin University of Technology in Australia.
Following a fruitful collaboration at a Santa Fe Institute workshop, co-chaired by Seth, on “Reinventing the Grid,” in which MSL Managing Director David Breecker was a participant, Seth agreed to join MSL’s advisory panel; and MSL is now working with him on plans for one or more extended cross-sector working groups and a 2016 workshop on the same topic.
Seth’s research centers on the electricity and natural gas industries; environmental management related to energy and infrastructure; regulation and deregulation in network industries; network science; risk analysis; and managing complex infrastructure systems. He has been studying the electric power industry through academic and consulting affiliations for more than 15 years. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 scientific papers; book chapters; and articles in industry and popular press, with research funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and private industry. He has consulted with the American Public Power Association, Bayer Materials, the Congressional Research Service, the Consortium for Risk Assessment and Stakeholder Participation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Idaho National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and numerous electric utilities and State Public Utility Commissions. His work on restructured electricity markets has been cited in The New York Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and his writing for the Energy Market Report on California’s energy crisis has been cited in the Los Angeles Times as well as in The Smartest Guys in the Room.
He earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Reed College in 1998, an M.S. in Economics from Carnegie Mellon in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon in 2006. Prior to returning to academia, Seth worked for Economic Insight, Inc., in Portland, Oregon, where he served as a consultant and contributing editor for the Energy Market Report, a daily newsletter covering wholesale electricity and natural gas markets in North America. He was also the editor of Pacific West Oil Data, a monthly compendium of information on the west coast crude-oil and petroleum product industries.