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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Academics & Research

Bauer dean sheds light on energy concerns


Latha Ramchand, dean of C.T. Bauer School of Business, lectures on liquified natural gas. | Chris Luong/The Daily Cougar

Latha Ramchand, dean of C.T. Bauer College of Business, lectures on liquified natural gas. | Chris Luong/The Daily Cougar

Latha Ramchand, dean of the C.T. Bauer College of Business, sees two major challenges to the energy industry.

In light of energy-shortage concerns, three experts from the natural gas industry discussed a long-term alternative fuel source in a panel Tuesday, held in the Stubblefield Auditorium of Michael J. Cemo Hall and introduced by Ramchand.

“The two big challenges the energy industry faces today are, how do we increase the supply to meet the demand that’s coming, that’s emanating from some of the developing countries; and two, even as we increase supply, how do we manage to keep emissions down? How do we do it in an environmentally friendly fashion?” Ramchand said.

The panel discussion focused on liquefied natural gas and featured keynote speakers representing several LNG importation and distribution companies.

According to shell.com, converting natural gas into liquid shrinks the volume by 600, allowing the LNG to be stored at atmospheric pressure and take up less space. This process will facilitate the shipment of
LNG and remove the more hazardous by-products of burning the fuels.

“It’s domestic; it’s clean; it’s abundant and frankly, Houston is the hub of it so it’s great for us all here to be part of that market,” said Peter Tumminello, executive vice president of Wholesale Services and president of Sequent Energy Management of AGL Resources.

Among the present UH faculty members and industry members, Bauer students comprised the majority of the audience.

“I got an email that this was an event about business leaders, and I thought it would be a good (opportunity) because I’m a freshman, and I want to major in business,” said pre-business freshman Anqi Wang. “But I don’t know for sure (if I will major in it), and I want to learn more about it — real life examples and their perspectives and just experience what it’s like.”

Students already declared as business majors attended because they wanted to gain insight into specifics of the industry.

“We always see the theories of the global marketplace, but it’s nice to see some actual actions being taken and some actual examples of what’s going on out there,” said supply chain management junior Zachary Woeckener.

“It actually exceeded my expectations. It was a very interesting intake, and it definitely expanded my view of natural gas and what its impact on the marketplace is.”

This type of experience is one Ramchand hopes most students will have attending these events.

“A college of business needs to be able to connect its students with industry,” Ramchand said.

“Everything we do — this evening’s panel discussion, all our energy speaker series — is an attempt to bring together academia, industry, sometimes regulators, so we can all bring things to the table, get the truth out and make informed decisions.”

The next installment of the panel discussion series is entitled “A Day in the Life of an Energy Trader” and is scheduled for Nov. 13.

[email protected]

Edit at 6:33 p.m Thursday: Ramchand was not on the panel as it was previously reported. She introduced the panel of three experts.


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