Pratima, a speaker at our HERWorld Energy Forum on March 8 (Get your tickets here!), is a chemical engineer by training. She studied it in undergraduate school at MIT, and later earned her Ph.D. from Princeton. She started her career in the chemicals industry and watched it transition out to Asia. Her work as a research scientist landed her a job at NBC-Universal, helping the company develop new technologies.
While at NBC-Universal, she had the opportunity to watch the media transition from centralized TV and movies to a distributed and interactive model of consuming media via YouTube, game consoles, iPads, iPods, etc. It was an exciting time and there were many lessons that she carried over to the energy industry as it undergoes a major transition.
Pratima moved to the energy industry about 10 years ago and has held a variety of roles in renewable energy: She was the general manager for GE’s Onshore Wind Product Line and for GE’s Energy Storage startup. She also served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Emerging Technology and Research at Vestas Wind Systems. As a renewables leader, she had been passionate about working on a more sustainable energy ecosystem.
The same passion led her to take the role of CEO for the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI)’s investment arm, OGCI Climate Investments (CI). CI is charged with investing $1 billion over the next 10 years in both technologies and business solutions that could have a real impact on the greenhouse gas footprint of the energy and industrial ecosystems.
“It is quite simple: In order to satisfy the energy and materials needs of a growing population, we are going to need oil and gas for a long time to come,” Pratima says. “So we need to make this form of energy as sustainable as possible. This is the same for our industrial systems, whether we are making cement or shoes!”
“We’ve made it doom and gloom, and we haven’t given people the simple messages where they can take charge and make decisions,” she adds. “I say to myself: We had the creativity to get here; we should be able to change the course of the future. And as long as we’re doing practical things, I think we can make significant progress.”