Building a Path to Energy Systems Entrepreneurship
Anthony Hall, MS’23, energy systems, and graduate certificate in engineering leadership, is harnessing work, academics, and experiential learning to launch the next phase of his career as an entrepreneur. His Gordon Institute industry challenge project focused on software to address technical and financial concerns in battery storage systems.
At the University of Alabama, Anthony Hall was a first-generation college student trying to create his own path without knowing exactly how to do it. But he is proof that determination goes a long way.
Hall will soon graduate with an MS in energy systems and a graduate certificate in engineering leadership from the Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership. He is well on his way to achieving his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in mechanical engineering, he began a career in industrial automation. “I felt I needed to get into the workforce to get more direction and get my feet underneath me.”
After about 18 months, he shifted his focus to climate change and energy systems and his motivation was straightforward. “It is one of, if not the most, pressing issues for my generation and it is something that we’re going to have to deal with,” Hall says.
He joined a startup, Power of Clean Energy, in his hometown of Nashville as an energy advisor and spent three years learning about energy systems. He eventually assumed the role of director of energy services. “I just fell in love with the energy sector,” Hall says. “I had some great success there.”
The idea of running his own company was by now very intriguing and he believed an advanced degree would help him achieve that goal. He applied to Northeastern and was accepted in the energy systems master’s program and the Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership to simultaneously pursue a graduate certificate in engineering leadership.
He began energy systems classes online in the spring semester of 2022 and then relocated to the Boston campus, where he attended the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program for a full academic year. During his first semester, he also started working at Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) Renewables. He independently found this job and considers it “a phenomenal experience that fits exactly to what my degree program is,” Hall adds.
He also joined Northeastern’s Energy Systems Society student group and served as president for a year—an experience that helped him network and fine-tune his project management and public speaking skills.
At BHE, where he is currently employed, he works with engineers and financial managers. “I really just love getting to actually go out, deploy projects, and understand the economics of them,” Hall says.
The Gordon Engineering Leadership Program anchors around an intense, market-worthy Challenge Project based on the strategic needs of an organization. Hall’s challenge project was derived from his work at BHE Renewables, which focused on battery storage. He developed an application that used algorithms and machine learning techniques to assist engineering and finance staff in evaluating the economic feasibility of new battery storage projects.
“It was a very formative experience,” Hall says of his time at the Gordon Institute. “Just being surrounded by such high caliber students from all different disciplines was a great way to develop a cross-discipline point of view and enhance my team building and communications skills.”
He is looking at various career options for 2024 and believes his time at Northeastern has prepared him well. “I think all of it will be very critical for the next stage of my career,” Hall says.