Kellogg School of Management | Groups



Energy Academics at Kellogg

Kellogg offers a variety of opportunities for students to learn more about energy.  Academics can help "career switchers" gain knowledge and experience for their transition into the energy industry, as well as the more general student population who just wants to learn more about the business of energy.  These opportunities span for-credit coursework at Kellogg and other Northwestern schools and non-credit seminars, in addition to case competitions and company visits organized by the Energy Club (see additional tabs for more information on those opportunities).

Kellogg Courses
Northwestern Courses
Non-Credit Seminars

Kellogg Courses

The following courses have substantial focus on energy, are taught by Kellogg professors, and earn course credit:

INTL 473: Global Initiatives in Management: The Business of Renewable Energy in an International Setting: Germany, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic (aka "GIM Energy") -  winter quarter
GIM is an experiential learning course whereby students study a topic and/or region in depth during the winter quarter and subsequently travel to that region during spring break to meet with business, public, and non-profit sector leaders. The exact topic for this course changes annually, though an energy-based course is a mainstay.  More information on GIM available here

KPPI 484: Thought Leadership Seminar: Sustainable Development - winter quarter
This seminar is designed to develop your skill to assess the most effective role of business in sustainability and development, and to innovate solutions in business sustainability. The course provides a solid understanding of the fundamentals and current thinking on sustainability and development, makes students conversant in central debates, and fosters the ability to independently develop and defend informed positions and solutions. The course engages with the primary literature and influential current positions in the science, economics, politics and ethos of sustainability, and applies this knowledge to business questions. The course includes a number of discussions of provocative questions with thought leaders in areas like renewable energy, impact investing or global food supply chains, and a quarter length whitepaper project.

KPPI 470: Public Economics for Business Leaders: Federal Policy - winter quarter
To be an effective business leader in today's complex world requires an understanding of the important public policy issues facing society. Managers need to understand society's problems and the range of possible public solutions and policies in order to know how to influence, incorporate and respond to public actions. This class will enable students to understand, analyze and take the perspective of government and non-government organizations as they attempt to alleviate societal problems. Topics include the interface of government and business, the justification for and principle methods of government intervention in the market place, the primary means of paying for government, measuring the costs and benefits of government policies, and current policy applications such as the ethanol blenders’ credit and federal gasoline tax in the U.S., China’s cap and trade policy, nuclear security with regard to Iran, and Brazil’s ethanol pipelines.

ACCT 459-5: Sustainability Reporting and Analysis - spring quarter
This course introduces students to sustainability reporting, a system of analysis and reporting that attempts to bridge these gaps and provide a more expansive view of an organization’s social and environmental performance, sometimes called the triple bottom line. Through lectures and cases, we will examine markets for sustainability reporting and metrics that have been developed to supply information to these markets. The class will address a number of interesting topics, such as socially responsible investing, competing sustainability reporting systems, carbon disclosure, tracking and controlling product and labor standards in the supply chain, accounting for legal and environmental liabilities, and the role of social and environmental intangible assets in long-run performance. Although the class’s explicit focus will be on metrics and reporting systems, the material will inevitably lead us to a broader consideration of topics in organizational governance and leadership.

Back to top

Northwestern Courses

The following courses, offered by the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), are open to students across Northwestern and thus provide an opportunity for Kellogg students to engage with students in other disciplines while earning course credit at Kellogg:

ISEN 430: NUvention Energy - winter quarter
Energy is one of an expanding NUvention portfolio of topically focused cross campus entrepreneurship programs. Over an intense quarter, graduate students from schools across campus will come together in interdisciplinary teams to develop a product or service and a business in the burgeoning sustainable energy industry. Students benefit from interaction with NUvention: Energy’s Advisory Board of business leaders in the sustainable energy field.  More information available here.

ISEN 410: Topics in Contemporary Energy & Climate Change - fall quarter
The increasing worldwide demand for energy presents a number of complex interdisciplinary challenges, from oil depletion to global warming. This class will challenge students to answer the question, How shall we power the world in the 21st century? We will examine the history and geography of energy use; links between energy and climate change; and technological, economic and environmental benefits and drawbacks of various energy sources. This is a non-technical course and students from all disciplines are welcome.

Back to top

Non-Credit Seminars

ISEN and Kellogg collaborate to offer a series of non-credit coursework in the energy arena, open to students across Northwestern:

Business of Energy - fall quarter
The Business of Energy seminars will be a total of six hour-long sessions once per week, where Kellogg MBA students with experience in the energy field will spend 45 minutes speaking to you about the business aspects of energy and the remaining 15 minutes on Q&A. We are looking to select ~35 highly motivated students who want to gain a greater understanding of the energy market landscape. Our seminars are guaranteed to help you grasp the economics of energy, and network with multidisciplinary peers who care about sustainability!  Classes in 2015 were: Overview of the Energy Industry; Energy Finance and the Investment Decision; the Oil and Gas Industry: the Competitive Landscape of Carbon; Government Impact on the Business of Energy; Solar Value Chain and Storage; Electricity Transmission, Distribution, and Smart Grid.

Technology of Energy - winter quarter
Interested in understanding existing and new energy technologies?  Have you been looking for a group of experts to break down all the technical jargon around new and emerging technologies in a dynamic and exciting learning environment without needing an engineering degree to understand them?  TOE is designed to give you the straight truth about different energy technologies and their capabilities and limitations without getting bogged down in the nitty gritty details of each individual technology.  Classes in 2016 were: Engines, Turbines, and Fuel Cells; Hydro Power and Nuclear Energy; Wind, Solar, and Geothermal Energy; Transport; Energy Storage; Energy Efficiency and Green Design.  More information available here.

Powering the Future - spring quarter
In this weekly seminar, senior-level cleantech and utility executives will lead discussions on new technologies and novel financing structures that are presently disrupting U.S. power markets.  Following each weekly lecture, students will have an opportunity to network with executives over dinner and explore employment opportunities.

2016 instructors: Nat Kreamer (Comm '99): President and CEO of Spruce Finance, Board Chairman of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); Gary Kremen (MEAS '85): Founder,, Clean Power Finance Founder (now Spruce), Santa Clara Valley Water District Elected Board Chair; and, Bert Valdman (WCAS '84): CEO, Optimum Energy - 2016 guest lecturers include: Regulators (Former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, US Department of Energy Asst. Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy); Executives (Chairman of E.ON North America, Chairman of CleanCapital and Managing Director of Bloom Energy); and Scientists (Former Chief Scientist of DAPRA), among many others.

Back to top