EGI Welcomes New Staff

By Informatics @ EGI in News

November 15th, 2021

2021 has been a dynamic year for EGI as we welcome several new staff members. These individuals bring decades of collective experience in computer science, energy policy, administration and management, and information technology.

Aaron Becar joins EGI as Systems Analyst to help with all IT-related aspects and hardware in the institute. Aaron moved to Utah from California where he worked as Network Analyst for a major company. Aaron completed his BS in Information Systems from BYU-Hawaii in 2005 and his MS in Software Engineering from Hawaii Pacific University in 2009. Aaron brings years of valuable experience in database management, visualization techniques, 3D printing and modeling, microcontrollers, hardware optimization and so forth to EGI. Aaron lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and their five children.

Thomas Cook joins EGI as Software Engineer to help develop technical apps and computer programs, especially regarding EGI’s iCORDS platform. Tom is originally from Colorado and brings over two decades of technical experience in software programing via various computer languages, databases, and platforms. He holds a BS in Chemistry (minor in Mathematics) from Eastern New Mexico University and an MS in Computational Engineering and Science from the University of Utah. Previously, Tom worked as a software engineer for various entities including the University of Utah, Western Governors University, and Northwest Research/FedEx. His work background is in both analytical and organic chemistry as well as computer science which makes him an ideal combination for EGI’s technical apps and programs.

Robert Simmons is an attorney with over 20 years of energy policy experience. He recently joined EGI as the Carbon Science Initiative Director with a focus on advancing EGI’s carbon sequestration research and commercial deployment programs. Before joining EGI, he served as former Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s Energy Advisor, and Director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development. His diverse professional background includes both federal and state government affairs experience, including serving as Vice President of the Park City Center for Public Policy founded by former Utah Governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt.

Carol Smith joins EGI as Administrative Officer assisting with day-to-day administrative and accounting support to staff and PI’s. Carol is originally from California and relocated to the Salt Lake area with her husband and two daughters in 2008. Prior to joining EGI, Carol worked for a Salt Lake City business law firm providing executive administrative and accounting support to a team of six partners, their associates and staff. Carol has over 30 years of administrative and accounting/finance experience, and received an accounting certificate from San Joaquin Delta College. In her free time she enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, and watching softball.

Alan Walker rejoins EGI where his responsibilities are daily EGI operations and overseeing the fusion of EGI’s three research groups in geothermal science, hydrocarbon geoscience, and carbon sequestration management. Al previously worked at EGI from 2007 to 2015 as the Technology Outreach Director for USTAR and comes with over forty years in the energy industry in E&P engineering, gas storage and transmission, and regulatory affairs. Al holds a B.S. in military engineering from West Point, an MBA from Rensselaer, and an M.S. in petroleum engineering from Utah. Al lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Victoria and they have two children and two grandsons.

Stacey Zoller joins EGI-Utah FORGE as an Administrative Assistant assisting Joseph Moore and the Utah FORGE team. Stacey joined the University of Utah, School of Medicine in 2010 to support the Division Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and other faculty members. Prior to her time at the university, she worked with several large high-tech companies providing administrative support to executives, engineering, and marketing teams. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, time in the outdoors, travel, music, and volunteering for a non-profit organization that brings live music to the community.

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