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TCU Joins NAPE In Hosting Fifth Annual Energy Innovation Case Competition

Neeley graduate and undergraduate students provided innovative, technology-based solutions to an energy business issue as part of the annual case competition in Houston.

February 13, 2024

By Jen Floyd Engel

At the 2024 NAPE Summit, Ann Bluntzer talked about the growing “human capital crisis” in the energy industry. Bluntzer, the executive director at TCU Neeley’s Ralph Lowe Energy Institute, described the numbers as sobering with the average age of industry employees now over 50.

An infusion of young talent is coming, if the level of competition at the 2024 TCU/NAPE Energy Innovation Case Competition on February 7 is any indication. In its fifth year, the competition expanded the teams this year to include undergraduate students from the top business schools in the country.

The TCU Neeley School of Business undergraduate team consisted of four finance majors – seniors Valeria Rodriguez and Lauren Brunsvold, junior Siddhant Maheshwari and sophomore Luon Luong. All except Maheshwari are minoring in Energy Business but he walked away with a newfound interest in the energy space.

“This was an incredible opportunity,” Maheshwari said. “It is one of my best experiences at TCU so far.”

TCU's NAPE competitors

In the competition, Southern Methodist University (SMU) won the undergraduate division and the University of Florida won the graduate division. TCU’s graduate team was represented by Energy MBA candidates Eli Garcia, who works at Pine Wave, Lee Mathewson with Lockheed Martin, Everett Grossman with British Petroleum and Melanie Netzel at Shell.

The six winning teams across two divisions split a prize award totaling $40,000, the largest cash prize for an energy case competition in the country. First place in each graduate and undergraduate division took home $10,000 with second place teams winning $6,000 and third place teams receiving $4,000.