Georgia Power announced this week that three-time School of Engineering graduate Mark Berry, Ph.D., has been named vice president of Environmental Affairs.
Berry earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Alabama A&M University before shifting his focus to engineering. He earned a bachelor’s (1997) and a master’s (2000) degree in mechanical engineering before going on to get his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering in 2013.
"Mark is especially well-suited to his new role, because he thoroughly understands the technical, regulatory, and business aspects of environmental issues," says Peter Walsh, Ph.D., a research professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering who mentored Berry. "He is able to identify approaches that provide optimum benefit to all of the stakeholders."
For his Ph.D. dissertation, Berry studied the effectiveness of calcium bromide injection for mercury emission control on a 700 megawatt power boiler. He demonstrated that this was a cost-effective technology for compliance with proposed mercury emission standards having potential annual savings of millions of dollars on a unit of that size. “The most impressive part is that he was able to demonstrate the technology in the field,” Walsh said. "It is much easier to evaluate a process in the laboratory than to prove its effectiveness at full scale."
Prior to joining Georgia Power, Berry served as director in the generation sector at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) where he led research and development efforts in renewable energy, water management, carbon capture and storage, and advanced fossil generation areas.
"Mark's deep technical experience and understanding of complex environmental issues will help Georgia Power navigate through this era of increasing rules and regulations impacting our business," said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president of External Affairs for Georgia Power. "He is a true thought leader for our industry and brings an incredible amount of insight and expertise to the role."
Prior to joining EPRI, Berry spent nearly two decades with Southern Company, including time as manager of Environmental Assessment for the company's Research and Environmental Affairs organization, as well as director of Research and Technology Management. In these roles, he managed the company's regulatory response to federal rulemaking activity and the environmental science research program, as well as research efforts around emissions controls; energy efficiency; renewables; power delivery; central station generation; and carbon-capture utilization and storage. Berry also served as director of energy and environment at the Southern Research Institute and as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy with the rank of lieutenant commander.
In addition to his degrees from UAB and Alabama A&M, he also has a master's in public and private management from Birmingham Southern College, is a registered professional engineer and holds multiple patents related to power plant emission control.