Ralph Izzo is the CEO of the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). This is notable because PSEG is one of the biggest utilities that can be found in the United States, as shown by the fact that it makes more than a billion in net income on an annual basis. Suffice to say that this makes Izzo a figure of considerable influence in his chosen sector, meaning that it can be worthwhile for interested individuals to pay attention to him. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo:
1. Went to Columbia University
Izzo has a total of four degrees. For three of those four degrees, he went to Columbia University, which is a name that shouldn’t need much introduction. After all, Columbia University is one of the first institutions of higher learning to have been established in the United States, as shown by how it was once called King’s College before the success of the American Revolution prompted a change to Columbia College. On top of that, the school has accumulated achievements and accomplishments to match.
2. Studied Mechanical Engineering
Both Izzo’s Bachelor of Science and Master of Science were for mechanical engineering, which is the branch of engineering that is concerned with mechanical systems. As such, its origins are ancient, so much so that an argument can be made that it has existed since ancient times. This is a notable contrast to a lot of other branches of engineering, which couldn’t come into existence until the modern tech of modern times.
3. Studied Applied Physics
Besides his Master of Science, Izzo has a PhD in applied physics. For those who are unfamiliar, applied physics is very concerned with the practical uses of the scientific field, meaning that it can be considered a bridge between engineering and pure physics. However, applied physics stops short of being engineering because its practitioners aren’t necessarily designing anything but might just be interested in solving issues or otherwise making it easier for other relevant parties to put physics to practical use.
4. Went to Rutgers University for a MBA
On top of his scientific education, Izzo has a MBA from Rutgers University as well. Said school isn’t quite as old as Columbia University, but it isn’t that much younger, seeing as how it is the eighth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States compared to its counterpart being the fifth-oldest. In fact, it is amusing to note that Rutgers University was once called Queen’s College for Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, which it held on to until 1825 when it was renamed for Henry Rutgers.
5. Completed a Nuclear Reactor Technology Course from MIT
Finally, Izzo has completed a MIT course on nuclear reactor technology according to his Bloomberg profile. This makes sense because PSEG Nuclear runs a total of three nuclear reactors, meaning that its top leader needs to have a solid understanding of nuclear reactor technology for him to be able to perform the duties and responsibilities of his position.
6. Is the Chairman of the NEI
Besides being the CEO of PSEG, it is interesting to note that Izzo is the Chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute. In short, the Nuclear Energy Institute is a trade association for the nuclear industry, meaning that it exists for the purpose of promoting its interests. Some examples of its efforts include coming up with policies on relevant issues, providing information about relevant issues to stakeholders, and serving as a forum for its participants to resolve issues between themselves.
7. Started Out As a Researcher
Speaking of which, Izzo’s Nuclear Energy Institute profile states that he started out as a researcher at the Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University. Moreover, he was involved in researching fusion energy, which is something that scientists have been pursuing for decades and decades by this point in time. For those who are unfamiliar, current nuclear reactors use fission, which creates energy by splitting atoms. In contrast, fusion would create energy by fusing atoms, which promises to be even more capable than its counterpart if it can be harnessed for human purposes.
8. Believes In the Need for Action on Climate Change
Unsurprisingly, Izzo is a big believer in the need for action on climate change, as shown by his interview with Fortune. As he says, the science is pretty clear about what is happening as well as why it is happening. Moreover, climate change isn’t something that has stepped into the spotlight all of a sudden but has instead been established by decades of research by this point in time. Presumably, Izzo is a supporter of the use of nuclear energy rather than an opponent, which is one of the issues that divides people who believe in the need to take action in regards to climate change.
9. Has Urged Other Leaders to Focus on Energy Saving
Izzo takes climate change seriously enough that he has been urging other industry leaders to focus on energy saving, which is pretty interesting when they are in the business of selling energy to energy consumers. Still, if the goal is to combat climate change, this makes sense because the United States is one of the countries with the highest energy consumption per capita going by World Bank numbers for 2014.
10. Wants a Carbon Tax
One of the policies that Izzo wants to see is a carbon tax, which would be, well, a tax for the purpose of combating climate change by reducing carbon emissions. Theoretically, carbon taxes would be useful for making sure that externalities are reflected in prices, thus making for more economically sensible consumption choices. In practice, well, suffice to say that there has been a lot of opposition to such policies.