May 20, 2010
While many of her graduate student peers start to hit the books this summer for their masters theses, Castlen Kennedy, BBA '01, will be hitting the open road. But she's not skipping out on the research; she's performing it by driving a compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicle to explore challenges and benefits NGV divers may face, including analysis of fuel costs and supply availability.
She will use the data from the trip to benchmark CNG against other fuels and will create a set of policy recommendations to encourage the expanded use of natural gas as a transportation fuel.
A McCombs undergraduate alumna, Castlen is pursuing her Dual Masters at the University of Texas at Austin, working towards a Masters in Public Affairs at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs and a Masters of Arts in Energy & Earth Resources at the Jackson School of Geosciences.
In addition to being a full time student, she works part time for Apache Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas producer headquartered in Houston.
She's no stranger to the energy industry. Before returning to school in the fall of 2008, Castlen spent seven years in various positions in both the public and private sector working on energy issues. Prior to joining Apache Corporation in 2006, she worked in the Office of Fossil Energy at the United States Department of Energy as a Senior Policy Advisor on oil and natural gas issues. She has also held positions at S&B Infrastructure, RWE Trading Americas and Enron Corporation.
You can follow her progress at www.greenamericanroadtrip.com.