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Faculty and alumni win $5M energy-efficiency grant

When Boaz Ur, MBA 09, began working on business development for Lightapp Technologies, an Israeli startup focused on energy efficiency for industrial facilities, he reached out to his former professor, Catherine Wolfram, about a possible collaboration. It was good timing. Wolfram was looking to design a real-world study for the E2e Project, an energy-efficiency research initiative she leads with MIT and the University of Chicago. She needed a big-data scenario to investigate what motivates businesses to conserve, and Lightapp’s software, which gathers and analyzes data from low-cost sensors deployed throughout a factory, would provide it. They collaborated with members of the Haas alumni network (see below) to write a research proposal that won a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission this spring. The funds will be used to test whether advanced energy monitoring at 100 California factories saves them money and reduces their emissions.

Prof. Catherine Wolfram



“Our alumni are real leaders on energy efficiency. It’s great to be able to put the Haas network to such good use.”
Prof. Catherine Wolfram, faculty director of the E2e Project

Boaz Ur, MBA 09


“We were exploring uncharted territory in the Industrial Internet of Things, and I realized that there was great potential to cooperate with Berkeley Haas. … With this research we expect that California (and the rest of the world) will have a whole new set of tools to save energy and costs for manufacturing facilities.”
Boaz Ur, MBA 09, VP of business development & partnerships, Lightapp Technologies

Sean Lavery, MBA 09

“When Catherine called me to explain the project, I was immediately interested in convincing my company to participate. It was an easy sell because the goals of energy efficiency make good business sense.”
Sean Lavery, MBA 09, former senior resident brewmaster, Anheuser-Busch L.A. Brewery, who helped secure the brewery as a test site

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PG&E energy efficiency leaders provided critical input to the project team.

Karen Zelmar, MBA 99, director of energy efficiency programs

Karen Zelmar, MBA 99, director of energy efficiency programs

Mangesh Basarkar, MBA 13, manager of emerging technologies & portfolio optimizations

Mangesh Basarkar, MBA 13, manager of emerging technologies & portfolio optimizations

Siva Sethuraman, MBA 12, manager of industrial & agricultural energy efficiency portfolio

Siva Sethuraman, MBA 12, manager of industrial & agricultural energy efficiency portfolio