Pecan Street employees represent the future of the energy, water and technology industries: data scientists, researchers, MBAs, city planners, engineers and consumer product experts. We even have a couple of lawyers. Our staff can be reached at 512-782-9213 or at first initial last name @pecanstreet.org (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Brewster McCracken, president and CEO
Brewster McCracken is president and CEO of Pecan Street, a research and commercialization institute focused on the utility industry and headquartered at The University of Texas. In July 2014, Time Magazine described Pecan Street’s work as “the most extensive energy-tracking study in U.S. history. . . . That kind of data is unprecedented in the electricity industry. . . The Pecan Street team is already using it to upend long-held theories about electricity use.” Mr. McCracken was one of three global smart grid project leaders invited by the government of Japan to present at the one-year anniversary conference for the reconstruction of Fukushima in March 2012. In 2013, Smart Grid Today named him one of the nation’s “50 Smart Grid Pioneers,” and GreenBiz.com named him to its VERGE 25 list of 25 U.S. smart grid leaders. He is the author of numerous research reports on customer energy use. He was elected to two terms on the Austin City Council, serving in a city-wide at large position. Through his elected position, he served as a board member of Austin Energy and Austin Water, founded and chaired the city council’s Emerging Technologies Committee and led the city’s collaboration with The University of Texas to establish technology incubators in bioscience and wireless technologies. Prior to holding elected office, he practiced commercial litigation for nearly a decade with two large international law firms. He is an honors graduate of The University of Texas School of Law and Princeton University, and he holds a master’s degree in public affairs from UT’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
Suzanne Russo, chief operating officer
Suzanne is chief operating officer for Pecan Street. Prior to joining the organization, she was director of sustainability initiatives for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development where she led the development of green building and sustainable retrofit standards for municipally-funded affordable housing. Suzanne holds a master’s degree in community and regional planning from The University of Texas at Austin.
Bert Haskell, chief technology officer
Bert is Pecan Street’s CTO. He has been working in technology and product development since starting his career in 1984 with Eastman Kodak, where he worked for 5 years as an electronics manufacturing process development engineer while earning his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester. Bert then worked for 9 years at the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp. (MCC) in Austin, concluding his tenure there as vice president of portable electronics product research. Since 2000, he has held product development, product marketing and advisory rolls at a number of start-up companies including Stellar Display Corporation, Wireless Age, Motion Computing, Portelligent and most recently, Heliovolt, where he was director of product development for CIGS based thin-film photovoltaic modules.
Fisayo Fadelu, chief financial officer & general counsel
Fisayo is Pecan Street’s CFO and general counsel. Prior to joining the organization, she worked for Smith International (a subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd.) where she led teams on Sarbanes Oxley compliance projects in U.S. and international locations. Prior to that, Fisayo worked with the Audit and Assurance Services group at the Ernst & Young’s Houston office where she supervised audit projects for public companies. She holds a master’s and undergraduate degree in accounting from Baylor University and received her J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Grant P. Fisher, water and data director
Grant manages Pecan Street’s water and data operation. Prior to joining the organization, he was a project manager for Sony Electronics where he led the installation efforts of Sony Home Energy Management Systems. Grant has also worked as a Technology Project Manager where he worked on technology efforts, big data, visualization, and water projects for governmental agencies throughout the US.
Scott Hinson, director of engineering
Scott leads activities and electrical research at the Pike Powers Lab. He worked at a thin film CIGS solar module manufacturer where he led module packaging, performance, certification and reliability efforts. Prior efforts include work in the military, medical, consumer and oil industries developing power supplies, precision measurement equipment and inductive heating technologies. Scott received his B.S.E.E. from The University of Texas at Austin with undergraduate specializations in both communications systems and power distribution. Scott was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Engineering Award for “transforming the world’s understanding of consumer and community electricity usage” by the the IEEE Power Engineering Society Central Texas Chapter.
Travis Hyzak, programs manager
Travis earned his B.A. in English and a certificate in Technical Communication from the University of North Texas. After completing his first year at Georgetown University School of Law, where he learned he did not want to be a lawyer, Travis returned to Austin to work in education before coming to Pecan Street. As program manager, Travis is responsible for overall program coordination and management of Pecan Street’s transportation initiatives. This includes the innovative Electric Last Mile Project, which pioneers public-private partnerships to borrow successful elements of the sharing economy to provide electric last mile solutions to improve public transportation connectivity.
Rachel Jenkins, senior research programs manager
Rachel is the senior programs manager for Pecan Street. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Pecan Street, Rachel worked as a legal assistant and served as a property manager in the greater Austin area for four years. Residents interested in taking part in Pecan Street’s research projects should contact Rachel to learn more and determine their home’s eligibility.
Richard Smith, technology development specialist
Richard is a licensed master electrician with over 24 years experience in electrical construction and service. Richard owned his own electrical contracting business for 13 years. In 2012, he decided to leave construction and focus his attention on electricity research and renewable energy.
James DelVesco, senior devops engineer
James helps maintain Pecan Street’s technical infrastructure. After graduating with a computer science degree from University of Chicago, he worked in the healthcare industry before joining Pecan Street. James also coaches high school cross country.
Board of Directors
Pecan Street is governed by a board of directors. Current board members are:
- Roger Duncan (chairman), Research Fellow, University of Texas Energy Institute
- Isaac Barchas (treasurer), CEO, Translational Research
- Dr. Thomas Edgar (secretary), George T. and Gladys H. Abell Chair in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
- Carole Baker, Executive Director, Texas Water Foundation
- Callie Turley, Director, Clean Energy & Power Technology, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
- Debbie Kimberly, VP, Customer Energy Solutions, Austin Energy
- Jim Marston, VP, US Climate & Energy, Environmental Defense Fund