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Advisory board


Chris Laursen
Power Plant EPC expert

Chris Laursen is the Owner of Byers Peak Power Consultants, LLC, which provides management consulting to the power generation industry.

In 2013, Chris retired as Chief Executive Officer of Quanta Power Generation. 


Quanta Power Generation is an EPC contractor for utility scale solar and gas fired power generation projects, and a subsidiary of Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR), a $5 billion specialty contractor. Prior to his tenure with Quanta, Laursen worked for Shaw Power, Gibbs & Hill, and Stone & Webster, all EPC contractors in the power generation industry.


Chris has 40 years’ of global experience in the engineering, design and construction of large-scale utility power plants, including coal fired, gas fired, geothermal, solar, and nuclear.  He has a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from City College of New York and is a registered professional engineer in the State of New York.

Charlie Gay
Solar Industry expert

Dr. Gay began his career in 1974 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, Inc. and later joined ARCO Solar, where he established the R&D program and led commercialization of crystalline silicon photovoltaics. 


In 1990, Dr. Gay became president and chief operating officer of Siemens Solar Industries. From 1994 to 1997, he served as director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the world’s leading laboratory for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and technology.


In 1997, Dr. Gay was president and CEO of ASE Americas, Inc., and in 2001 became chairman of the technical advisory board at SunPower Corporation.  He joined Applied Materials in 2006 as corporate vice president and general manager of the Solar Business Group.  


In 2009 he was named president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council at Applied Materials, Inc.  As such, he was responsible for positioning the Company’s clean energy efforts with important manufacturers in the solar industry and particularly governments around the world.

Geoffery Merszei
Chairman and Chief Executive
Zolentis AG

Geoffery E. Merszei is Chairman and co-founder of Zolentis, a global investment and advisory firm based in Zug, Switzerland.


Geoffery brings with him close to 40 years of experience in the Industrial sector. He held several Top Executive positions in Fortune 50 corporations, leaders in their respective industrial activities. He brings considerable experience in executive business leadership and corporate finance.


In 2013, Geoffery founded Zolentis, a company that focuses on investing in and developing businesses in the Advanced Materials and Specialty Chemicals sectors.


Geoffery’s career spanned more than 30 years with The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) where he held various senior leadership positions across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.


In 2001, Geoffery left Dow to be the Chief Financial Officer of Alcan Inc.


He returned to Dow in July 2005 as its Chief Financial Officer. He was appointed to Dow’s Board from 2005 to 2009 and was its Lead Director on the Board of Dow Corning Corporation. 

Dr. Sjoblom 
Professor of Financial Management at IMD

Dr. Sjoblom has over 22 years of teaching experience in a diverse number of roles, which include open enrollment and company-tailored executive education programs. He was Director of the Program for Executive Development (PED) from 2001-2003 and Director of the Building on Talent Program from 2005-2008.


Dr Sjoblom is currently co-director of the Foundations for Business Leadership program. His international experience includes his current high-level engagement across the African continent, where he is a member of the Advisory Board of EMPRETEC Africa Forum, UNCTAD, Regional Editor (Africa) of Emerald Emerging Markets Case Journal, Editorial Board, IMA Educational Case Journal.


Dr. Sjoblom is also the author of numerous journal publications. He holds a Ph.D from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Bachelor of Laws (Llb, Hons) from the University of London, International Programs, and is a qualified Chartered Financial Analyst and Management Accountant. 

Prof. Ayensu 
International advisor on science, technology and economic development

Prof. Ayensu is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Ghana and the President of the Energy Globe Foundation. He was formerly Chairman of the World Bank Inspection Panel; Chairman of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Ghana; Senior Advisor to the President and Director of Central Projects Department, African Development Bank and President of the Pan-African Union for Science and Technology. He was a Director and Senior Scientist during his 20 years at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.


Prof. Ayensu obtained his doctorate from the University of London, and was appointed a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University. He is twice the recipient of the Ghana National Science Award and was the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award of the United States National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution.


A prolific writer and photographer, Prof. Ayensu has authored many books and published numerous scientific and technical papers. 

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