Clean Energy Transactions Manager Gearóid Maher graduated from the MSc in 2010. Here he talks to us about his job, some of the things he loves, some which he loves to hate and his memories of the Sustainable Energy Futures course.
What is your job title?
Clean Energy Transactions Manager at Legal & General Capital
What do you actually do?
Legal & General is one of the largest pension fund managers in the UK & I work at LGC, the principal balance sheet part of the group . My job is to help LGC find, analyse and make investments in Clean Energy entrepreneurs, projects and businesses. For example, last year LGC invested in a wind energy development company, committing over €100m to be used to fund construction of onshore wind farms in the UK & Ireland. I will be working on investing more of L&G’s balance sheet into Clean Energy ventures in the next few years in both the UK and farther afield.
What is the most interesting thing about your job?
I get to meet lots of bright and talented energy industry entrepreneurs as part of my job, analyse their business plans and work closely with some of them get the investment they need to take their clean energy ventures forward. At a high level, it is all very interesting, and helps me to keep a helicopter view of some of the more innovative stuff happening in the sector.
Where are you if you are not in your office/lab/field?
I am a keen cyclist and spend a good bit of weekend time on my road bike outside of London.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Elon Musk. Engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and current CEO of Tesla Motors & Solar City amongst other cool ventures. Ambitious, clever, visionary, and a do-er, how could you not admire him?
What’s your favourite film?
What or who would you consign to room 101?
Christopher Booker, a climate skeptic journalist with the Telegraph. It makes me sad that they still print his articles! I’d like to put Trump in there too before he tries to back the United States out of the Paris Agreement.
What would your super power be?
Mind reading could be pretty handy.
Who would play you in the film of your life story?
Owen Wilson, or someone else with a good sense of humour.
How would you like to be remembered?
Someone who works hard, is passionate about energy & climate change, but at the same time doesn’t take things too seriously.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
Almost all of your problems start and end in your own head.
What is your favourite memory of your MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures?
The whole class being “ice-d” by course director Andy Heyes on graduation day stands out, along with our trip to Electric Mountain in Wales.
How did your studies prepare you for your future career?
A few months after the MSc I landed a job at EDF Energy in the Corporate Strategy team, and from there I have gone a couple of interesting other things since. The knowledge I picked up on different energy technologies, energy policy and economics were more or less perfect intro material for my first job and I still find myself digging out my notes from time to time six years later. The group assignments are also fantastic preparation for working as part of a team in an office / lab that many other graduates simply have to learn on the job.
Are you still in touch with any of the people you studied with?
Yes, absolutely. I live in London so staying in touch is easy. There are a couple of classmates knocking around that I see every couple of weeks. I’ve also had the pleasure of working both with and across the table from some others SEF-ers,which is good fun.
How would you sum up your time at on the MSc in SEF in three words?
Eye-opening, enjoyable and engrossing.