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How did you get your start at NYSERDA?

I was working as a process engineer at General Electric when I first heard about NYSERDA and the FlexTech program that provided cost shared energy studies to commercial and industrial customers. As a mechanical engineer from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an interest in energy systems, I thought NYSERDA may offer an opportunity to grow and try a different approach to engineering. NYSERDA is still offering me different ways to apply myself after 13 years.

What are your primary work duties?

Mark Gundrum

Mark Gundrum

Currently, my primary responsibilities are managing the Fuel-NY Back-Up Power Program and the Fuel-NY Portable Emergency Generator Program. These programs were created after Superstorm Sandy to help increase the resiliency of New York’s fuel distribution infrastructure.  I work with many colleagues to successfully execute these programs.

What has been the most challenging or exciting project you have been involved with?

The Fuel-NY Portable Emergency Generator program is the most challenging project to date. This program will provide portable emergency generators to gas stations during a declared fuel emergency. It will require considerable coordination between NYSERDA, the gas stations that need assistance and various state agencies such as Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the Governor’s office. This is a very different mission then the other programs that I have worked on while at NYSERDA and is proving to be both challenging and rewarding.

What do you think you will be doing in five years?

As a project manager at NYSERDA, I never imagined I’d be learning about emergency response procedures and managing a program designed to respond, in a safe and efficient manner, to a fuel emergency in the aftermath of a disaster. This is an example of the variety of opportunities that are available here and although I don’t know exactly what I will be doing in five years, I know I will continue to embrace new challenges and opportunities to learn.

What is the one thing you would like to tell about yourself?

SCUBA diving and underwater photography are my passion. My goal is to SCUBA dive in each of the 5 oceans. So far I have been in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans; three down, two more to go.

What were the best vacations you have taken?

I have had two great SCUBA diving vacations that come to mind.

The first was in North Carolina diving on a shipwreck that was surrounded with huge schools of small, silver fish. As I swam towards the back on the boat, the school of fish parted as I passed through them. As I reached the end of the school, I was face to face with 14 foot sand tiger shark.

The second was taking a 10 day trip and living on the dive boat while exploring the shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon in Micronesia. Truk Lagoon was the site of a major World War II naval battle in February 1942. Being able to dive such a historic site and exploring the various shipwrecks provided a very unique view into history.

What would you say to someone considering applying for a position at NYSERDA?

I would say that since I started at NYSERDA, the organization has grown considerably. NYSERDA is an organization where the people are the strongest asset. The people I get to work with care about each other and the work they do each day.