Charles L. “Chuck” Karr, Ph.D.
University of Alabama, College of Engineering, Dean
Dr. Charles L. “Chuck” Karr is a three-time graduate of the University of Alabama, completing his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1984 and his master’s and doctorate in engineering mechanics in 1987 and 1989, respectively. After receiving his doctorate, he spent seven years working as a research engineer with the U.S. Bureau of Mines, Tuscaloosa Research Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
While working at the Bureau, Karr maintained a relationship with UA by serving as a part-time instructor in both the engineering mechanics and the aerospace engineering departments. He joined the faculty full time in 1995 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor and then professor. He was named dean of the College in 2005.
Considered a leading expert in the area of intelligent systems, Karr is the author of three books and 20 book chapters, and he has published 44 refereed journal articles and more than 90 conference papers. He has become widely known for his pioneering work in combining genetic algorithms and fuzzy logic, and he has successfully applied these techniques in the aerospace, mineral processing, manufacturing and steel industries. In addition, he holds four international patents in the area of intelligent systems for locating the sources of radio signals.
Karr has received several awards and has been involved with numerous professional societies. He was the Engineer of the Year for the U.S. Bureau of Mines, Tuscaloosa Research Center in 1990, and the Young Scientist of the Year for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration’s Industrial Minerals Division in 1991. He received the Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration’s Mineral and Metallurgical Processing Division in 1993, and he was named the Bureau of Mines Technology Transfer Person of the Year in 1993. In 2005, he received the T. Morris Hackney Faculty Leadership Award from the College.
Since beginning his career at the University, Karr has consistently been recognized for his teaching abilities, winning the Charles Henry Ratcliff Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Engineering Mechanics Teaching five times, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (UA chapter) Outstanding Faculty Member Award twice. He has been actively involved with the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, the Society of Photo‐Optical Instrumentation Engineers, the American Filtration Society and the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society.
Corey A. Tyree, Ph.D.
Director of Energy & Environment, Analytics and Strategic Growth
Dr. Tyree directs a team of scientists, engineers, and technicians focused on innovative technology solutions for clean energy, clean air, and clean water. His Southern Research team 1) develops new technology, 2) independently evaluates other’s technology, and 3) provides consulting services. His areas of expertise include: water research, 4th generation nuclear, combustion, carbon capture, and gas cleanup. Tyree has 14 years of diverse experience working in capacities ranging from R&D to engineering, and from power plant management to business development.
Prior to joining Southern Research, Dr. Tyree was the Engineering Manager at Georgia Power Company’s Plant Wansley and then later at Plant Bowen, two large coal-fired power plants in the Atlanta area. In those positions, he oversaw $30-50 million annual capital budgets that included projects designed to improve plant reliability and performance. He also served as the capital budget sponsor for Georgia Power where he led a prioritization process and development of a budget totaling $2.5 billion. As manager, he implemented numerous initiatives to improve organization performance; e.g. developed new project management process, implemented improved Root Cause Analysis program, and redefined responsibilities of engineering staff.
Dr. Tyree also worked as a Principal Engineer for Southern Company in Birmingham, Alabama. There he led an R&D program focused on technology development for the control of coal-fired power plant emissions. His efforts focused on the control of NOx, SOx, mercury, selenium, metals, particulate, and wastewater. His primary focus was mercury emissions control; an effort that culminated in the co-development of a ~$5 billion technology strategy designed to comply with EPA’s new MATS regulation. In addition to technology development and strategy, he played an important role in representing industry during the rule-making process, which included working with industry peers to identify major errors in EPA’s draft rule.
His scientific record includes peer-reviewed publications, magazine articles, and presentations on a wide range of topics, ranging from mathematical solutions to mercury control, and from nanoparticle synthesis to sea salt aerosols. He has been invited to speak worldwide on electric utility related issues and actively consults on energy and environmental issues.
Dr. Tyree received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Arizona State University.
C. James (Jim) Sullivan, III
President, The Sullivan Group
Jim Sullivan is president of The Sullivan Group, a utility consulting firm servicing the utility and other industries with regulatory and strategic counseling. Prior to founding the Sullivan Group in 2008, Mr. Sullivan served as the President of the Alabama Public Service Commission for 25 years. During Jim’s public service career, he served as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (1998-1999); organized the inaugural international World Forum on Energy Regulation (2000); and established the NARUC Education and Research Foundation (2001). Jim also served as a director of the University of Chicago’s Board of Governors for the Argonne National Laboratory (2002-2007) and on the advisory boards of the Keystone Energy Board (1997-2003), the Electric Power Research Institute (2001-2005) and Nuclear Electric Insurance, Ltd. (1995-2001). Jim currently serves as a board member of the Empire District Electric Company and Glenwood, a nonprofit Autism and Behavioral Health Center in Alabama.
Before entering government service in 1983, Jim managed his family’s retail furniture business and became a successful building contractor and real estate developer.
Jim graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and holds a Master of Arts in Banking and Finance and a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar.
Jim and his wife, Toody, reside in Birmingham, Alabama. They have four grown children and nine grandchildren.
Dr. Steven E. Taylor
Auburn University, Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, Director
Dr. Steven E. Taylor, P.E., is a Professor, Associate Dean of Research, Head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Director of the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts at Auburn University. As Center Director, he leads multidisciplinary research and outreach programs dedicated to deploying a viable biorefining industry in the region. As academic Department Head, he leads education, research, and extension/outreach efforts that solve engineering challenges in biological systems, natural resources, and the environment. Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on development of advanced logistics systems for harvesting, transporting, and processing forest biomass as well as thermochemical systems that convert forest and herbaceous biomass to renewable electrical power, liquid fuels, and high-value chemicals. He currently serves as on the leadership team of the Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems, which is a multimillion dollar university-industry consortium funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture focused on a biofuel and biobased products industry in the southeast U.S. Dr. Taylor is a Fellow in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and he is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alabama.
Oliver D. Kingsley, Jr.
Associate Dean for Special Projects
Auburn University College of Engineering
Oliver Kingsley is a retired utility executive. Mr. Kingsley is currently the Associate Dean for Special Projects in the Office of the Dean for the Auburn University College of Engineering.
From February 2002 through November 2004, Mr. Kingsley was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Exelon Corporation, and President of Exelon Generation. He directed the operations of Exelon Nuclear, Exelon Power, Exelon Power Team, Exelon Energy Delivery, and Exelon’s interests in other generation operations.
Exelon Generation operates a generation fleet of nuclear, fossil, and hydro stations in six states, with a capacity of 28,000 MW. Exelon Generation’s nuclear fleet is the largest in the United States and the third largest in the world. Exelon Energy Delivery has the largest electricity customer base in the U.S., serving more than 3.4 million electricity customers in Northern Illinois through Commonweath Edison, and about 1.5 million electricity and 430,000 natural gas customers in Southeastern Pennsylvania through PECO Energy.
From October 2000 through February 2002, Mr. Kingsley was President and Chief Nuclear Officer of Exelon Nuclear, which operates ten stations (17 reactors) with a capacity of 17,000 MW – nearly 20% of the U.S. nuclear generation capacity. Mr. Kingsley was also Chairman of the Management Committee of AmerGen Energy Company, a partnership between Exelon and British Energy, which owns and operates nuclear plants.
Exelon Nuclear was created on October 20, 2000, the effective date of the merger of Unicom and PECO. Exelon Nuclear established itself as an industry leader. It set U.S. industry records for refueling outage duration, overall production costs, and set new generation records for the combined fleet and nuclear industry.
Mr. Kingsley joined Unicom the parent company of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) in November 1997 as President and Chief Nuclear Officer of its Nuclear Generation Group, then the largest nuclear program in the United States. Under Mr. Kingsley’s leadership, the ComEd Nuclear Generation Group (NGG) made rapid progress in turning around a troubled nuclear power program. Quad Cities and LaSalle units were returned to service, and in 1999, for the first time in 9 years, all ComEd units were under normal NRC oversight. In 1999, the NGG set a record for electrical generation, with a capacity factor 20% higher than the previous best. As a result of high capacity and increased efficiency, production costs were reduced more than 40%.
From 1988 to 1997, Mr. Kingsley served as Chief Nuclear Officer for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and as Executive Vice President responsible for all power generation. Mr. Kingsley was responsible for the turnaround in the operation of the TVA nuclear power plants which resulted in normal NRC oversight and for the licensing of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, Unit 1. While at TVA Kingsley led several initiatives partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These initiatives were directed to solve strategic issues important to the DOE. Most notable of these were the generation of tritium at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant and the use of enriched uranium from various DOE facilities in TVA nuclear power plants. From 1985 to 1988 Mr. Kingsley served as Vice President of Nuclear Operations for Middle South Utilities. From 1971 to 1984 he held various positions in nuclear management of the Southern Company including Plant Manager of the Farley Nuclear Plant, Assistant Manager of Nuclear Generation, Manager of Nuclear Engineering & Technical Support and Director of Nuclear Support. From 1966 to 1971 he served as an officer in the United States Navy Nuclear Submarine Force.
Upon his retirement in November 2004 from Exelon Corporation, Mr. Kingsley served on the Board of Directors for McDermott International, Babcock & Wilcox, and NextEra Energy. He is currently retired from these organizations.
Mr. Kingsley is a 1966 graduate of Auburn University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering physics with honors. Kingsley was recognized formally by Auburn University with receipt of the College of Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award, the National Alumni Association Award for Lifetime Achievement and was presented an honorary doctorate from the University in December, 2009. He held several industry leadership positions, including membership on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, the Executive Committee of the Nuclear Energy Institute, and the Board of Governors of the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Mr. Kingsley served as President of the World Association of Nuclear Operators from October 2005 until September 2007. In June 2000, he was awarded the Walter Zinn Award of the American Nuclear Society, recognizing his leadership in nuclear power. In February 2003, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Mr. Kingsley is credited with having revolutionized the U.S. Nuclear industry. In October 2003, he received the World Association of Nuclear Operators’ Nuclear Excellence Award, in which he was cited for his leadership that has transformed troubled nuclear power organizations into top performers that sustain excellence. In 2004, Mr. Kingsley was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. In May 2007, Mr. Kingsley received the William S. Lee award given by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the highest award given for the civilian nuclear power industry. Mr. Kingsley was recognized for his lifetime achievement and contribution to the nuclear industry success. On August 11, 2015, Holtec International conferred the “Energy Statesman” Award on Mr. Kingsley, the Legendary Nuclear Industry Leader.
Mr. Kingsley is a native on Ozark, Alabama. He was married almost 47 years to Sally Yeaman Kingsley; Mrs. Kingsley passed away in June 2014. He has four children, Amy Hayworth, Betsey Johns, Abby Kingsley, and Benjamin Kingsley and five grandchildren, Luke Hayworth, Sam Hayworth, Will Hayworth, Jacob Johns, and Kingsley Anne Johns. Mr. Kingsley resides in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama.