Program

Gordon Fellow 2013
MS in Energy Systems

Company

Cypress Creek Renewables

Position

Sr. Director of Zoning - Development

Bryanna Glod Ocitti is a 2013 Northeastern University Gordon Fellow who grew up in rural western Massachusetts where solar power and biodiesel are common energy solutions. Because of this, renewable energy has always been a part of her life. We recently caught up with Bryanna to talk about her time at Northeastern and the Gordon Institute, and to find out where her engineering career has taken her since graduation. Here is what she had to say.

My passion for renewable energy as a career path was ignited during my undergraduate studies, where I presented two seminars on biodiesel as part of the B.S. in Biochemistry degree requirements at Stonehill College. After graduating in 2006, I developed my technical abilities in the Pharma industry at Genzyme Corporation in the Bioanalytical Development Department, while at the same time searching for the unique graduate program that would support my transition into the renewable energy space.

In 2011, I found the perfect fit in the multidisciplinary M.S. in Energy Systems program, coupled with the Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership program, both offered at Northeastern University. Unlike most programs, these focused on preparing students with the skills necessary for successful energy system implementation – including technical/engineering, policy, business, project management, and leadership skills. I hoped that these combined programs would accelerate my transition into the renewable energy field as well as my ability to make a positive impact on global climate change.

The Challenge Project I completed through the Gordon Engineering Program was one of the most rewarding experiences for me during my time at Northeastern. During my yearlong Challenge Project, I applied my technical engineering, business, and leadership skills at Harvest Power, an organic waste processing and renewable energy company based out of Boston. As the project leader, I designed and executed a process optimization-based project, which involved implementing experiments in California and Ontario, developing models, and collaborating with more than 50 internal and external (vendors, nonprofits, and government agencies) team members, none of whom directly reported to me. Ultimately, I established process improvement measures to avoid costs and lost revenues in excess of $5M and was able to achieve buy-in from all levels of management.

Dharamsala, India

Following the completion of my graduate studies at Northeastern in August of 2013 I took some time off to pursue international travel. Shortly after, I secured a position as Project Development Analyst at Cypress Creek Renewables, a young solar development startup out of Santa Monica, CA. As a result of my education and professional experiences I was quickly able to take on a leadership role in the development of systems and processes that would contribute to the company’s ability to rapidly scale. My leadership, project management, and problem solving skills positioned me well to take the lead of a small team focused on securing land use approvals required for construction. I especially attribute my negotiation and persuasion skills, initiative, and ability to lead from the middle of the organization as keys to my success at Cypress Creek Renewables. I am now Senior Director of Zoning – Development at Cypress and am excited for a bright future ahead.

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The National Academy of Engineering awarded the Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership the prestigious 2015 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education.

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