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Q&A: School of Energy Resources Director Holly Krutka

January 24, 2022
woman standing outside in front of a building
Holly Krutka in front of the Energy Innovation Center.

In March, a scientist and administrator who spent much of her career advancing carbon capture took the reins as director of the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources (SER). Holly Krutka most recently served as vice president for coal generation and emissions technologies with Peabody. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to Peabody, Krutka served as a senior research and development analyst for Tri-State Generation and Transmission; as executive editor of Cornerstone, the official journal of the world coal industry; and as a research scientist and senior research engineer with ADA Environmental Solutions.

 

What drew you to this job at SER?

First and foremost, the people I already knew from SER convinced me to apply. They are well respected in the research community and also individuals who are humble, respectful and dedicated to a common cause—impacting the state in which they live for the better. The group is particularly strong in the field of carbon capture, use and storage—a technology class about which I am particularly passionate and with which I’ve been engaged my entire career. It is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I’m grateful every day for the chance to make a lasting, tangible impact.

 

What are your goals as director?

Our mission at SER is energy-driven economic development for Wyoming. My central goal as executive director is to keep the team focused on this mission and give them the support and resources they need to deliver for the state. More specifically, I want our team to support development of a commercial CO2 capture project. That technology is ready to be demonstrated at the commercial level. Another goal is the near-term demonstration of a novel process that creates non-energy products from Wyoming coal. In addition, we aim to identify emerging energy-research areas that could be particularly helpful for the state, such as hydrogen production, transportation and storage; rare earth elements and critical minerals; and much more.

In addition, I would also like to increase the focus on collaborative academic offerings to educate more students around critical energy issues. SER’s undergraduate major and its two concentrations are highly interdisciplinary, and our graduates have outstanding placement outcomes. Now we are offering a minor as well.

 

What do you love about Wyoming? 

I love so much about Wyoming. I love that there’s no traffic, that I feel safe, that folks are respectful and down to earth and that people here want to be here. Most of all, despite my busy life,

I love that Wyoming uniquely gives me the chance to slow down and be in the great outdoors with my family. Moving here from a larger city, I am deeply appreciative of all Wyoming has to offer.

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