Texas Tech University

MBA Students Lead Smart-Energy Research for IBM on International Project

April 27, 2011

Texas Tech MBA Students travel to United Kingdom, focus on green energy programs and initiatives

Texas Tech has partnered with IBM and the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom to lead a research project that seeks to study a relatively new concept of "smart energy," which encourages consumers to take energy conservation initiatives by generating their own energy and then sell back the excess to the grid. The project team, comprised of five MBA students under the direction of Dr. Mayukh Dass, are jointly studying the acceptance and impact of residential micro-generation systems (such as solar-powered technologies and micro turbines) on the public's understanding and adoption of green initiatives and technologies.

The project first seeks to gauge consumers' energy consumption habits and knowledge of available energy resource programs and then identify the motivations that will encourage consumers to adopt energy efficient solutions.

"We need better understand the consumers', as well as suppliers', level of awareness towards energy efficiency so that companies like IBM are able to provide customers with energy efficient technologies," said faculty advisor and Assistant Professor of Marketing, Mayukh Dass. "We must be able to identify the motivations which will encourage them to adopt energy efficient solutions."

Project participants from Texas Tech travelled to the United Kingdom in January 2011 where they were able to work with University of Hertfordshire MBA students to analyze and compare major factors that IBM might face when presented with an internationally diverse customer base with varying levels of awareness and knowledge about green energy programs and initiatives. The UK-based participants are scheduled to travel to Lubbock in May, where both parties will conclude their research and present their findings to IBM executives in Dallas.

Dr. Dass is confident that the program will garner the attention of other organizations looking to further their research in developing sectors with academic help.

"The project is really a win-win scenario for all participants involved," explained Dass. "Not only is it a great opportunity for Texas Tech MBA students to gain real-world experience in a rapidly changing industry; but also an opportunity for the companies to get help with invaluable research from the service aspect of our university."

For more on the "Smart Energy" project including up-to-date research findings, please visit http://smartenergy.ba.ttu.edu/