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Our team

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Aurora combines in-depth UK, German and EU policy experience with knowledge of academic research in energy, the environment, and finance.

Our directors and advisors define the company’s research agenda, in consultation with clients, and their expertise shapes Aurora’s forecasting models, analyses, and reports.

Bright economists, engineers, and programmers from the world’s best universities make up Aurora’s team. We think through the economics, and follow the evolution of policy meticulously, undertaking modelling and research to make it easy for our clients to answer the questions that matter for their organisations.

John Feddersen

Dr John Feddersen

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
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John Feddersen

Dr John Feddersen

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

John Feddersen is Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Aurora Energy Research.

Prior to co-founding Aurora, John advised major government and private sector clients with the Boston Consulting Group throughout Australia and South-East Asia. Earlier, John began his business career with Deutsche Bank.

John is a Visiting Fellow of the University of Oxford. His commentary and analysis regularly appears in major international press and he has published in leading peer-reviewed academic journals. John holds a first class honors degree in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Melbourne, and MPhil and DPhil degrees in Economics, awarded with the George Webb Medley Prize, from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Dieter Helm

Prof Dieter Helm

Director

Dieter Helm serves on Aurora’s Board of Directors. With his energy expertise, acquired during decades advising at the highest levels of business and government, he defines and guides the company’s research and analysis.

Dieter has published widely on energy, infrastructure, and climate change. Dieter’s latest book Burn Out – The Endgame for Fossil Fuels was published in March 2017 and The Carbon Crunch – Revised & Updated, was published in 2015 by Yale University Press. He is Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Oxford and a Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford.

Cameron Hepburn

Prof Cameron Hepburn

Director

Cameron Hepburn serves as Chair of Aurora’s Board of Directors.

He advises governments, corporations, and international institutions around the world (especially in the UK, EU, China and Australia) on energy, environment and climate policy.

His expertise helps shape the company’s environmental economics research. He has had an entrepreneurial career, co-founding successful businesses in economics and energy and investing in social enterprises.

Cameron is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of New College, Oxford. He is also Professorial Research Fellow at London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute. Cameron has degrees in law and engineering, a doctorate in economics, and peer-reviewed publications in environmental economics, public policy, engineering, law, philosophy, and biology.

Ben Irons

Dr Ben Irons

Executive Director

Dr Benjamin Irons is an Executive Director at Aurora Energy Research where he leads the Commissioned Projects team. His primary focus is on UK power where he advises utilities, developers, financiers and government agencies on topics from strategy to valuation.

Ben also leads Aurora’s research into battery storage, peaking plants and demand side response. He has built a market-leading expert team who have acted as market advisers on numerous recent high profile transactions on both buy and sell side, debt and equity.

Prior to joining Aurora, Ben spent 6 years at McKinsey and Company in London, consulting on energy and sustainability, followed by 3 years at Centrica Energy as Director of Strategy where he played an active part in investment planning and management of energy assets including thermal and renewable generation, oil, gas and LNG.

Ben earned a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering in New Zealand, followed by an MPhil and DPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford.

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Colin Mayer

Prof Colin Mayer

Director

Colin Mayer is a Director of Aurora.

He is an expert on corporate finance, corporate governance and regulation, and has advised corporations, governments, and international agencies on these topics for nearly three decades. He is currently a member of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and the UK Government Natural Capital Committee.

Colin is the Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies at the Saïd Business School, Oxford, a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College and St Anne’s College, Oxford, and a Professorial Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford.

John Hood

Sir John Hood

Director

Sir John Hood advises Aurora on corporate governance and energy market dynamics.

He is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robertson Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of WPP, and as Chairman of Study Group Ltd and BMT Group. Since 2011, Sir John has served as Chair of the Rhodes Trustees and from 2004 until September 2009, he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

He was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland and has also been a director of a number of New Zealand-based companies, including the Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd and ASB Bank Limited, a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Previously Sir John served as Chairman of Tonkin & Taylor Ltd.

Rick van der Ploeg

Prof Rick van der Ploeg

Shareholder Advisor

Rick van der Ploeg works closely with Aurora’s team to model resource extraction and macroeconomic policy.

He is Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Research Director of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies. He is also Senior Research Fellow of New College, Oxford and Adjunct Professor at the VU University Amsterdam. Rick is a former financial spokesperson, Member of Parliament, and State Secretary of Education, Science and Culture in the Netherlands.

Rick is a macroeconomics and public finance scholar, but his current research interests are natural resources, energy and climate. He has advised the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD, the EU, and various national governments, and he is a board member of several profit and non-profit organisations.

Hugo Batten

Hugo Batten

Senior Project Manager, Commissioned Projects
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Hugo Batten

Hugo Batten

Senior Project Manager, Commissioned Projects

Hugo is a Senior Project Manager in Aurora’s consulting team. Hugo advises clients on all aspects of the UK power market – regulation, strategy, financing, and operational optimisation. He also has specialises in global gas markets.

While at Aurora, Hugo has:

  • Led a review of the development of ancillary services markets for a major UK infrastructure investor
  • Driven a major due diligence on a ~£10b energy commodity infrastructure asset
  • Authored Aurora’s report on the impact of Brexit on the UK energy industry
  • Led Aurora’s expansion of LNG modelling capabilities

Prior to Aurora, Hugo spent 6 years at McKinsey & Co where he worked as a Project Leader in energy and resources and spent time in the Sydney and New York offices.

Hugo undertook his undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne in Law, and completed an MBA and MPA at the University of Oxford.

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Florian Habermacher

Dr Florian Habermacher

Head of Modelling

As Head of Modelling, Florian leads the development of Aurora’s modelling capabilities, including:

  • Writing the first modelling framework for Aurora’s Great Britain power market model, AER ES-GB
  • Developing and applying Aurora’s ground-breaking capacity market algorithm, resulting in an internally consistent solution between dispatch and capacity decisions under complex rules for plant finances, balancing, and capacity markets
  • Developing Aurora’s European power market model AER ES-EU

Florian studied Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Lausanne. He wrote his PhD in Economics, Econometrics and Finance at University of St. Gallen, with a focus on theoretical on numerical models to assess the global and dynamic effects of regional climate policies. He was awarded a scholarship for the completion of his dissertation at the University of Oxford, where he worked at the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies (OxCarre). He has presented his work at more than 20 international conferences

Prior to joining Aurora, Florian spent four years working at the Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research, where he specialised in dynamic modelling of international energy markets and climate economics as well as public finance and political economy.

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Richard Howard

Richard Howard

Head of Research

Richard is the Head of Research and is responsible for managing and developing Aurora’s suit of market intelligence services.

Before joining Aurora he was a Director and Head of Energy and Environment at Policy Exchange, where he authored a number of influential reports on energy and environmental policy and regulation. Prior to that he was the Chief Economist at The Crown Estate.

Richard has a first class degree in Economics and an MSc in Environmental Policy.

Sebastian Just

Dr Sebastian Just

Head of Commercial

Sebastian is Head of Commercial and is responsible for developing and marketing Aurora’s market intelligence services.

Prior to joining Aurora, Sebastian spent 5 years working for Gazprom in Berlin, where he was responsible for Strategic Business Development. Prior to that he was a project leader at BCG and advised European utilities on strategic, organisational and operational issues.

Sebastian holds a PhD in energy economics from University of Duisburg-Essen. His research on short-term flexibility markets for electricity in Germany was published in Energy Economics and Journal of Regulatory Economics. He studied business administration at Leipzig Graduate School of Management.

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Manuel Koehler

Dr Manuel Koehler

Managing Director of Germany
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Manuel Koehler

Dr Manuel Koehler

Managing Director of Germany

Manuel leads Aurora’s German and Continental European activities and advises financial investors, utilities and policy makers on power and commodity markets.

While at Aurora, Manuel has:

  • Advised BEH on their 1.4 EUR billion acquisition of the market leading energy-from-waste company EEW in German
  • Advised on various multimillion EUR gas pipeline transactions in central Europe for Private equity investors and infrastructure funds
  • Quantified total system costs of coal-to-biomass conversions to support regulatory engagement for major power utility
  • Developed an investment strategy in decentral generation assets for infrastructure fund

Prior to joining Aurora, Manuel spent 5 years at McKinsey and Company in Berlin. Projects he led during his time at McKinsey include strategy development and valuation for a portfolio of lignite plants and mines in Eastern Germany, bidding strategies for wind offshore farms as well as a major research initiative on the impact of capacity mechanisms in the European power market.

Manuel studied Mathematics and Physics at the University of Gottingen, holds a PhD, magna cum laude, in Mathematics from the University of Gottingen and University of California, Berkeley where he studied as a Fulbright scholar.

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John Paul Whyatt

John Paul Whyatt

Chief Operating Officer
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John Paul Whyatt

John Paul Whyatt

Chief Operating Officer

John Paul Whyatt is the Chief Operating Officer of Aurora Energy Research.

After beginning his career as a consultant working primarily in Russia, John Paul spent 7 years in investment banking, initially covering Russian oil & gas majors at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and later joining Bear Stearns, where he became a Managing Director in telecoms and media. In 2005 he co-founded a Tanzanian agribusiness, originally conceived as a primary producer of biodiesel, which he and his partner grew in 10 years into the largest rice producer in East Africa.

John Paul has a BA in Philosophy and French from Oxford, and a MGA from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Thouron Scholar.

Mateusz Wronski

Mateusz Wronski

Head of Product Development
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Mateusz Wronski

Mateusz Wronski

Head of Product Development

Mateusz is the Head of Product Development at Aurora. He develops Aurora’s market intelligence services, including forecasts, strategic insight reports and Aurora’s data and analytics platform – EOS.

While at Aurora, Mateusz has:

  • Authored multiple market insight reports quoted in major media outlets, on topics spanning energy finance, decarbonisation of electricity, security of supply, gas and oil
  • Led Aurora’s influential research into critical policy issues including the Capacity Market design and interconnection support
  • Developed GB Power Market Forecast – Aurora’s flagship publication used by over 80% of GB electricity market participants
  • Led the design and development of EOS – Aurora’s data and analytics platform
  • Developed Aurora’s monthly research notes on electricity markets

Prior to joining Aurora Mateusz gained experience with UBS Investment Bank in London, where he was a member of the M&A Execution Team. Earlier, he began his career as a quantitative modeller for a London-based collateralised debt boutique.

Mateusz holds a BA degree in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford. Before Oxford he studied in Poland, where he was a Prime Minister scholar.

Lois Stamps

Lois Stamps

Acting Head of Operations
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Lois Stamps

Lois Stamps

Acting Head of Operations

Lois is Acting Head of Operations at Aurora and is responsible for the internal operation of the company, including HR, training and development, risk, compliance and governance.

Prior to joining Aurora, Lois worked with Accenture in London, where she specialised in the design and implementation of large-scale business management software and e-commerce projects.

Lois completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Warwick, where she graduated with first-class honours.

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Aurora provides profound insight, understanding and analysis of the economics of energy markets