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PhePhe George-Mosbey

In 2009, Frank Pena and Ed Bell envisioned a program to teach students the natural gas industry in totality from wellhead to burner tip. Pena, having developed an Energy Trading & Risk Management system for some of today’s major natural gas trading companies and Bell, who has consulted with many of these same companies, saw the value of developing a course to teach the industry. Students who took this class would be able to contribute to companies more quickly than standard recruits without this knowledge, who typically take 6 to 12 months to be of value to a corporation.

In order to create a class that would teach the fundamentals of the natural gas industry at the university level, Pena worked with Bell and created the Energy Trading Systems course at the University of Houston. For over a decade, students have grasped how to transact and move gas around the network, using GasPro (a real-industry ETRM system designed by Frank Pena himself and donated by Rise Services).

Beginning from a class hosting a humble 18 students, Rise’s Energy Trading Systems course has grown to a record high of 260 students as of this Fall 2020 semester. These numbers are impressive, but even more so when you learn that this course draws over 250+ students each weekend as it is taught as Saturday sessions beginning at 9 A.M.


Today, the success of this course has spurred an expansion from the university setting into an easy-to-use online learning platform called Ascend. This online learning component was created in order to familiarize a broader base of undergraduate and graduate students with the energy business processes related to physical & financial commodity trading, scheduling, risk analysis, controls & compliance, and accounting.

Ascend focuses on providing students all over the world with the knowledge and skill sets that will make them an asset to their future employer from day one. By teaching and familiarizing students with the terminology, key players, mechanisms and processes essential to this industry, Ascend is the catalyst to get students from where they are now to where they would like to be in this ever evolving and dynamic industry.

If you would like to find out more about Rise’s educational offerings visit our website at https://www.risesolutions.net/education.