Employee Spotlight: Dr. Mark Shipham

Dr. Mark Shipham, Amperon’s Chief Meteorologist, is one of our key assets. We like to say that he’s one of the best predictors of extreme weather events in America — earlier this year, Mark predicted more hurricanes than any of the major meteorologist services in the country, and he was still too low. 2020 has seen the most hurricanes since the official season began in the 1960s. Weather events continue to get more frequent and extreme, and these extreme events dictate the type of grid changes utility companies need to be wary of. And that’s why you need to listen to a meteorologist like Mark.

Mark has nearly forty years of experience to back up his predictions, with a PhD in atmospheric chemistry and climatology and experience at companies like NASA and Dominion Energy. He’s also acted as the meteorologist at companies including Morgan Stanley and E.ON — and he was the fourth employee at Amperon. “I’m an expert only after many years of practice, practice, practice,” he explains.

At Amperon, Mark starts each day reading up on the weather and supplies our team with updates that we use in our own data modeling. He also provides daily updates to clients. “I’m working by around 6am eastern, and if the weather is active, I’ll spend an hour or two reading through the reports,” he says. “Weather models and new reports never cease. I look to see what governments are saying, what other vendors are saying, get through an overload of info, and send out our morning email summary.”

We operate in both PJM and ERCOT, and Mark has the unique ability to easily switch between the two. “ERCOT is all about summer and tropics, PJM is all about Winter and the polar vortex,” he explains. “It can get hot in ERCOT, but it might never snow in Houston, but it will snow many times in the Western part of PJM. They’re two different needs.”

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