Gorecki selected to lead UND EERC

Charles Gorecki will succeed current CEO Tom Erickson beginning Aug. 1

Charles Gorecki, director of subsurface research and development with the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center for the past four years, will succeed Tom Erickson as EERC CEO beginning Aug. 1. Photo by Kari Suedel/EERC.

Charles Gorecki today was named CEO of the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) by UND Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas DiLorenzo.

Gorecki has been with the EERC for 12 years, the last four of which were as director of subsurface research and development. He succeeds current CEO Tom Erickson, who is stepping down to lead the State Energy Research Center (SERC) initiative at the EERC. Gorecki will begin his duties as CEO on Aug. 1.

“The EERC is near and dear to my heart,” Gorecki said. “It’s provided me with the opportunity to learn, to thrive and develop into who I am today.”

From the left, Tom Erickson, current EERC CEO, Provost Tom DiLorenzo and Charles Gorecki, who will become the EERC’s new CEO on Aug. 1. Photo by Kari Suedel/EERC.

DiLorenzo met with EERC employees and external clients and stakeholders over the last several weeks to determine the best path forward for the EERC after Erickson announced June 11 that he would transition to a new position with SERC.

“I am truly excited to accept this new role as CEO,” said Gorecki. “The strength of the EERC is, and always has been, the people and the team. It is an honor to lead this team and continue to build on our success.”

In making the announcement before EERC employees Tuesday afternoon, DiLorenzo and Erickson said that after consulting with people inside and outside the the center, it became obvious to both of them that Gorecki was the right choice.

“I’ve been here for 33 years now, and I’ve seen a lot of what’s worked and what hasn’t worked,” said Erickson, who added that DiLorenzo welcomed his input.

Charles Gorecki is congratulated by EERC staff after being introduced as the center’s new CEO. Photo by Kari Suedel/EERC.

“The EERC has had tremendous success the last five years,” DiLorenzo noted. “Meeting with many of the staff and the leadership team, it became clear that Charlie was in a position to take the EERC on from here to great things. It was an easy decision in the end to appoint him.”

Gorecki believes his knowledge of the EERC and his relationship with Erickson will make the transition to new roles easier for both of them.

Charles Gorecki

“I think it will be a great fit,” he explained. “Tom’s worked very hard from the day he became the CEO of the EERC to create what is today the State Energy Research Center. It’s a natural progression and something he’s been passionate about since he’s been the CEO.”

Gorecki began his career with the EERC as a research engineer in 2007, working on carbon dioxide storage, enhanced oil recovery-related projects and reservoir engineering. He then served as a research manager and senior research manager, leading the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership (PCOR) program. This multi-million-dollar program focused on assessing the technical and economic feasibility of capturing and storing CO2 emissions from stationary sources in the northern Great Plains. He was part of the EERC leadership team for the last four years.

Gorecki served in the Minnesota and North Dakota Army National Guard for nine years. He’s a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed to Iraq with 141st Engineer Battalion’s Company B out of Jamestown, N.D. He holds a B.S. degree in geological engineering from UND.

Gorecki thanked the provost and the EERC leadership team for their confidence in selecting him to lead the center. He pledged to continue to strengthen relationships within the EERC, with UND, within the state and both nationally and internationally.

“I realize that I have much to learn from all of you as I take on this role, but I am thankful to have Tom as a mentor and continuing on here in a new role,” he told EERC employees.

The State Energy Research Center established by the North Dakota Legislature earlier this year will operate at the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center to conduct research aimed at developing the state’s energy resources cleanly and efficiently. Image courtesy of EERC.

Access to experts

Under an initiative passed by the North Dakota Legislature earlier this year, research conducted through SERC is intended to facilitate the development and use of the state’s energy resources in a clean, efficient manner. The EERC will provide access to energy experts who provide timely scientific and engineering studies in support of North Dakota’s interests. SERC will also engage in education and outreach activities related to energy resources.

SERC will receive $5 million per biennium to conduct exploratory, transformational and innovative research that advances future energy opportunities to benefit North Dakota’s economy and environment. Under the legislation, 1 percent of oil and gas production and oil extraction tax revenues are allocated to fund SERC.