Meet our Leaders

Pictured from left to right: Vena Kostroun, Sean Burrows, & Gary Dorris

Ascend Analytics is an innovative software and consulting company at the forefront of the renewable energy transition. Founded in 2002, we are rapidly growing and have organically grown to a staff of 100.  Our solutions are used by well over a 100 energy companies engaged in transforming power supply in North America and Europe. Ascend is owned and managed by a seasoned team with decades of software and energy expertise.

Gary Dorris, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder of Ascend Analytics

Gary Dorris, Ph.D

CEO & Co-Founder

Dr. Dorris has been a pioneer of innovative solutions for energy risk management and portfolio planning for over two decades.

For the past 20 years, Dr.Dorris has led the organic growth of Ascend to an industry-leading 100 person energy analytics software and consulting company. He has been a pioneer of innovative solutions for modeling power markets to support real-time operations, portfolio management, and resource planning for over two decades. His expertise is highly sought after to provide board of director presentations, expert testimony on risk management, asset valuation, and resource planning, including acting as the lead expert witness for Merrill Lynch in the prominent Enron proceedings. He has performed independent market assessment to support over $30 billion dollars in project financing. He has been an advisor to multiple Boards of Directors.

Prior to founding Ascend, Dr.Dorris served as CEO of e-Acumen, a 60-person energy analytics software firm. He began his career developing structured power transactions at Citizens Power & Light.

Dr. Dorris holds a PhD in applied economics and finance from Cornell University, a BS in mechanical engineering, and a BA in economics with magna cum laude distinction, also from Cornell University.

Sean Burrows, PhD, CTO & Co-Founder of Ascend Analytics

Sean Burrows, Ph.D.

CTO & Co-Founder

Dr. Burrows has two decades of energy analytics experience developing technology solutions and software for energy trading and risk management

Dr. Burrows led the initial development of the simulation engine of Ascend's PowerSIMM software. He presently manages the operations of Ascend's computing infrastructure, including Software as a Service, while also contributing to technical advances in PowerSIMM. With his primary knowledge in simulation modeling, he continues to contribute to supporting model advancements.

He has previously led technical development over a large range of activities from complex statistical models to managing extremely large data structures. He also has broad experience in statistics, computer management, database management, and application development.

Dr. Burrows holds PhD and MS degrees from the University of Wisconsin and a BS from Cornell University.

Vena Kostroun, Senior Vice President of Development & Co-Founder of Ascend Analytics

Vena Kostroun

Senior Vice President of Development & Co-Founder

Mr. Kostroun has over two decades of experience developing high-end analytic and software tools of energy trading and risk management and electric resource planning.

Mr. Kostroun has successfully grown Ascend's PowerSIMM development team to include a rich depth of experience, breadth of skills, and high degree of innovation with strong focus on delivery. He previously worked as Senior Consultant at Nexant, Inc., where he led software development of PRYM for asset valuation and physical risk management of generating assets. Prior to Nexant, he served as technical lead and manager of the AcuPower analytics team at e-Acumen, Inc.

His areas of expertise include: backend mathematical modeling, software design and architecture, building and management of software engineering teams, and complex optimization and stochastic modeling.

Mr. Kostroun holds a MS in physics from the University of California at Berkeley and holds a BS in physics from Cornell University with cum laude distinction.

Carlos Blanco, Managing Director of Analytic Solutions, Ascend Analytics

Carlos Blanco

Managing Director of Analytic Solutions

Dr. Blanco provides expertise to Ascend's clients in the areas of analytic modeling, forecasting, optimization and simulation, while also contributing to advance the software product and services to meet the evolving client needs.

Dr. Blanco is an internationally recognized expert in energy risk management and climate change risk. He works globally with Ascend customers on development of risk management policy and procedures. His expertise in risk management and climate risk has been highly sought after by corporations for training and board presentations. Dr. Blanco has uniquely linked risk policies consistent with renewables and storage and the attributes of Ascend software. Prior to joining Ascend, he was ther co-founder and managing director of Black Swan Risk Advisors, where he worked with leading organizations worldwide on a wide range of advisory and education projects. Dr. Blanco has published over 150 articles on a wide range of financial and commodity risk management topics and taught finance at the University of California, Berkeley.

He also served as the former VP of Risk Solutions at Financial Engineering Associates, where he was a member of the Executive Management Committee as well as an essential contributor in the development and client support of financial and energy derivatives pricing and market risk management models.

Dr. Blanco holds a PhD in finance from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, where he was awarded magna cum laude distinction. He also has a masters degree in investments and international economics from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Keith Aubin, Senior Director of Development, Ascend Analytics

Keith Aubin

Senior Director of Development

Dr. Aubin has over a decade of financial and scientific research and development experience. He is nationally recognized as a scientist and inventor.

With academic and work experience in portfolio theory, rocket science, and nano-biotechnology, Dr. Aubin's main interest is in the application of advanced mathematics to complex problems. As Senior Director of Development, he has lead Full Stack activities for 18 years. Prior to working for Ascend, Keith held a position at MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a system and architecture analyst.

Dr. Aubin holds MS and PhD degrees in applied physics from Cornell University and a BS in physics and  BS in applied mathematics from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Aubin has published his work in a number of journals, proceedings, and book chapters. He is also an inventor on several issued or pending patents.