Meet our Leaders

Pictured from left to right, Vena Kostroun, Sean Burrows, and Gary Dorris.

Ascend Analytics is an innovative software and consulting company focused on the energy transition.  Energy portfolios and markets have increased in complexity, making decision analysis more difficult.  Ascend's solutions provide the core analytic infrastructure to streamline processes, enhance understanding, and support decisions.

Founded in 2002, we are an employee owned software service company. Our solutions are used by dozens of energy companies in North America and Europe. Ascend Analytics is managed by a seasoned team with decades of software and energy expertise. Ascend offices are located in Boulder, Colorado, Bozeman, Montana and Oakland, California – our solutions are used by dozens of energy companies in North America and Europe.

Gary Dorris, Ph.D

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 80+ 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 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 Board of Directors.

His analytic vision to bridge the physical models for production cost with the financial models of risk management has led to development of over a dozen software applications used by over fifty energy companies.  He has been engagement director for major solutions of over two dozen power market participants in the areas of near-term operations, portfolio and risk management, data infrastructure, and resource planning.

Prior to founding Ascend, he 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 Ph.D. in applied economics and finance from Cornell University and a BS in mechanical engineering and BA in economics with Magna Cum Laude distinction also from Cornell University.

Sean Burrows, Ph.D

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 lead the initial development of the simulation engine of Ascend’s PowerSimm software and currently manages the operations of Ascend’s computing infrastructure including Software as a Service and contributes heavily to software customer service and technical advances in PowerSIMM.  With his leadership role in simulation modeling, he continues to develop innovative techniques to capture the new physical attributes and market dynamics of the energy transition.

Dr. Burrows has led commercial development and implementations projects covering a large range of activities from solving complex statistical models to managing extremely large databases. He also has broad experience in statistics, computer management, database management, and application development.

Dr. Burrows holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from University of Wisconsin and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Vena Kostroun

Vena Kostroun

Senior Vice President of Development & Co-Founder

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

He has successfully grown Ascend’s development team to have a rich depth of experience, breadth of skills, and high degree of innovation with a 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.

Mr.Kostroun also has experience in resource optimization, energy risk management and asset valuation.

Mr.Kostroun holds a M.S. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley and holds a B.S. in physics from Cornell University with Cum Laude distinction.

Carlos Blanco, Ph.D.

Carlos Blanco, Ph.D.

Managing Director of Analytic Solutions

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

He is the former 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 is also a faculty member of the Oxford Princeton Programme since 2004, where he teaches several courses on energy and commodity derivatives pricing, hedging and risk management. He has published over 150 articles on a wide range of financial and commodity risk management topics. Carlos was also a lecturer at the Finance department at the University of California, Berkeley.

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

Dr. Blanco holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, where he was awarded "Magna Cum Laude". He also has a Masters degree in Investments and International Economics from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Keith Aubin, Ph.D.

Keith Aubin, Ph.D.

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 previous 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 leads the creation and enhancement of Ascend's product offerings as head of the .NET development group. Prior to working for Ascend, Keith held a position at MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a systems and architecture analyst.

Dr. Aubin holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University and a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. 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.