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

Our leadership

Ascend Analytics is managed by a seasoned team with over 60 years of direct energy experience.

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


For the last thirteen years, Dr. Dorris has organically grown Ascend Analytics to be a leading provider of quantitative software solutions for energy portfolio management and data infrastructure.  His analytic innovations have extended toward the development of over a dozen software applications used by more than fifty energy companies.


In 2001, Dr. Dorris won distinguished recognition from the IPE for contributions to the field of energy risk management.


Prior to founding Ascend, he served as CEO and Chief Model Architect for 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 B.S. in mechanical engineering and BA in economics with Magna Cum Laude distinction also from Cornell University.


Gary Dorris, Ph.D.

CEO & Co-Founder

Sean Burrows, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder

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


Dr. Burrows leads the development of applications such as PowerSimm and manages the operations of Ascend’s computing infrastructure including Software as a service.  With his leadership role in software development, he has focused on the development of innovative techniques for optimizing energy portfolios based on both physical and financial structures.


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.


Mr. Kostroun has 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 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.

Vena Kostroun

Vice President of

Development & Co-Founder

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.


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.

Keith Aubin, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Development

Global Headquarters

1877 Broadway, Suite 706

Boulder, Colorado 80302

p.  1.303.415.1400



Montana Office

222 E Main, Suite 201

Bozeman, Montana 59715


California Office

440 Grand Avenue, Suite 420

Oakland, California 94610


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