Energy Institute Director
James Wood is the director of the Energy Institute at West Virginia University. He also serves as director of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, Advanced Coal Technology Consortium, based at WVU.
In 2019, Wood was appointed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice to his Downstream Jobs Task Force. The task force is working to bring manufacturing opportunities to the state ahead of the anticipated expansion of the petrochemical industry in Appalachia, which the American Chemistry Council estimated could bring billions of dollars of investments and more than 100,000 new jobs to the region.
Wood came to WVU in 2014 from ThermoEnergy Corp., where he was chairman, president and CEO of the Massachusetts-based company focused on industrial wastewater treatment and power generation technologies.
Previously he was deputy assistant secretary of DOE’s Office of Clean Coal, responsible for a $4.5 billion program for research and demonstration projects related to carbon capture and storage, advanced power generation cycles, fuel cells and advanced integrated gas combined cycle processes.
Prior to his government service, he was president and CEO of Babcock Power Inc., a private enterprise he and his partners founded to hold certain assets acquired from an insolvency proceeding of Babcock Borsig AG, Oberhausen, Germany in 2002. Babcock Power Inc. serves electricity generators and industrial customers worldwide by supplying heat recovery steam generators, heat exchangers, feed water heaters, condensers, steam generators, combustion, and environmental systems.
Wood has 30 years of experience in the power industry. Between 1996 and 2001, he served as president and COO of the Babcock & Wilcox Co., and executive vice president of McDermott International, Inc., its parent. Prior to that, he was president of WTI International, Inc. and senior vice president and general manager of Wheelabrator Environmental Systems, Inc., both subsidiaries of Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. His international experience includes periods of residency in Italy, India, Colombia, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. He represented the U.S. as a delegate to the 1995 Presidential Mission on Sustainable Energy and Trade to China.
He has accepted federal appointments to the National Coal Council, a Department of Energy senior advisory committee serving the U.S. secretary of energy and the U.S.-Egypt Presidents' Council, an advisory body to the U.S. vice president during the Clinton administration. He completed 20-years as a trustee of Clarkson University and is an ASME Fellow.
Wood received his bachelor's in chemical engineering from Clarkson University and his MBA with a concentration in international finance from Kent State University.