Shoemaker speaker

G. Albert Shoemaker Lecture Series in Mineral Engineering

The Shoemaker Lectures are meant to bring outstanding leaders of the energy and mineral resource industries to the Penn State University Park Campus to discuss with students and faculty issues of critical importance to the mineral industry. The inaugural Shoemaker Lecture was presented on April 3, 1992 by B. R. Brown, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Consolidation Coal Company.

2019 G. Albert Shoemaker Lecture in Mineral Engineering

Monday, April 15, 2019, at 2:30 PM
President’s Hall, Penn Stater Conference Center

Mr. Chuck Zebula, Executive Vice President, Energy Supply for American Electric Power
Resources that will Power our Future

ABSTRACT: During the last decade, there have been considerable changes to the resource mix that provide capacity and energy to the electric power grid --- including changes in what we call “resources”.  These changes have been driven by many factors, including the availability and price of natural gas, the declining cost of renewable energy, new regulations for coal-fired power plants, corporate sustainability objectives and the power of big data analytics.  In addition, advancements in technology offer the opportunity to bring additional resources such as micro-grids, batteries, transmission optimization and virtual power plants into the mix.  This transformation of the electric power industry has led to the retirement of many baseload coal and nuclear power plants and increased usage of natural gas, wind and solar resources.  Maintaining a balanced set of resources, which include gas, coal and nuclear power, while utilizing new energy resources and technologies, provides the best opportunity to bring capacity and energy to the market and preserve the diversity, reliability and resiliency of the power grid.  In this lecture, the history of energy will be reviewed, and thoughts about the future of the electric industry will be foretold.


Chuck Zebula is Executive Vice President, Energy Supply for American Electric Power (AEP) in Columbus, Ohio.  Chuck is the executive sponsor responsible for the competitive business segments within AEP which include a power generation company, retail and wholesale power marketing and trading businesses, and the company’s investments and operations in contracted renewable energy assets.  His career at AEP has spanned 20 years, and he has been in his current position since 2013.

Prior to his current assignment, Chuck was Treasurer and Senior Vice President, Investor Relations from 2008 to 2013, responsible for all of the company’s financing and cash management activities, communications with investors and rating agencies, and management of the fiscal matters of AEP and its subsidiaries.  Also, from 2004 to 2008, he has held the position of Senior Vice President, Fuel Supply, responsible for the purchase and delivery of coal, natural gas and bulk commodities to all AEP power plants located throughout AEP’s 11-state service territory. 

Prior to joining AEP, Chuck enjoyed a career in the consulting industry at an economic and management consulting firm in Washington, D.C. and also worked for over a decade as a process engineer in the coal, kaolin clay, alumina refining, and environmental remediation industries for ICF Kaiser Engineers.  He also worked as a process engineer for GAF Chemicals Corporation, supporting process design for four manufacturing facilities.

Chuck earned a B.S. degree in mining engineering, with distinction (1982) and a M.S. degree in mineral processing (1990) from The Pennsylvania State University.  Also, he received a M.S. in Industrial Administration (1995) from Carnegie Mellon University.

Chuck received several honors throughout his career, being named Ohio Coal Man of the Year in 2006, and in 2008, AEP honored him with a newly constructed towboat in his name, the M/V Chuck Zebula.  Chuck received the Robert Stefanko Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in Mineral Engineering from Penn State in 2016.

Chuck and his wife, Mary, and currently reside in Dublin, Ohio.  Their oldest son, Zachary, recently graduated from Penn State with a B.S. degree in Energy Engineering (2018).   Also, their son, Joshua, is a senior majoring in Industrial Engineering and their daughter, Abigail, is a sophomore majoring in Accounting, both at Penn State.


Past Lectures

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The G. Albert Shoemaker Lecture Series in Mineral Engineering was established in 1992 by Mercedes G. Shoemaker to honor the memory of her husband, a Pittsburgh civic and industrial leader dedicated to the support of higher education. G. Albert Shoemaker graduated from Penn State in 1923 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and went on to lead an eminent career in the mineral industries. After working as an engineer with Babcock and Wilcox, he joined Pittsburgh Coal Company, a predecessor of CONSOL Energy, where he worked for 35 years, retiring as president of the company in 1966. After retirement he continued to consult with a number of companies developing interests in coal. Al engaged in many civic and philanthropic activities including serving on the boards of several corporate and non-profit organizations. He was elected a Distinguished Alumnus of Penn State and served on the Board of the Penn State Foundation for ten years and as a member of the University Board of Trustees for over twenty years, from 1957 to 1978, and as board president from 1970-73.