Smith Soc Featured Member
Questions and Answers with Adam Smith Society Members.
Eric Podmeyer | Rice Jones Chapter
Eric Podmeyer is chapter leader of the Adam Smith Society at Jones Graduate School of Business. He studied mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Florida before taking a job with Siemens in its rotational development program in 2012; afterward, he earned an MS in fluid mechanics and propulsion from Purdue. Eric landed in Houston, where he is now working as a proposal manager for the oil & gas division of Siemens. He attends the weekend MBA at Rice University and is excited to help further the mission of Smith Soc on campus by holding thought-provoking and enlightening discussions and events. His family is from Long Island and New Jersey, but he thoroughly enjoys being in the city. His hobbies include playing bass guitar in a rock ‘n’ roll cover band with colleagues and going for runs along the Buffalo Bayou.
As a chapter leader, what are you most excited about for the Adam Smith Society this year?
I'm most excited about our event coming up this week, with former McKinsey consultant John Horn holding his war-games strategy workshop for our students. It promises to be a fun yet challenging event—and a little more engaging than the typical speaker series. The anticipation and buzz around campus have been great.
You play bass in a cover band—what are some of your favorite rock songs and bands?
That's a loaded question! My favorite band of all time would have to be the Beatles; I finally get to see Sir Paul McCartney play live, at Austin City Limits this year. My favorite song to play right now is “Money for Nothing,” by Dire Straits, where I try to do my best Sting impression.
How did your undergraduate study of aerospace engineering influence your views of economics and/or business?
There are more similarities between aerospace (or any other) engineering and economics than one would think. Both attempt to model real-world phenomena into solvable equations in order to better predict and design in practice, whether it be an airplane wing or a financial instrument. For example, we use similar infinite series to model vibrations in a wing as we do to calculate present value of a perpetuity. This background influenced me in viewing economics as something familiar: a useful approximation of the complex global markets.
Please tell us about your current professional work in energy. What opportunities do you see in the sector over the next decade?
Currently, I market and sell turbomachinery to oil & gas and industrial-power clients. A major trend I see over the next decade is the move toward a distributed energy market, where we will see increased upward pressure from consumers and small players on the big utility companies. Texas, with its very deregulated power industry, should be central to this trend.