A Man of Energy
The year after he graduated from SEAS, Oluwafemi (Femi) Sawyerr (MS ’15) found his dream job at Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. in San Francisco, rising from associate to his current role as managing consultant.
“When I dreamed of being an energy consultant, I wanted to do analysis that would guide state and federal regulators in their planning of the electricity sector,” says Sawyerr. “That’s literally what I do right now.”
Originally from Nigeria, Sawyerr has an informed understanding of the challenges faced by developing countries in their effort to improve infrastructure, as well as the importance of renewable energy and sustainable manufacturing in a world impacted by climate change.
He relates that one of his most cherished professional achievements was serving as the lead analyst in the first independent study that assessed the potential impact of offshore wind on the California electricity sector. That study served as a data source for further governmental studies to which Sawyerr also contributed.
Experiences like these keep Sawyerr optimistic about tackling sustainable energy challenges.
“The nature of my work provides me with the opportunity to witness what happens ‘in the kitchen’ before clean energy policies and regulations are made,” says Sawyerr. “Thus, I have a better appreciation for what some policies are really seeking to achieve, and some of the real-world considerations that need to be incorporated in these policies, beyond just the math and economics.”
In addition to his role as an energy analyst, Sawyerr is deeply moved by a very different form of energy—one that he often brings to the stage. As a semi-professional dancer, Sawyerr has performed and competed in salsa and bachata routines across the country, including Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Reno.
“I don’t think of dance as something I do, but rather as part of who I am,” says Sawyerr. “The experience of listening to music and letting my body interpret what I hear through motion is a feeling I can never get enough of. Whether that’s social dancing for fun or on stage in performance, the joy it gives me is difficult to really describe in words.”
Sawyerr recalls that he always loved dancing, even before he knew what it was.
“It is said that my paternal grandmother’s lullaby for me, when translated into English, was ‘Let him dance. Just let him dance.’”