Dr. Mark Berry, P.E., is currently vice president of research and development for Southern Company. Named to the position in August 2019, Berry is responsible for developing low-carbon generation technologies, advancing distributed energy solutions, modernizing the grid, promoting a culture of sustainability and developing new business models. For more than five decades, Southern Company’s research and development organization has been leading industry innovation and leveraging research grants to deliver value to customers.
Berry previously served as director in the generation sector at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where he managed research and development efforts in renewables, water management, carbon capture and storage, and advanced fossil generation. Prior to EPRI, he served as director of energy and environment at Southern Research.
Berry worked 17 years in various capacities of increasing responsibility at Southern Company. He served as manager of environmental assessment for Southern Company’s research and environmental affairs organization, where he managed the company’s regulatory response to federal rule-making activity and the environmental science research program. He also served as director of research and technology management, managing a portfolio of research related to emission controls, energy efficiency, renewables, power delivery, central station generation and carbon capture utilization and storage.
Prior to joining Southern Company, Berry attained the commissioned rank of lieutenant commander in the United States Navy as a surface warfare officer. While on active duty, he served upon the USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44) in the capacities of deck officer and combat information center officer. After joining the reserves, he served as an engineering officer supporting the USS Sentry (MCM-3) and as an intelligence officer supporting the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA HQ).
Berry holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Alabama A&M University, a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also earned a master’s degree in public and private management from Birmingham Southern College and is a registered professional engineer. He holds four patents regarding technical approaches to control emissions from coal-fired power plants. Additionally, he has been awarded five technology transfer awards over his career from EPRI for his efforts in developing technologies important to the utility industry.
Berry is an executive committee member of the Research Advisory Council at EPRI. He is an advisory board member of the Strategic Energy Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology, treasurer of the International Society of Electrostatic Precipitation and advisory board member for the School of Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta.
Berry is an active, lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and established an endowed scholarship in the name of his grandfather, Marion Luscious Nell, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to provide a scholarship to a minority student pursuing a degree in engineering.