Roxann Walsh is director of reduced carbon, renewable and distributed energy research and development for Southern Company. In this role, she oversees a broad research portfolio including carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) and advanced renewable, energy storage and distributed generation technologies for integration across the electric grid. Additionally, Walsh has oversight for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Carbon Capture Center, which is managed and operated by Southern Company.

During her early career, Walsh worked in Midland, Texas, surveying and developing management plans for Exxon Corporation’s hydrocarbon reservoir fields. In 1995, she accepted a position as process engineer for the Power Systems Development Facility, a Department of Energy-sponsored advanced coal power generation research facility, located in Wilsonville, Alabama. 

As one of the first process engineers hired at the newly constructed facility, Walsh was responsible for managing the startup of several key systems in the first-of-a-kind coal gasification process. Walsh’s ability to manage large projects allowed her to progress to technical lead specializing in gasifier technology. In 2006, she moved into personnel management and in 2011 became director of the newly founded National Carbon Capture Center – a world-class neutral research facility working to advance technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas- and coal-based power plants. She formerly served as the chairman of the International Test Center Network, a global consortium of leaders in the research and development of carbon reduction technologies.

Walsh holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Auburn University and is currently pursuing an Executive MBA. She is a member of the National Coal Council and currently leads the technology task group for the National Petroleum Council CCUS study. She also serves on the steering committee for the Carbon Utilization Research Council. 

Walsh has authored and presented a number of papers about progress in carbon capture and gasification at technical conferences and in research publications. She was named POWER-GEN International’s 2016 Woman of the Year and was also a finalist for that distinction in 2015.