News Release

“Electric Detroit” Symposium w/ Detroit Edison Pres./COO & UDM Business Ethics Chair

Detroit’s electrical utility infrastructure faces daunting challenges and opportunities. In our city, the   demographics, economy, and technology surrounding energy are vastly changing and we are constantly looking to find new ways of delivering electricity that is efficient, effective, environmentally responsible, and ethical.

University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science, School of Architecture and DTE Energy are hosting a symposium of “Electric Detroit,” to discuss these important issues on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Chemistry Building Lecture Hall on UDM’s McNichols Campus.

The evening’s keynote speaker is Steven Kurmas, president and chief operating officer of Detroit Edison, one of three major business units of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide.  Kurmas is responsible for power generation, fuel supply, electric distribution, customer service, marketing activities and assorted support functions.

To discuss this technology from an ethical perspective, Kurmas will be joined by Gerald Cavanagh, S.J., D.B.A, Charles T. Fisher Professor of Business Ethics, University of Detroit Mercy. He is a world-renowned scholar of business ethics and author of the widely used textbook on the topic: American Business Values: A Global Perspective.

Kurmas previously served as executive vice president of fossil generation at Detroit Edison, responsible for the operation of the company’s fossil-fueled electric power plants.  He joined Michigan Consolidated Gas Company (MichCon) in 1979 and held various engineering and construction leadership posts before being named vice president, gas supply in 1995. Over the next several years, he held senior management positions in gas supply, transmission, and storage and gas operations. 

At the time of the merger of DTE Energy and MCN Energy in 2001, Kurmas served as president and chief executive officer of MCN Energy’s midstream & supply and senior vice president of MichCon supply services.  Kurmas was named Detroit Edison’s senior vice president, electric operations and customer service in 2003. A licensed engineer, Kurmas earned bachelors of science and masters degrees in Chemical Engineering from Wayne State University.

Kurmas currently serves as a Board Member of the Engineering Society of Detroit, the Director of Gas Technology Institute, Midwest Energy Association, Wayne State Board of Visitors, the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce and YMCA Southeast Michigan. Kurmas serves on the board of directors of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michigan State Chamber of Commerce and YMCA Southeast Michigan.  He is also treasurer and past president of the board of directors of the Engineering Society of

Detroit.  He currently serves as treasurer for the Michigan Economic Development Foundation, and in 2011 was elected as a director to both NextEnergy and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).   

Fr. Gerald Cavanagh, a world-renowned scholar of business ethics, he has written over 40 research articles and five books on the topic. Currently teaching, he was Academic Vice President and Provost and Interim Dean at the College of Business Administration UDM and the Gasson Chair at Boston College, the Dirksen Chair of Business Ethics at Santa Clara University. 

Cavanagh holds a B.S. in engineering from Case Western and graduate degrees in philosophy and education at St. Louis University, theology from Loyola -Chicago) and a doctorate in management from Michigan State. He chaired the Social Issues Division of the Academy of Management, and the All-Academy of Management Task Force on Ethics and he has served on the board of trustees of Fordham, Santa Clara, Holy Cross, John Carroll, Xavier, Loyola University of New Orleans and the University of Detroit Mercy. 

This lecture is free and open to the public. Please register at community.udmercy.edu/electricdetroit to reserve your seat for the evening. Visit www.udmercy.edu/about/campus/locations or call 313-993-1540 for map/directions.

Release date: January 31, 2012

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The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan’s largest private Catholic University, with more than 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the United States. For the 13th consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwest universities in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges."