Catherine T. Mertes, Vice President & Director of Quality Assurance and Project Management

Catherine Mertes is a Vice President at RCF where she manages active consulting projects with clients, and has responsibilities for firm operations.  Most recently, Ms. Mertes led RCF’s work for Argonne National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy in developing economic impact forecasts of hydrogen and natural gas-related vehicle and infrastructure technologies. Other projects have included economic impact modeling for EB-5 visa applications, and economic impact studies and surveys for industries such as residential real estate transactions and the impact of the oil and gas industry in Illinois.  She has participated in energy-related litigation support projects including hedonic models of property values surrounding nuclear power plants.

In addition, Ms. Mertes oversees operations including quality assurance, resource planning, training, accounting, human resources, and information technology. Ms. Mertes directed the development and implementation of RCF’s written quality assurance program for all projects, and regularly prepares project plans, schedules and budgets, and oversees final report preparation, ensuring projects are completed to the highest standards for RCF’s clients.  Ms. Mertes has over 20 years of professional experience managing projects with teams of specialists in the energy, environmental, and economic consulting industries.

Prior to joining RCF, Ms. Mertes spent nine years at Commonwealth Edison Company/Exelon which included two years in the corporate financial and strategic planning area, and seven years in environmental project and program management with major responsibilities in corporate-wide compliance programs, and directing environmental remediation projects.  In addition, she spent three years in environmental engineering consulting in Washington, D.C.  During the twelve year period before joining RCF, Ms. Mertes worked closely with internal and external stakeholders, regulators, and members of the public.

Ms. Mertes holds an M.P.M. in Environmental Project Management from Northwestern University, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University.  She is a past President of the Chicago Association of Energy Economists.  In 2017 and 2018, Ms. Mertes served as the Chair for STEM Education Initiatives for the Women’s Energy Network of Chicago.