03 Nov 2023

New Faculty Profiles: Christian Kaps


HBS faculty comprises more than 300 scholars and practitioners who bring leading-edge research, extensive experience, and deep insights into the classroom, to organizations, and to leaders across the globe. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

Christian Kaps, assistant professor, Technology and Operations Management

What is your educational background?
I got my undergraduate degree in business administration in Germany. After graduation, I worked for BMW and became fascinated by operations, so I returned to university to complete a master’s degree in supply chain management at the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands. There I became even more intrigued by the field and went to pursue my PhD in operations management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

What’s your area of research and what led you to it?
I focus on emerging topics in renewable electricity generation and energy storage—notably how new technologies, sustainability behavior, and policies shape the energy markets of the future. My interest in these topics was sparked over a decade ago when I was still in high school, where I majored in business and politics. We routinely discussed contemporary issues in class, which in Germany at the time included the rise of renewables and the role of nuclear and various issues around carbon emissions. Since then, questions around how we can produce energy in the future sustainably, reliably, and affordably have stayed with me and have become ever more pressing. I try to combine operations methods and a holistic view of business in society to find answers that help us get to greener power for more people on the planet.

What will you be teaching?
I will be teaching the Technology and Operations Management (TOM) course in the Required Curriculum.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an academic?
I enjoy the problem-solving part of research and the long-term examination of a topic. Assuming different training, I have pondered working as a dermapathologist or pursuing a career in diplomacy.

Where are you from?
I grew up just outside of Frankfurt, Germany, but since then have lived in the US and the Netherlands for years, as well as in South Korea and Canada for shorter periods. .

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
I love to swim, bike, and run—especially together with my wife. To recover, I like exploring bagel and coffee shops.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
That changes over the years and is no unidimensional ranking for me, but a recent memorable read for me was The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf.

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