The Hunter Research Foundation (HRF) welcomed economist Dr Alan Rai to its research team this month.
Alan joined the HRF as Principal Economic Research Fellow from the CSIRO’s Energy Technology Centre, where he was part of their economics team examining costing and policy implications for CSIRO projects.
A Hunter local, who moved to Australia with his family from India when he was five and came to Newcastle when he was 10, Alan attended St Mary’s High School in Gateshead and St Francis Xavier senior school, before completing a double degree in commerce and economics from the University of Newcastle.
On graduating from his degree in 2003, Alan completed an honours year at Macquarie University before transitioning from a summer cadetship with the Reserve Bank of Australia into their graduate program. He spent seven years at the Bank, during which time he also completed his doctoral study, through the University of New South Wales, on the relationship between financial markets and the economy. He then lectured in Finance at Macquarie University before joining CSIRO in April 2013, bringing his wife and son back to their home town to be close to family.
Family was not the only motivation that drove Alan back to the Hunter.
“I also wanted to bring my skills and training and put them to use in the Hunter and its community,” Alan said.
“I applied some of those skills and training at the CSIRO, though not to the extent I desired, as much of what we did had a nation-wide effect rather than being Region-specific.”
Alan anticipates that his new role, as Principal Economic Research Fellow, will provide him with an opportunity to drill down into the Hunter economy and the many issues affecting it. He is also looking forward to playing an active role in the Foundation’s more commercially-focused contracted research program.
“The HRF also offers the chance to develop my expertise beyond pure research and add more client-focused, outward-facing engagement to my skills set.”