IDSS Distinguished Seminar – Arun Majumdar (Stanford University)
Bio: Dr. Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, which integrates and coordinates research and education activities across all seven Schools and the Hoover Institution at Stanford.
Dr. Majumdar’s research in the past has involved the science and engineering of nanoscale materials and devices, especially in the areas of energy conversion, transport and storage as well as biomolecular analysis. His current research focuses on electrochemical storage, power generation and refrigeration; storing carbon-free energy in renewable fuels; and a new effort to re-engineer the electricity grid using modern sensing, computing and control as well as data science.
In October 2009, Dr. Majumdar was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to become the Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), where he served till June 2012 and helped ARPA-E become a model of excellence for the government with bipartisan support from Congress and other stakeholders. Between March 2011 and June 2012, he also served as the Acting Under Secretary of Energy, enabling the portfolio that reported to him: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Reliability, Office of Nuclear Energy and the Office of Fossil Energy, as well as multiple cross-cutting efforts (e.g. Sunshot, Grid Tech Team, etc) that he initiated. Furthermore, he was a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy on a variety of matters related to management, personnel, budget, and policy.