Precourt Institute for Energy
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Program Manager, Precourt Institute for Energy
BioArpita is a marketing specialist at the Precourt Institute for Energy. In this role she supports the communications and outreach efforts for current and upcoming Precourt programs. Prior to Stanford, Arpita worked in the advertising industry as a media planner and buyer where she developed and executed marketing campaigns across print, electronic and social media. Arpita holds a masters in Marketing Communications from the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) in India and a bachelors in Statistics from Delhi University.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
BioAssociate Professor of Chemistry Matthew Kanan develops new catalysts and chemical reactions for applications in renewable energy conversion and CO2 utilization. His group at Stanford University has recently developed a novel method to create plastic from carbon dioxide and inedible plant material rather than petroleum products, and pioneered the study of “defect-rich” heterogeneous electro-catalysts for converting carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to liquid fuel.
Matthew Kanan completed undergraduate study in chemistry at Rice University (B.A. 2000 Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). During doctoral research in organic chemistry at Harvard University (Ph.D. 2005), he developed a novel method for using DNA to discover new chemical reactions. He then moved into inorganic chemistry for his postdoctoral studies as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he discovered a water oxidation catalyst that operates in neutral water. He joined the Stanford Chemistry Department faculty in 2009 to continue research into energy-related catalysis and reactions. His research and teaching have already been recognized in selection as one of Chemistry & Engineering News’ first annual Talented 12, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Eli Lilly New Faculty Award, and recognition as a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Mentor, among other honors.
The Kanan Lab addresses fundamental challenges in catalysis and synthesis with an emphasis on enabling new technologies for scalable CO2 utilization. The interdisciplinary effort spans organic synthesis, materials chemistry and electrochemistry.
One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is to transition to an energy economy with ultra-low greenhouse gas emissions without compromising quality of life for a growing population. The Kanan Lab aims to help enable this transition by developing catalysts and chemical reactions that recycle CO2 into fuels and commodity chemicals using renewable energy sources. To be implemented on a substantial scale, these methods must ultimately be competitive with fossil fuels and petrochemicals. With this requirement in mind, the group focuses on the fundamental chemical challenge of making carbon–carbon (C–C) bonds because multi-carbon compounds have higher energy density, greater value, and more diverse applications that one-carbon compounds. Both electrochemical and chemical methods are being pursued. For electrochemical conversion, the group studies how defects known as grain boundaries can be exploited to improve CO2/CO electro-reduction catalysis. Recent work has unveiled quantitative correlations between grain boundaries and catalytic activity, establishing a new design principle for electrocatalysis, and developed grain boundary-rich copper catalysts with unparalleled activity for converting carbon monoxide to liquid fuel. For chemical CO2 conversion, the group is developing C–H carboxylation and CO2 hydrogenation reactions that are promoted by simple carbonate salts. These reactions provide a way to make C–C bonds between un-activated substrates and CO2 without resorting to energy-intensive and hazardous reagents. Among numerous applications, carbonate-promoted carboxylation enables the synthesis of a monomer used to make polyester plastic from CO2 and a feedstock derived from agricultural waste.
In addition to CO2 chemistry, the Kanan group is pursuing new strategies to control selectivity in molecular catalysis for fine chemical synthesis. Of particular interest in the use of electrostatic interactions to discriminate between competing reaction pathways based on their charge distributions. This effort uses ion pairing or interfaces to control the local electrostatic environment in which a reaction takes place. The group has recently shown that local electric fields can control regioselectivity in isomerization reactions catalyzed by gold complexes.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Precourt Institute for Energy
BioAssistant Professor of Chemistry Hemamala Karunadasa works with colleagues in materials science, geology, and applied physics to drive the discovery of new materials with applications in clean energy. Using the tools of synthetic chemistry, her group designs hybrid materials that couple the structural tunability of organic molecules with the diverse electronic and optical properties of extended inorganic solids. This research targets materials such as sorbents for capturing environmental pollutants, electrodes for rechargeable batteries, phosphors for solid-state lighting, and absorbers for solar cells. They also design discrete molecular centers as catalysts for activating small molecules relevant to clean energy cycles.
Hemamala Karunadasa studied chemistry and materials science at Princeton University (A.B. with high honors 2003; Certificate in Materials Science and Engineering 2003), where her undergraduate thesis project with Professor Robert J. Cava examined geometric magnetic frustration in metal oxides. She moved from solid-state chemistry to solution-state chemistry for her doctoral studies in inorganic chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 2009) with Professor Jeffrey R. Long. Her thesis focused on heavy atom building units for magnetic molecules and molecular catalysts for generating hydrogen from water. She continued to study molecular electrocatalysts for water splitting during postdoctoral research with Berkeley Professors Christopher J. Chang and Jeffrey R. Long at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. She further explored molecular catalysts for hydrocarbon oxidation as a postdoc at the California Institute of Technology with Professor Harry B. Gray. She joined the Stanford Chemistry Department faculty in September 2012. Her research explores solution-state routes to new solid-state materials. She was recently awarded the NSF CAREER award and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, among other honors.
Professor Karunadasa’s lab at Stanford takes a molecular approach to extended solids. Lab members synthesize organic, inorganic and hybrid materials using solution- and solid-state techniques, including glovebox and Schlenk-line methods, and determine the structures of these materials using powder- and single-crystal x-ray diffraction. Lab tools also include a host of spectroscopic and electrochemical probes, imaging methods, and film deposition techniques. Group members further characterize their materials under extreme environments and in operating devices to tune new materials for diverse applications in renewable energy.
Please visit the lab website for more details and recent news.
Professor (Research) of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus
BioProfessor Kazovsky and his research group are investigating green energy-efficient networks. The focus of their research is on access and in-building networks and on hybrid optical / wireless networks. Prof. Kazovsky's research group is also conducting research on next-generation Internet architectures and novel zero-energy photonic components.
Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and at the Precourt Institute for Energy and Professor, by courtesy, of Economics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research interests are broadly in environmental economics and related areas of industrial organization and public economics. My policy-related focus within these fields is climate change and energy markets.
I currently have several projects related to uncertainty and learning in strategic contexts regarding the provision of public goods. For the most part, the application is international environmental agreements. This work is primarily theoretical, though with some empirical and experimental work to validate and illuminate theory. I also have research interests in energy economics (particularly regulation) and other dimensions of the economics of climate change.
I welcome new PhD students who wish to study with me. Typically, my students train to be environmental or resource economists, which means they receive strong training in economics. At Stanford this means successfully taking the first year PhD sequences in microeconomics (Econ 202-204) and econometrics (Econ 270-272) offered by the Department of Economics. In addition, students should take the PhD classes Economics 250 (Environmental Economics) and 251 (Resource and Energy Economics). This is a minimum and other coursework would depend on student interest and needs. Strong preparation in math is essential.
There are a number of PhD programs at Stanford that are appropriate for someone seeking training as an environmental economist. In addition to the Department of Economics, there are several other departments in which students may apply and matriculate, including the Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER).
William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor in the School of Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioJeff Koseff, founding co-director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, is an expert in the interdisciplinary domain of environmental fluid mechanics. His research falls in the interdisciplinary domain of environmental fluid mechanics and focuses on the interaction between physical and biological systems in natural aquatic environments. Current research activities are in the general area of environmental fluid mechanics and focus on: turbulence and internal wave dynamics in stratified flows, transport and mixing in estuarine systems, phytoplankton dynamics in estuarine systems, coral reef, sea-grass and kelp-forest hydrodynamics, and the role of natural systems in coastal protection. Most recently he has begun to focus on the interaction between gravity currents and breaking internal waves in the near-coastal environment, and the transport of marine microplastics. Koseff has served on the Board of Governors of The Israel Institute of Technology, and has been a member of the Visiting Committees of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Carnegie-Mellon University, The Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, and Cornell University. He has also been a member of review committees for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, The WHOI-MIT Joint Program, and the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. He is a former member of the Independent Science Board of the Bay/Delta Authority. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2015, and received the Richard Lyman Award from Stanford University in the same year.
Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Petroleum Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
I am interested in the recovery of unconventional hydrocarbon resources and mitigating carbon emissions from fossil fuels via geological sequestration of greenhouse gases. My research group and I examine the physics of flow through porous media at length scales that vary from the pore to the laboratory to the reservoir. The organizing themes are flow imaging to delineate the mechanisms of multiphase flow (oil, water, and gas) in porous media and the synthesis of models from experimental, theoretical, and field data. In all of our work, physical observations, obtained mainly from laboratory and field measurements, are interwoven with theory.
My teaching interests center broadly around education of students to meet the energy challenges that we will face this century. I teach undergraduate courses that examine the interplay of energy use and environmental issues including renewable energy resources and sustainability. At the graduate level, I offer classes on enhanced oil recovery and the thermodynamics of hydrocarbon mixtures.
Member, American Geophysical Union (2006); Editorial Board, SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering (2006-present); Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty (2006); School of Earth Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching (1998); Earth Systems Program Executive Committee (2002-present); Woods Institute for Environment Energy Committee (2005-present); SPE Continuing Education Committee (2000-present, chair 2004-05); steering committee chair, SPE Forum, Enhanced Oil Recovery: What's Next? (2005-06); Editorial Board of the Journal of Petroleum Technology (2004-present) and SPE Reservoir Engineering and Evaluation (2006-present); member, Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Geophysical Union, and the American Chemical Society.