School of Engineering
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Sr Research Engineer, Mechanical Engineering
BioAde Mabogunje conducts research on the design thinking process with a view to instrumenting and measuring the process and giving feedback to design thinking teams on ways to improve their performance. He works in collaboration with partners in the engineering education, design practice and investment community as a participant-observer in the practice of building and developing ecosystems that support accelerated and continuous innovation in products and services. Prior to this he was the associate director of the Stanford Center for Design Research (CDR). He was also the lead of the Real-time Venture Design Lab program (ReVeL) in the school of Humanities and Sciences. His industry experience includes engineering positions at the French Oil Company Elf (now Total) and research collaboration with Artificial Intelligence Scientists at NASA Ames. He has publications in the areas of design theory and methodology, knowledge management, emotions in engineering, design protocol analysis, and engineering-design education.
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch Focus
Research projects in Dr. MacDonald's IRIS Design lab have three foci: (1) Modeling the role of the public's decisions in effective large-scale sustainability implementation; (2) Improving engineering designers' abilities to address complex customer preference for sustainability; and (3) Using data on how consumers perceive products, especially visually, to understand how products are evaluated and subsequently improve those evaluations. These foci represent three corresponding design vantage points: (1) system-level; (2) human-scale or product-level, and (3) single-decision-level, as shown in the Figure. The exploration of these different vantage points is fundamental to performing insightful design research on complex design issues, such as sustainability.
Sustainable design readily spreads across many disciplines and necessarily requires an interdisciplinary and system-based design approach. At the heart of this system is the relationship between product engineering and human behavior. The designer must include this relationship in the product's design along with other sustainability concerns such as technology advancement, life cycle assessment, policy compliance, larger societal impact, and economic viability. As behavior is difficult for engineers to quantify, it can be lost in engineering analysis. The resulting sustainable products and technologies may not be used and/or purchased, may not be as efficient as predicted, and thus may not have the beneficial impact that they were designed to have. The relationship between the sustainable product engineering and human behavior can be quantified, for example by modeling decision-making, and incorporated into engineering analysis. Often, the reformulation of the engineering system problem required to accommodate human behavior is beneficial to other elements of the design. We perform research at the intersection of analytical design methods, conceptual design methods, and decision-making theory to design successful sustainable products and energy technologies.
Dr. Arun Majumdar
Director, Precourt Institute for Energy, Jay Precourt Professor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Photon Science
BioDr. Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering (by courtesy) 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. He is also a faculty in Department of Photon Science at SLAC.
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 and thermochemical redox reactions that are fundamental to a sustainable energy future, multidimensional nanoscale imaging and microscopy, and a new effort to re-engineer the electricity grid using data science, including deep learning techniques.
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 and innovation 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 such as Sunshot, Grid Tech Team and others that he had initiated. Furthermore, he was a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, on a variety of matters related to management, personnel, budget, and policy. In 2010, he served on Secretary Chu's Science Team to help stop the leak of the Deep Water Horizon (BP) oil spill.
After leaving Washington, DC and before joining Stanford, Dr. Majumdar was the Vice President for Energy at Google, where he created several energy technology initiatives, especially at the intersection of data, computing and electricity grid.
Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Dr. Majumdar was the Almy & Agnes Maynard Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering at University of California–Berkeley and the Associate Laboratory Director for energy and environment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Dr. Majumdar is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as the Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board of US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, and was also a Science Envoy for the US Department of State with focus on energy and technology innovation in the Baltics and Poland. He is a member of the International Advisory Panel for Energy of the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry. He serves as an advisor to Envision Energy, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, First Light Fusion, the New Energy Group of Royal Dutch Shell and Lime Rock New Energy. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Cyclotron Road and the Electric Power Research Institute.
Dr. Majumdar received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1985 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioZac Manchester is Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, a member of the Breakthrough Starshot advisory committee, and founder of the KickSat project. He holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and a B.S. in applied physics from Cornell University. Zac has previously worked at Harvard University, NASA Ames Research Center, and Analytical Graphics, Inc. His research interests include nonlinear dynamics, control, optimization, spacecraft, and robotics.
Zac initiated the KickSat project during graduate school, where he developed the electrical, mechanical, and communications systems underlying the Sprite - the world's smallest spacecraft. The project has the goal of dramatically reducing the cost of access to space and has drawn participants from all over the world. KickSat was financed through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter and awarded a launch through NASA's ELaNa Program.
From 2015 to 2017, Zac worked in the Agile Robotics Lab at Harvard, where he developed novel trajectory optimization and control algorithms for autonomous aircraft and legged robots. This work included new optimization-based methods for modeling, simulating, and performing motion planning through contact interactions (impacts and friction) between complex robotic systems and their environment, which has broad applications to robotic locomotion, grasping, and manipulation.
From 2012 to 2014, Zac worked at NASA Ames Research Center. In addition to his own research, he developed attitude determination and control algorithms for use on several Ames spacecraft. He also worked in the Ames SpaceShop experimenting with rapid prototyping equipment (3D printers, laser cutters, and desktop CNC machines) to build spacecraft components.
Prior to entering the Ph.D. program at Cornell, Zac also worked at the aerospace software firm Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), where he contributed to the development of several AGI products including Satellite Tool Kit (STK) and the STK Components software development library.