School of Engineering
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Sr Research Engineer
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, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering
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. He also spent the early part of his academic career at Arizona State University and University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Majumdar is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, 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 serves on the Science Board of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and 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, Lime Rock New Energy, Autogrid and Clearvision Ventures. He is a member of the Board of Directors of two non-profits focused on research and development: Activate.org 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.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
BioOur research is broadly defined by multiphysics problems in fluid dynamics and transport engineering. Our work contributes to the understanding of these problems primarily through theoretical tools such as techniques of applied mathematics as well as massively-parallel simulations. Numerical simulations enable quantitative visualization of the detailed physical processes which can be difficult to detect experimentally. They also provide quantitative data that guide the development of reduced-order models, which would naturally induce insight for design, optimization and control. Most of our work involves complementary interactions with experimental groups within and outside of Stanford. Specific current research topics include:
(1) Electro-convection and microscale chaos near electrochemical interfaces
(2) Particle-laden flows with applications in solar receivers
(3) Applications of superhydrophobic surfaces for drag reduction of turbulent flows
(4) Micro-bubble generation by breaking waves
(5) Electrokinetics of micropores and nanopores
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus
BioProfessor Mitchell's primary area of research is concerned with characterizing the physical and chemical processes that occur during the combustion and gasification of pulverized coal and biomass. Coals of interest range in rank from lignite to bituminous and biomass materials include yard waste, field and seed crop residues, lumber mill waste, fruit and nut crop residues, and municipal solid waste. Experimental and modeling studies are concerned with char reactivity to oxygen, carbon dioxide and steam, carbon deactivation during conversion, and char particle surface area evolution and mode of conversion during mass loss.
Mitchell’s most recent research has been focused on topics that will enable the development of coal and biomass conversion technologies that facilitate CO2 capture. Recent studies have involved characterizing coal and biomass conversion rates in supercritical water environments, acquiring the understanding needed to develop chemical looping combustion technology for applications to coals and biomass materials, and developing fuel cells that use coal or biomass as the fuel source. Studies concerned with characterizing coal/biomass blends during combustion and gasification processes are also underway.