After more than a hundred years of historic success, the fundamentals of the energy industry are rapidly changing driven by technology innovations and cost reductions in unconventional oil and gas, renewable electricity from solar and wind, as well as lithium-ion batteries as the basis for electrification of transportation. While these are helping decarbonize the energy system, it is not sufficiently rapid to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 oC. How can we accelerate transition to a more sustainable energy system? What new technologies or policies do we need to create? This talk will provide a snapshot of various trends and offer some thoughts on addressing this paramount global challenge. In particular, it will focus on a few topics where science and engineering could play a disproportionate role in transforming the energy system.
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 using electrochemical reactions for thermal energy conversion, thermochemical water splitting reactions to produce carbon-free hydrogen, and a new effort to re-engineer the electricity grid.
Sponsored by the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and ND Energy