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The Precourt Institute for Energy is now part of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

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Energy Seminar: Stanford Energy Student Lecture Honorees

Precourt Institute for Energy

Event Details:

Monday, October 4, 2021
4:00pm - 4:50pm PDT

Watch via livestream at

This seminar will showcase cutting-edge energy research from four top Stanford graduate students.

Student honorees

Battery Degradation Through Cycling‑Induced Oxygen Release

While Li‑rich layered oxides offer higher reversible capacities than traditional Li‑ion positive electrodes, they suffer from significant voltage degradation over cycling. Here, we use X‑ray spectromicroscopy to show that oxygen originating in the material bulk is slowly released over hundreds of cycles. Additionally, we show that, even within the same electrode, particle morphology has a profound impact on the oxygen release process. 

Peter Csernica received his A.B. in Chemistry from Cornell University in 2016. He is currently beginning his 6th year as a PhD student in Materials Science working with Professor William Chueh. His work focuses on understanding the atomic and electronic structure of positive electrode materials for Li-ion batteries. 

Managing Anoxic Microsites to Increase Carbon Storage in Agricultural Soils

Enhancing soil carbon storage in managed lands is a promising biological negative emissions strategy for carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. Our results show that anoxic microsites, small zones of oxygen depletion in otherwise aerated soils, enhance carbon storage in soils that were previously thought to have low carbon storage potential.

Emily Lacroix received her B.A. in Chemistry and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College. She is currently a 5th year Ph.D. candidate in Earth System Science, advised by Professor Scott Fendorf. The results of her work should help inform land management decisions to increase soil carbon storage.

Understanding and Controlling Defects in Halide Perovskite Semiconductors

Crystalline semiconductors serve as the basis for many current and next-generation energy technologies, including photovoltaics and solid-state lighting. We highlight the prevalence of point defect reactions occurring in the halide perovskites, an emergent class of optoelectronic materials, and present our efforts to quantify, characterize, and mitigate point defect formation in halide double perovskites.

Julian Vigil received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2017 and an M.Phil. in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in 2018. He is currently a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on halide perovskite semiconductors, an emergent class of optoelectronic materials being developed for energy-efficient lighting and solar energy conversion applications. 

Learning-Accelerated Power Flow Simulations

Power flow simulations are used extensively by electric utilities and researchers for grid operation and planning. We develop a machine learning-based framework for accelerating power flow simulations by adaptively training a data-driven model in-the-loop with a Newton-Raphson solver. We validate performance on a variety of distribution systems, resulting in significant computational improvements.

Lily Buechler received her B.S. from Tufts University in 2017 and M.S. from Stanford in 2019, both in Mechanical Engineering. She is currently a 5th year Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering, advised by Professor Ram Rajagopal. Her work mainly focuses on applying various methods to problems related to the integration of distributed energy resources and controllable loads into power systems.

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