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Hema Karunadasa, Wendy Mao, Adam Jaffe and Yu Lin

Arun Majumdar

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Arun Majumdar

Professor, Mechanical Engineering; Co-Director, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University

Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Professor at Stanford, a faculty member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, which supports energy research and education across campus.

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.

In October 2009, 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 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 that he had initiated. Furthermore, he was a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy on a variety of matters related to management, personnel, budget, and policy.

After leaving Washington, DC and before joining Stanford, 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, and advised the company on its broader energy strategy.

Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Majumdar was the Almy & Agnes Maynard Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering at UC–Berkeley and the associate laboratory director for energy and environment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Majumdar is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is the vice chairman of the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board and is 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 councils of the National Academy of Engineering, the Electric Power Research Institute, as well as the science board of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is a member of the international advisory panel for energy of the Singapore Ministry of Trade & Industry and of the U.S. delegation for the U.S.-India Track II dialogue on climate change and energy.

Majumdar earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1985 and a Ph.D. from the UC-Berkeley in 1989.