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Images of particles made from a promising battery cathode material called NMC

Seed Research Projects

The Precourt Institute for Energy, Bits & Watts and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy award seed grants each year to Stanford faculty for research proposals with a strong potential for high impact on energy supply and use.  (Information about requests for proposals for 2020 is here.) These proof-of-concept awards bridge theory to early experiment and analysis. Research teams with faculty from multiple academic departments are strongly encouraged. In past years, the Global Climate & Energy Project and the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center have also funded seed research projects. Below is a searchable, filterable catalog of funded seed research projects.

Year Topic Principal Investigators Organization
2020

In the U.S. a large proportion of the emissions from the transportation sector comes from medium...

PI: Inês Azevedo, Energy Resources Engineering
External collaborators: Fan Tong, (LBNL), Corinne Scown (LBNL), Max Auffhammer (UC Berkeley)

Bits & Watts Initiative
2020

This project is focused on the design, optimization and development of a passive heat pipe for...

PI: Ken Goodson, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Bits & Watts Initiative
2020

The objective of this project is to develop a new technology to assess the health, in terms of...

PI: Simona Onori, Energy Resources Engineering

Bits & Watts Initiative
2020

A networked battery system is a collection of batteries in cars and buildings interconnected by...

PIs: Ram Rajagopal, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Phil Levis, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Bits & Watts Initiative
2020

Large-scale battery packs are composed of numerous interconnected cells characterized by...

PI:  Simona Onori, Energy Resources Engineering

StorageX Initiative
2020

Storage technologies are needed to move the world towards a sustainable, low carbon energy...

PI:  Ines AzevedoCo-PI: Simona OnoriCo-PI:  Sally Benson, Energy Resources Engineering

StorageX Initiative
2020

While lithium demand for batteries is rapidly increasing, surplus lithium discharges from...

PI:  William Tarpeh, Chemical Engineering

StorageX Initiative
2020

Advanced battery systems with flexibility and high electrochemical performance are essential for...

PI:  Christian Linder, Civil and Environmental Engineering

StorageX Initiative
2020

This research aims to holistically innovate battery materials in novel materials spaces. Machine...

PI:  Evan Reed, Materials Science & Engineering; Co-PI: Brandi Ransom, Materials Science and Engineering

StorageX Initiative
2020

The efficient recovery of redox-active components from end-of-life energy storage devices is...

PI:  Alberto SalleoCo-PI:  Alexander Giovannitti, Materials Science & Engineering Department

StorageX Initiative
2020

The ever-growing demand for energy-dense storage necessitates an accelerated search for novel...

PI:  Jian Qin, Chemical Engineering

StorageX Initiative
2020

This project will develop a valuation model and warranty pricing approach for used BEV batteries...

PI: Stefan Reichelstein (Graduate School of Business)
Co-PI: Stephen Comello (Graduate School of Business)
             William Gent (Materials Science and Engineering)

StorageX Initiative
2019

Hemamala Karunadasa

Precourt Institute for Energy
2019

Michael Lepech

Precourt Institute for Energy
2019

John Weyant

Precourt Institute for Energy
2019

Gabrielle Wong-Parodi

Precourt Institute for Energy
2019

Diamond devices could out-perform all other semiconducting materials for grid-level power...

PI: Srabanti Chowdhury, Electrical Engineering

Bits & Watts Initiative
2019

This project addresses a critical challenge of circuit protection in renewable power systems....

PI: Srabanti Chowdhury, Electrical Engineering; Co-PI: Juan Rivas-Davila, Electrical Engineering

Bits & Watts Initiative
2019

The ability to store large amounts of electricity from intermittent wind and solar generators is...

PI: Simona Onori, Energy Resources Engineering; Co-PI: Adam Brandt, Energy Resources Engineering

Bits & Watts Initiative
2018

Cegelski and her students have discovered a modified, more easily digestible cellulose in...

Principal Investigators: Lynette Cegelski, Chemistry; José Dinneny, Biology

 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2018

This research is aimed at obtaining a battery with high energy density and low cost for...

PI: William C. Chueh, Materials Science & Engineering

 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2018

In North America, the estimates for available carbon dioxide sequestration capacity range from 2...

PIs: Matthias Ihme, Mechanical Engineering; Dimosthenis Sokaras, SLAC

 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2018

Redevelopment of informal settlements in India do not consider implications on energy efficiency...

PIs: Rishee Jain, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Ronita Bardhan, Centre for Urban Science & Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2018

Wireless power transfer for electrical vehicles could reduce the size of EV batteries and...

PIs: Juan Rivas-Davila and Jonathan Fan, Electrical Engineering

 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2018

Using new techniques capable of high lateral and spatial resolution, and surface sensitivity,...

PI: Arun Majumdar, Mechanical Engineering

 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2018

These researchers will explore the DNA fingerprints of the microbial community of a geothermal...

PIs: Anne E. Dekas, Earth System Science; Roland Horne, Energy Resources Engineering

 

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2018

Reducing the climate impact of the global chemical industry will require renewable, non-fossil...

PI: Matthew Kanan, Chemistry

 

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2018

Harvesting water from the atmosphere could become a large source of fresh water, but current...

PIs: Kenneth E. Goodson and Juan G. Santiago, Mechanical Engineering

 

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2018

Interested in understanding how the Western U.S. electric grid has dramatically changed from...

PIs: Dian Grueneich, Precourt Energy Scholar, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University and David Chassin: Staff Scientist, SLAC National Laboratory (Oct. 2018-present)

Bits & Watts Initiative
2018

An energy transition is changing the value proposition of the traditional utility business model...

PI: Steve Comello, Lead, Energy Business Innovations Focus Area, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Bits & Watts Initiative
2018

Critical Need: 

Managing risk and cost of the grid with increasing...

PI: Sanjay Lall, Electrical Engineering; Co-PI: Dimitry Gorinevsky, Electrical Engineering;  Weixuan Gao (Ph.D. student)

Bits & Watts Initiative
2018

Critical Need

Digitalization presents multi-dimensional opportunities...

PI: Stephen Comello, Graduate School of Business; CO-PIs, Ann-Kristin Zobel (ETH Zurich & University of St. Gallen) and Lukas Falcke (ETH Zurich)

Bits & Watts Initiative
2017

This team comprises faculty from SLAC, the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering and the...

PI: Soichi Wakatsuki, Structural Biology, Stanford, and Photon Sciences, SLAC; Co-PIs: Christopher Francis, Earth System Science, and Polly Fordyce, Genetics and Bioengineering; Collaborators: Hasan DeMirci, SLAC, and Marc Deller, ChEM-H Macromolecular Structure Knowledge Center

Precourt Institute for Energy
2017

In an electricity system dependent on resources that cannot be fully controlled—wind and solar...

PI: Adam R. Brandt, Energy Resources Engineering: Co-PIs: John Weyant, Management Science and Engineering, and Lou Durlofsky, Energy Resources Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2017

Olefins are a very important kind of hydrocarbon, needed to make many compounds, like plastics....

PI: Matteo Cargnello, Chemical Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2017

People will increasingly depend on high-energy battery packs, from electric cars to storing...

PI: Fu-Kuo Chang, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Precourt Institute for Energy
2017

One way to store energy from intermittent solar and wind power is to use the electricity to...

PI: Robert M. Waymouth, Chemistry; Co-PI: Britt Hedman, Photon Science, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource

Precourt Institute for Energy
2017

Dry reforming methane with CO2 would directly transform two greenhouse gases into...

PI: Xiaolin Zheng, Mechanical Engineering; Co-PI: Dimosthenis Sokaras, SLAC  

Precourt Institute for Energy
2017

Long-term investors, such as pensions and endowments, are massive pools of capital that could...

PI: Raymond Levitt, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2017

The identification of materials that can efficiently harvest sunlight and store solar energy in...

Matteo Cargnello and Curtis Frank, Chemical Engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2017

Efficient natural ventilation strategies could reduce 10 to 30 percent of a building’s overall...

Catherine Gorle, Civil and Electrical Engineering; Sanjay Lall, Electrical Engineering and of Aeronautics and Astronautics

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2017

Hydrogen and carbon monoxide are fundamental building blocks in many fuel synthesis reactions....

Arun Majumdar, Mechanical Engineering; William Chueh, Materials Science & Engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2016

Researchers will develop an open-source analytics platform for benchmarking buildings – the...

PI: Rishee Jain, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Co-Investigators: Dian Grueneich, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, and Mark Hartney, SLAC

Precourt Institute for Energy
2016

The team will use a novel computational algorithm to simulate the chemical processes involved in...

PI: Ali Mani, Mechanical Engineering; Co-PI: Mark Cappelli, Mechanical Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2016

This project will examine key policy and technology changes that will make the process of...

PI: M. Elizabeth Magill, Stanford Law School; Co-Investigators: Dan Reicher, Law School, and Jeffrey Brown, Graduate School of Business/Law School

Precourt Institute for Energy
2016

Working with a local landowner, researchers will install a small array of vertical-axis wind...

PI: John Dabiri, Civil and Environmental Engineering/Mechanical Engineering; Co-Investigators: Dan Arvizu and Stuart Macmillan, Precourt Institute

Precourt Institute for Energy
2016

Researchers will demonstrate a new concept in solar-cell architecture to help solve the problem...

PI: Reinhold Dauskardt, Materials Science and Engineering; Co-PI: Peter Yunzhi Yang, Orthopedic Surgery

 
Precourt Institute for Energy
2016

The engineers will revamp the management system for lithium-ion batteries to substantially...

William Chueh, Materials Science and Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2016

The objective is to develop a commercially viable smart window that increases the energy...

Michael McGehee, Materials Science and Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2016

The goal is to facilitate the engineering of cost-effective, polymer-based thermoelectric...

 PI: Jian Qin, Chemical Engineering; Co-PI: Zhenan Bao, Chemical Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy

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