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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
2012

This project explores the use of polymer gels to make high-energy, low-cost, flexible and...

Zhenan Bao, chemical engineering; Yi Cui, materials science and engineering (Stanford)/photon science (SLAC)

Precourt Institute for Energy
2012

One way to lower the cost of solar power is to dramatically reduce the thickness of light-...

Stacey Bent, chemical engineering; Mark Brongersma, materials science and engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2012

The project goal is to develop a low-cost technique for capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide (...

Hemamala Karunadasa, chemistry

Precourt Institute for Energy
2012

Using excess solar power to produce hydrogen from water could be a good way to store solar...

William Chueh, materials science and engineering/PIE; Nick Melosh, materials science and engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2012

In a follow-up to an...

Shanhui Fan, electrical engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2012

This project will quantify the added costs of serving California’s electricity demand with an...

Frank Wolak, economics; Burton Richter, SLAC

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2011

The tomographic inversion of the virtual-source data...

Biondo Biondi and Sjoerd de Ridder, geophysics

Global Climate and Energy Project
2011

Materials that catalyze efficient electrochemical ...

Matthew Kanan and Thomas Veltman, chemistry

Global Climate and Energy Project
2011

The availability of effective and reliable monitoring is...

Sivaram Ambikasaran, civil and environmental engineering;  Eric Darve, mechanical engineering; Peter Kitanidis, civil and environmental engineering; Judith Yue Li, civil and environmental engineering

 

Global Climate and Energy Project
2011

Global climate imperatives require a worldwide shift away from...

James Harris, electrical engineering; Nicholas Melosh, materials science and engineering

Global Climate and Energy Project
2011

The objective of this project is to develop affordable, regenerable carbon-based...

Zhenan Bao, chemical engineering; Daniel Stack, chemistry; Jennifer Wilcox, energy resource engineerin

Global Climate and Energy Project
2011

This project is developing a novel, highly efficient and economical energy system combining...

 

Lambertus Hesselink, Electrical Engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2011

Dye-sensitized solar cells use a special dye sandwiched between two semiconductors to convert...

Daniel Stack, chemistry; Michael McGehee, materials science and engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2011

One of the largest benefits of renewable energy generation is reduced degradation of natural...

Michael Lepech and David Freyberg, civil and environment engineering; John Weyant, management science and engineering; Stefan Reichelstein, Graduate School of Business

Funded by the TomKat Center with support from PIE

Precourt Institute for Energy
2011

Some of the world’s highest agricultural yields come from irrigated systems in deserts, which...

Chris Field, Noah Diffenbaugh and David Lobell, environmental Earth system science

Funded by the TomKat Center with support from PIE 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2011

This project is developing multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and...

Hongjie Dai, chemistry

Precourt Institute for Energy
2011

One way to deal with the intermittent nature of solar power is by storing some of it for use...

Thomas Jaramillo and Curtis Frank, chemical engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2011

This study aims to better manage the inherent variability of solar power. Unexpected cloud cover...

Ram Rajagopal, civil and environmental engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2011

The conversion efficiency of such devices can be enhanced by adding upconverters,...

Jennifer Dionne and Michael McGehee, materials science and engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2011

Some of the world’s highest agricultural yields come from irrigated systems in deserts, which...

Chris Field, Noah Diffenbaugh and David Lobell, environmental Earth system science

Funded by the TomKat Center with support from PIE 

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2011

One of the largest benefits of renewable energy generation is reduced degradation of natural...

Michael Lepech and David Freyberg, civil and environment engineering; John Weyant, management science and engineering; Stefan Reichelstein, Graduate School of Business

Funded by the TomKat Center with support from PIE

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2010

The constant brightness theorem, says that the optical power flow per unit of area and solid...

Reinhold H. Dauskardt, materials science and engineering; Olav Solgaard and Nina Vaidya, electrical engineering

Global Climate and Energy Project
2010

Our long term objective is to develop efficient and cost-effective...

Cem Albayrak, chemical engineering; Sylvie Long, bioengineering; Phil Smith, chemical engineering; James R. Swartz, chemical engineering and bioengineering

Global Climate and Energy Project
2010

Photovoltaics, which utilizes the largest possible energy source to generate...

Yi Cui, materials science and engineering; Shanhui Fan, electrical engineering

Global Climate and Energy Project
2010

This research investigates ion-beam assisted deposition (IBAD) of textured...

Bruce Clemens and Alberto Salleo, materials science and engineering

Global Climate and Energy Project
2010

We propose to develop a building energy model using the current best practices in computational...

Martin Fischer, civil and environmental engineering; Erin Hult; Gianluca Iaccarino, mechanical engineering

Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
2010

See...

Martin Fisher, civil and environmental engineering; Tobias Maile, civil and environmental engineering

Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
2010

Research will: Identify and document the key organizational, inter-organizational, and industry...

Dana Gavrieli, civil and environmental engineering;  Raymond E. Levitt, civil and environmental engineering; Erica L. Plambeck, Graduate School of Business

Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
2010

The aim of this project is to understand how we can motivate individuals to achieve sustainable...

Matthew Harding, economics

Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
2010

This project began the development of a low-cost, high-performance alkaline exchange membrane to...

Curtis Frank, chemical engineering; Michael Toney, SLAC

Precourt Institute for Energy
2010

The researchers are coating the fibers in paper and textiles with nano-scale...

Yi Cui, materials science and engineering; and Zhenan Bao, chemical engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2010

Current solar photovoltaic cells can be comparatively efficient but expensive, like those using...

Jim Plummer, electrical engineering


 

Precourt Institute for Energy
2010

This project developed modeling software that simulates hydraulic fracturing of geothermal...

Roland Horne, energy resources engineering

Precourt Institute for Energy
2010

Using solar power to produce hydrogen could be a big part of a clean energy future, but the idea...

Paul McIntyre, materials science and engineering; Christopher Chidsey, chemistry

Precourt Institute for Energy
2010

The global population currently uses energy at a rate of nearly 16 terawatts, of...

Matthew Kanan, chemistry

Precourt Institute for Energy
2010

This research focuses on the development of systems analysis, control, and monitoring...

Dimitry Gorinevsky and Sanjay Lall, aeronautics-astronautics and electrical engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2010

The project aims to research and begin prototype development of GridSpice, a...

Stephen Boyd, electrical engineering; Abbas El Gamal, electrical engineering; Amit Narayan, Smart Grid Research and Modeling; Dan O'Neill, electrical engineering; Benjamin Van Roy, management science and engineering and electrical engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2010

The research proposed here will develop a quantitative model that seeks to fill these gaps-...

Stephen Boyd, electrical engineering; Mark Thurber, PESD; Frank Wolak, economics

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
2010

The project seeks approaches to increase the penetration of wind energy production by decreasing...

Ram Rajagopal, civil and environmental engineering

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy

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