2021 projects include:
Nicole Ardoin, Education
Issues such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic emphasize the complexity and interconnectedness of society, particularly the ways in which collective action is required for effective solutions to such issues. In this project, we seek to understand how to define, foster, and measure collective environmental literacy in support of community action to address energy-related issues. Currently, we are developing instruments to measure collective environmental literacy and will begin pilot testing measures in early 2021, with data collection and analysis continuing into summer. The project for which we are seeking undergraduate collaborators is the logical next step for this work. Working as part of research team, the student will identify a community of interest involved in an energy-related issue (e.g., an organization working to increase energy efficiency, a community exploring alternative energy sources). The student will administer a survey instrument and conduct interviews to measure and explore collective environmental literacy as it relates to energy and energy use. Analysis of the data will help determine the efficacy of the measures and help pinpoint how communities build collective competencies and take collective actions to address energy issues.
Sally Benson, Energy Resources Engineering
California leads the nation and much of the world in policies to mitigate climate change. We are doing a study to assess how to get California to net-zero by 2045. We are looking at the different large emitting sectors (industry, transportation, electricity, buildings) and looking at what technologies can be utilized and at what cost. We are also looking at the role of decarbonized fuels (hydrogen and biofuels) and working lands in achieving carbon neutrality. We are looking for a student that can work with the current graduate student team as we progress work on this project. The work will be highly collaborative (all virtual) and data driven. Depending on the student selected we may pair them with the individuals working in any of the areas listed above.
David Fedor, Hoover Institution
Energy and climate policy writing projects
Wendy Gu, Mechanical Engineering
Hydrogen is a promising candidate for zero greenhouse-gas emission vehicles and is uniquely positioned to decarbonize heat in existing gas-based infrastructures. However, successful implementation of a hydrogen economy requires the transmission of hydrogen from reforming plants to consumers. The most cost-effective method for transporting hydrogen utilizes existing transmission pipelines. These pipelines, often made from low-carbon steels, are susceptible to a phenomenon known as hydrogen embrittlement. Hydrogen embrittlement is the premature and unpredictable failure of structural materials that have been exposed to hydrogen rich environments. It is a pervasive and detrimental problem to the safe and timely conversion to hydrogen.
Despite over 100 years of research, the precise mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement are still unclear. This in-person research project aims to elucidate hydrogen embrittlement mechanisms in structural steels through mesoscale and nanoscale mechanical characterization techniques. Primarily, in-situ nanoindentation techniques will be coupled with strain mapping and microstructural characterization to craft a wholistic understanding of embrittlement mechanisms. This project has a strong emphasis on technique development and identifying qualitative trends of material behavior in hydrogen environments.
Jon Krosnick, Communication and Political Science
For 25 years, the Political Psychology Research Group at Stanford has been studying American public opinion on climate change, with a special interest in the economic side of policy-making. Details are at climatepublicopinion.stanford.edu. In a new survey conducted in 2020 (and covered in more than 100 news media outlets worldwide), we asked a wide array of new questions tapping Americans' preferences regarding emissions-reduction policies of various types. Our project will involve analysis of those survey data to yield peer review publications.
Simona Onori, Energy Resources Engineering
Modeling Lithium Ion batteries for grid storage
Ram Rajagopal, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Over Spring and Summer, 2021 our Sustainable Systems lab aims to improve energy data thinking through the development of a suite of tools (a course, Tableau plug-ins/extensions and database) designed to facilitate remote learning about energy data analytics for middle and high school youth. Built on data science results from Stanford’s Energy Visualization and Insight System for Demand Operations and Management (VISDOM), we have already designed a 6-module remote learning course based on current theory of best pedagogical practice to support family behavior change around home energy usage.
The first project is related to pilot deployment of an online energy saving program titled “Designing Your Energy Lifestyle: Data Thinking – Data Visualization.” During the program youth learn to visualize their own smart meter data according to key energy concepts using the visualization software, Tableau, build, implement, and evaluate a change plan, and to present their portfolio of work to a jury of “energy experts,” data scientists, and educators.
The SUPER student will work with our team on the theoretical, methodological, and statistical aspects of energy reduction programs. Depending on the stage of current planned pilot deployments, the SUPER student will be involved in actual program delivery, deployment of an IRB approved research project with youth and their families, collection and/or analysis of qualitative interview data, analysis of interim evaluation of student materials, and survey data collected to evaluate the program. Finally, we aim to collect one year of smart meter electricity data to evaluate impact. SUPER student learning and work will be supported by relevant research readings, team discussions of recent research as well as current deployment and data collection, and individual weekly meetings with project director – Dr. June Flora. This program is available for a Spring and/or a Summer SUPER fellowship student.
Stefan Reichelstein, Graduate School of Business
This project tries to model the integration of renewable energy and storage -- both battery and hydrogen storage -- so as to ensure economical and stable grid operations. This project has both modeling and computational challenges.
Mark Zoback, Geophysics
Stanford has launched a comprehensive assessment of the technical and business potential for zero-carbon Hydrogen generation from natural gas with carbon capture and onsite geologic storage in California. We are looking for a student that is interested in helping us to scope and highgrade potential CO2 storage sites in the state. This will involve reviewing USGS data, public well log data, published papers, state geological survey data, and other public databases. We will look for data that will help us to better understand the following reservoir characteristics of the depleted gas fields and saline reservoirs:
- Compartmentalization, closure type, and trapping mechanism
- Reservoir properties including permeability, porosity, in situ pressure
- Top/bottom seal properties including capillary entry pressure, vertical permeability, clay content and fracturing
- Nature and magnitude of any faults and fractures
- Reservoir depletion history and status/condition of existing wells
Once this data is assembled, we will score and high-grade these potential sites in order to narrow down the opportunities. Project will be collaborative with significant interaction with other students and researchers.
2020 projects included:
2019 projects included:
2018 projects included:
- Examining Digestibility of Phosphoethanolamine Cellulose for Cellulosic Ethanol
- Low Cost, Clean Energy Produce Dryer for Use in Rural Indian Farming Communities
- Synthesis of Colloidal Silver Nanoparticles and Their Catalytic Potential in the Conversion of Propylene to Propylene Oxide
- Designing the Know Your Energy Numbers Program
- Watching the Flag: Training a Neural Network to Predict Wind Speeds
- Global Warming Survey Methodology
- Unlocking Google’s Street-level Visual Data
- Detecting Natural Gas Leaks in Bay Area Homes and Quantifying Leakage From Natural Gas Water Heaters
- Fabricating Stretchable Batteries Using Ion-Conducting Elastomers (ICE)
- Limiting Voltage Violations in an Electrical Network with Distributed Energy Resources