Arun Majumdar named inaugural dean of Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

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Arun Majumdar, the Jay Precourt Professor, professor of mechanical engineering, and senior fellow and former co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, will be the inaugural dean of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. (Image credit: Edward Caldwell courtesy Stanford.edu)

Arun Majumdar, an Indian-American recognized internationally as an expert in advanced energy systems, new materials, electrical grids, and renewable energy, will be the inaugural dean of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability September 1, 2022, when the school is launched.

Currently, Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Professor, professor of mechanical engineering, senior fellow and former co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy. He is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he co-chairs the George Shultz Energy and Climate Task Force, a May 4 press release from the University said.

Majumdar joined Stanford in 2014 after a career in academia and the private sector, as well as in government.

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He was the founding director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), and currently serves as the chair of the advisory board to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Majumdar said he was deeply honored and humbled. He will assume his new position June 15, the press release said.

Majumdar led the Agency Review Team for the Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Biden-Harris presidential transition. He served as the vice chairman of the advisory board to U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and was also a science envoy for the U.S. Department of State with focus on energy and technology innovation in the Baltics and Poland. He also serves on several advisory boards and boards of businesses, investment groups, and nonprofit organizations.

After leaving Washington, D.C., and before joining Stanford, Majumdar was the vice president for energy at Google, where he assembled a team to create technologies and businesses at the intersection of data, computing, and electricity grid.

Majumdar co-chaired the Stanford President’s Faculty Committee on the Organizational Structure for Stanford’s Sustainability Initiative, which led to the decision to form a school.

Majumdar has focused on nanoscale materials and devices in areas of energy conversion, transport, and storage as well as biomolecular analysis. In the last decade he worked on developing chemical reactions for a sustainable energy future, state-of-the-art energy grids to support a transition to renewable energy, and increased electrification of homes and transportation, the press release noted.

He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Building on the previous leadership in Stanford, Majumdar said, he will “not only harness the intellectual horsepower of our students, faculty, and staff across our campus, but we will also partner with external organizations around the world to co-develop innovative solutions and identify new insights through research and education.”

Majumdar went on to add, “As is often said, we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. We must collectively figure out how to create a future where humans and nature thrive together,” he added.

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