Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Energy and Environment Crisis: What can you do?

photo of Arun Majumdar Wednesday, September 17, 2008
306 Soda Hall (HP Auditorium)
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Arun Majumdar
Almy & Agnes Maynard Chair,
Professor and
Director, Environmental Energy Technologies Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


There are multiple reasons for concern about the current and future energy and environment crisis: availability of fossil fuel, economics, energy security, and carbon dioxide emissions. This talk will focus on using current data and future projections to identify the most important reasons for concern, and how bad the situation really is. Then the talk will identify opportunities and challenges both on the supply and demand side of energy, which can most effectively address energy and environmental issues. The talk will conclude with a focus how electrical engineering and computer science can address these issues.


Professor Arun Majumdar received a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) in 1985, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, for research conducted in the laboratory of Professor Chang-Lin Tien. After being on the faculty of Arizona State University (1989-92) and University of California, Santa Barbara (1992-96), he began his faculty appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley on January 1, 1997. He currently holds the Almy and Agnes Maynard Chair Professorship in the College of Engineering.

In addition to his faculty appointment, Professor Majumdar serves as the Director of the Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute. He is also a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). He served as the founding chair of the ASME Nanotechnology Institute, and is currently a member of the Council of Materials Science and Engineering at the Department of Energy. He also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics, and is the editor in chief of Micro/Nanoscale Thermophysical Engineering.

Professor Majumdar is a recipient of the Institute Silver Medal (IIT-B) (1985), NSF Young Investigator Award (1992-97), ASME Melville Medal (1992), the Best Paper award of the ASME Heat Transfer Division of ASME (1993), Gustus Larson Memorial Award of the ASME (2001), and Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT-B (2002). He is a fellow of ASME and AAAS, and is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Professor Majumdar's research interests are in the broad area of mechanics and transport in nanostructured materials. Of particular current interest are phonon dynamics and transport in low-dimensional materials, materials and devices for thermoelectric energy conversion, transport and reactions in confined liquids (nanofluidics), chemomechanics of small and macromolecules with applications in chem/biosensing, and nanoscale imaging.

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