Climate Change and Technical Paths to a Sustainable Future

Speaker: Steven Chu, William Kenan Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University
Host: Energy Graduate Group
Date: 10/06/2017
Time: 10:30am to 11:50am
Location: Kalmanowitz Appellate Courtroom, UC Davis School of Law, 400 Mrak Hall Drive

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Abstract: The industrial and agricultural revolutions have profoundly transformed the world, but the unintended consequence of these revolutions is that humans are changing the climate of Earth. I will briefly describe new data on climate change, before turning to how energy efficiency and progress in carbon-free energy can provide a low-cost path to a more sustainable world. Some of my own recent research in batteries and other applications of electrochemistry will be described in the context of the remaining scientific and technology challenges that need to be overcome in the transition to clean energy solutions.

Bio: Steven Chu is the William Kenan Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. His has published over 280 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology materials science and energy, holds 14 patents.

He was U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 to April 2013. As the first scientist to hold a Cabinet position, he began several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs, and led a team of scientists that helped BP stop the Macondo oil leak in 2010. Before his cabinet position, he was director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford, and head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department at Bell Laboratories.

Prof. Chu is the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1997 and has received numerous other awards. He received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Rochester, a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley and 31 honorary degrees.