ETA Distinguished Lecture: Climate Change and Technical Paths to a Sustainable Future
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. My 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.
Steven Chu, PhD
Professor of Physics and Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Stanford University
Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., 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, batteries and other energy technologies. He holds 14 patents, and an additional 6 patent applications have been filed in the past 2 years.
Dr. Chu was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until the end of April 2013. As the first scientist to hold a Cabinet position and the longest serving Energy Secretary, he recruited outstanding scientists and engineers into the Department of Energy. He began several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs and was personally tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak.
Prior to his cabinet post, he was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he was active in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, where he helped launch Bio-X a multi-disciplinary institute combining the physical and biological sciences with medicine and engineering. Previously he was head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories.
Dr. Chu is the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997) for his contributions to laser cooling and atom trapping and has received numerous other awards. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academia Sinica, and is a foreign member of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology. He received an A.B. degree in mathematics, a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as 31 honorary degrees.