Institutions of learning generally approach education vertically, with little integration of knowledge with other disciplines. In the same way, sustainability research until now has mostly been concentrated in the natural sciences or organized in silos. But given the increasing urgency of sustainability in today’s world, this approach may ultimately fall short. As Dean of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, Arun Majumdar thus approaches sustainability research in an integrated way, by merging the scholarship and educational programs of the Stanford University School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences with the institutes’ excellence in sparking interdisciplinary collaboration. At Falling Walls, Majumdar discusses how the Doerr school’s approach as well as its integration of a sustainability accelerator can lead to core innovations in the field of science and innovation management.
Dr. Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University, Dean of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Senior Fellow and former Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy. He served in the Obama administration as the Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and Acting Under Secretary of Energy. He served as a Science Envoy for the US Department of State and currently serves as the Chair of the US Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. Dr. Majumdar was also the Vice President for Energy at Google and advises numerous business in the energy innovation ecosystem. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1985 and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.