Skip to Main Content GCEP Home Page
GCEP Research Symposium 2011
Speaker Biographies

Photo of Dan Arvizu
Dan Arvizu
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Dan Arvizu has been the Director and Chief Executive of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) since January 15, 2005. NREL, in Golden, Colorado, began operations in 1977 and is the DOE's primary laboratory for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Alliance). Arvizu is President of Alliance and also is an Executive Vice President with MRIGlobal, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

After more than three decades of professional engagement in the clean energy field, Arvizu has become one of the world's leading experts on renewable energy and sustainable energy. He frequently engages with national leaders in Congress, the Administration, academia, non-governmental organizations, and industry. As NREL's Director, he has established and implemented a new institutional strategy to position the lab for higher impact and contributions to national energy challenges. In the past five years, he has overseen an increase of more than 50% in the lab's operating budget, overseen a doubling of Lab technical staff, and has helped attract over $400M for new infrastructure.

Prior to joining NREL, Arvizu was the chief technology officer with CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. and an executive with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He started his career and spent four years at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Arvizu has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University and a master of science degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

Up to top
Photo of Zhenan Bao
Zhenan Bao
Stanford University

Zhenan Bao is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. She joined Stanford in 2004 after spending eight years as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in Bell Labs. Her research group focuses on the design, synthesis, processing, self-assembly, and device applications of organic, polymeric, and carbon nanomaterials for large area flexible electronics, transistors, chemical and biological sensors, pressure sensors, solar cells, and transparent electrodes. She has more than 200 refereed publications and 35 U.S. patents.

Bao is currently a principal investigator for the GCEP efforts “Design and Fabrication of the First All-Carbon-Based Solar Cell,” and “Rational Organic Semiconductor Material Design: A Pathway Toward Breakthrough Performance in Solar Cells.” She was also a principal investigator for the GCEP effort “Advanced Materials and Devices for Low-Cost and High-Performance Organic Photovoltaic Cells” and ““Self-sorting of Metallic Carbon Nanotubes for High Performance Large Area Low Cost Transparent Electrodes,” which were completed in August 2009 and August 2011, respectively.

Bao currently serves as a Board Member for the National Academy Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology. She served as a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Materials Research Society and Executive Committee Member for the Polymer Materials Science and Engineering division of the American Chemical Society. Bao is an Associate Editor of Synthetic Metals. She was an Editor for Polymer Reviews and serves on the international advisory board for ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials, Chemistry of Materials and Materials Today.

Bao was elected a SPIE Fellow in 2008, an ACS (America Chemical Society) Polymer and Materials Science and Engineering Fellow in 2011 and an ACS Fellow in 2011. She is a recipient of the ACS Cope Scholar Award in 2011, the Royal Society of Chemistry Beilby Medal and Prize in 2009, IUPAC Creativity in Applied Polymer Science Prize in 2008, American Chemical Society Team Innovation Award 2001, R&D 100 Award, and R&D Magazine’s Editors Choice of the “Best of the Best” new technology for 2001. She was selected in 2002 by the American Chemical Society's Women Chemists Committee as one of the twelve “Outstanding Young Woman Scientist who is expected to make a substantial impact in chemistry during this century." She was also selected by MIT Technology Review magazine in 2003 as one of the top 100 young innovators for this century. She is a Terman Fellow, Robert Noyce Faculty Scholar, Finmeccanica Faculty Scholar, and David Filo and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar at Stanford University. Bao is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford.
Up to top
Photo of Ray Baughman
Ray Baughman
University of Texas in Dallas

Ray Baughman became the Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and Director of NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas in Dallas in August 2001, after 31 years in industry. Energy storage, conversion, harvesting, and transmission have long provided a focal point for his work and that of his NanoTech Institute.

Baughman is a Member of The National Academy of Engineering and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas; a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry; an Academician of The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences; an Honorary Professor of four universities in China; and is on editorial and advisory boards of Science, Materials Research Letters, the International Journal of Nanoscience, and the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Baughman has 61 U.S. patents and over 310 refereed publications with over 18,100 citations. He is listed 30th in the Top 100 Material Scientists of the Decade (2000-2010) and in 2010 became the Honorable Yang Shixiang Professor of Nankai University and the Honorable Tang Aoqing Professor of Jilin University.

Up to top
Photo of Sally M. Benson

Sally M. Benson
Stanford University

Sally M. Benson was appointed GCEP Director in January 2009 after holding the Executive Director post since March 2007.

A Professor (Research) in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering (ERE) in the School of Earth Sciences, Benson has been a member of Stanford's faculty since 2007. Her research group in ERE investigates fundamental characteristics of carbon dioxide storage in geologic formations as a means of climate change mitigation. (The Benson Lab website is at She teaches courses on carbon dioxide capture and storage and greenhouse gas mitigation technologies.

Prior to joining GCEP, Benson worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), serving in a number of capacities, including Division Director for Earth Sciences, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences, and Deputy Director for Operations.

A ground water hydrologist and reservoir engineer, Benson has conducted research to address a range of issues related to energy and the environment. For the past 10 years, she has studied how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from power plants and pumping it into deep underground formations for permanent sequestration. Benson was a coordinating lead author on the influential 2005 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. Her research interests also include technologies and energy systems for a low-carbon future, groundwater quality and remediation, biogeochemistry of selenium, and geotechnical instrumentation for subsurface characterization and monitoring.

Benson graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in geology. She completed her graduate education in 1988 at the University of California, Berkeley, after receiving master's and doctoral degrees, both in materials science and mineral engineering.

The author or co-author of over 160 scientific publications, Benson is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Benson is a Senior Fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford, and a Senior Fellow by Courtesy of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford.

Up to top
Photo of Wout Boerjan

Wout Boerjan
Ghent University

Wout Boerjan obtained a PhD in Plant Biotechnology at Ghent University, Belgium in 1993. In 1993, he became group leader of the Tree Biotechnology Group in the Department of Plant Genetics. Since 2003, he is a Professor in Genetics at the University of Gent and group leader at the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology in Gent, Belgium, where he leads the Bio-energy Group. His major area of research is lignin biosynthesis. His group has engineered poplar to improve paper making and biofuel production, which has resulted in the first field trial with biotech plants in 7 years in Belgium. His group uses systems biology in Arabidopsis as a tool to identify candidate genes for cell wall improvement, and poplar for translational research. He is member of the International Academy of Wood Science, associate editor of ‘Tree Genetics and Genomes’ and ‘Bioenergy Research’, advisory board member of several international projects and regular organizer of international biotechnology congresses.

Up to top
Photo of Gavin Conibeer

Gavin Conibeer
University of New South Wales

Gavin Conibeer is the deputy director of the School and Renewable Energy Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He is currently a principal investigator on the GCEP research effort “Hot Carrier Solar Cell: Implementation of the Ultimate Photovoltaic Converter” and worked on the GCEP activity “Nanostructured Silicon-Based Tandem Solar Cells.”

Conibeer’s research interests include third generation photovoltaics, hot carrier cooling in semiconductors, phonon dispersion modulation in nanostructures, high efficiency thermoelectric devices, and photoelectrochemical generation of hydrogen.

Conibeer received his PhD in Engineering Materials from the University of Southampton, UK, his MSc in Polymer Science and Processing Technology from the London School of Polymer Technology, UK, and his BSc in Materials Science and Engineering from Queen Mary College, London University, UK.

Up to top
Photo of Shanhui Fan

Shanhui Fan
Stanford University

Shanhui Fan is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in 1997 in theoretical condensed matter physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and was a research scientist at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT prior to his appointment at Stanford.  His research interests are in computational and theoretical studies of solid state and photonic structures and devices, especially photonic crystals, plasmonics, and meta-materials.

Professor Fan is currently a principal investigator on the GCEP research program “Ultra-High Efficiency Thermophotovoltaic Solar Cells Using Metallic Photonic Crystals as Intermediate Absorber and Emitter” and the exploratory effort “Wireless Power Transfer to Moving Vehicles.”  He also worked on the completed GCEP program “Nanostructured Metal-Organic Composite Solar Cells.”

He has published over 220 refereed journal articles that were cited over 13,000 times, has given over 170 invited talks, and was granted 39 U.S. patents. Fan received a National Science Foundation Career Award (2002), a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering (2003), the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiative in Research (2007), and the Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society of America (2007). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the SPIE, and the IEEE. Fan is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford.
Up to top
Photo of Chris Field

Chris Field
Carnegie Institution
Stanford University

Chris Field is the founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, Professor of Biology and Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University, and Faculty Director of Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

Professor Field is also currently the GCEP Research Theme Leader in the area of Bioenergy and a principal investigator conducting research on "The Climate-Protective Domain" for the Project.  He was a principal investigator on the GCEP effort “Technology Potential of Biofuels: Feasibility Assessment,” which was completed in 2008.

Field’s research emphasizes impacts of climate change, from the molecular to the global scale. He has, for nearly two decades, led major experiments on responses of California grassland to multi-factor global change.

Field has served on many national and international committees related to global ecology and climate change. He was a coordinating lead author for the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a member of the IPCC delegation that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. In September, 2008, he was elected co-chair of working group 2 of the IPCC, and will lead the next assessment on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Field received his PhD from Stanford in 1981 and has been at the Carnegie Institution for Science since 1984. Field is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford, and a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford.

Up to top
Photo of Rob Gardner

Rob Gardner
Corporate Strategic Planning Department
Exxon Mobil Corporation

Rob Gardner is the Manager for the Energy and Economics Division of the Exxon Mobil Corporate Strategic Planning Department based in Irving, Texas.

Gardner graduated from Louisiana State University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and began working for Mobil Oil in Louisiana in a series of technical and supervisory engineering positions in gas plants along the U.S. Gulf Coast. He then moved into natural gas marketing. In 1990, he moved overseas and has held a number of international postings in the LNG marketing area. Gardner held positions in Indonesia, Qatar, Japan and Singapore involved in marketing and project development of LNG, natural gas and power projects. In 2001, he began a series of management assignments in ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing in Houston.

Gardner assumed his current assignment in April 2009. The group that he manages is responsible for preparing Exxon Mobil's Energy Outlook.

Up to top
Photo of Shingo Kazama

Shingo Kazama
Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE)

Shingo Kazama is a leader of the chemical research group at the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and a visiting professor at Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan.

He is currently a principal investigator for the GCEP research effort “Advanced CO2/H2 Separation Materials Incorporating Active Functional Agents” and worked on the completed GCEP activity “Development of Innovative Gas Separation Membranes Through Sub-Nanoscale Materials Control.”

Kazama graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology at 1984. At Nippon Steel Corporation, he conducted research of new functional materials for gas separation membranes. The first target of his efforts was oxygen/nitrogen separation to provide an oxygen enrichment air for improving efficiency of combustion. Carbon separation membranes were the next topics of his research, which started in the early 1990’s at RITE. Various kinds of Cardo polyimides were developed and processed in asymmetric hollow fiber membranes for CO2 capture from a flue gas. Dendrimer membranes are recent subjects for carbon capture from a pressurized gas stream such as IGCC, which originally launched in 2003. The Dendrimer membrane is expected to have a CO2 molecular gate function for an excellent CO2 separation performance. This CO2 molecular gate function has been improved upon in his current GCEP research effort.

Up to top
Photo of Kate Maher

Kate Maher
Stanford University

Kate Maher is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. She is currently a principal investigator on the GCEP project: “The Reactivity of CO2 in the Subsurface” and recently completed an exploratory project on “Geological Sequestration of CO2 – An Exploratory Study of the Mechanisms and Kinetics of CO2 Reactions with Mg-Silicates”.

Maher’s research focuses on the rates of chemical reactions that occur at Earth’s surface and subsurface. In order to quantify the rates of chemical reactions and to determine how these rates are coupled to changes in hydrologic, chemical and biological parameters, she uses a combination of geochemical tools including isotopic tracers and geochemical reactive transport modeling. The goal of this research is to find new approaches to use mineral-fluid reactions to safely store carbon dioxide in the subsurface. For example, Maher and her collaborators are trying to develop new ways to both enhance the kinetics of mineral carbonation reactions and control the porosity and permeability evolution of natural rocks proposed as repositories for CO2.

Maher received her B.A. from Dartmouth College in Environmental Earth Science in 1999, her M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from U.C. Berkeley in 2001 and her Ph.D in Earth and Planetary Sciences from U.C. Berkeley in 2005. Prior to coming to Stanford in 2007, she was a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow with U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA.

Up to top
Photo of Mike McGehee

Mike McGehee
Stanford University

Michael McGehee is an Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and Director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics at Stanford University.  His research interests are patterning materials at the nanometer length scale, semiconducting polymers and solar cells.  He has taught courses on nanotechnology, organic semiconductors, polymer science and solar cells.

Professsor McGehee is currently a principal investigator on the GCEP effort “Advanced Electron Transport Materials for Application in Organic Photovoltaics (OPV)” and has been an investigator on a number of GCEP solar efforts including “Advanced Materials and Devices for Low-Cost and High-Performance Organic Photovoltaic Cells” and “Ordered Bulk Heterojunction Photovoltaic Cells.”

He received his undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University and his PhD degree in Materials Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he did research on polymer lasers in the lab of Nobel Laureate Alan Heeger.  He has won the 2007 Materials Research Society Outstanding Young Investigator Award and the Mohr Davidow Innovators Award.  He is a technical advisor to Nanosolar and Plextronics and his students have founded three solar cell startup companies. McGehee is Senior Fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford, and an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Up to top
Photo of Lynn Orr

Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr
Stanford University

Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr, Jr. became the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford upon its establishment in 2009. He served as director of the Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002 to 2008. Orr was the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University from 1994 to 2002. He has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1985 and holds the Keleen and Carlton Beal Chair of Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, and is a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. His research activities focus on how complex fluid mixtures flow in the porous rocks in the Earth's crust, the design of gas injection processes for enhanced oil recovery, and CO2 storage in subsurface formations. Orr is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and he chairs the Science Advisory Committee for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and was a foundation board member from 1999-2008.
Up to top
Photo of Thomas Overbye

Thomas Overbye
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Thomas Overbye is the Fox Family Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he has taught since 1991.  He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His current research interests include electric power system analysis, visualization, dynamics, and cyber security. 

Professor Overbye is currently a principal investigator on the GCEP effort “Scalable and Flat Controls for Reliable Power Grid Operation with High Renewable Penetration.”

He is also the original developer of PowerWorld Simulator, an innovative computer program for power system analysis, education and visualization, a co-founder of PowerWorld Corporation, and is an author of the Power System Analysis and Design book.  

He was the recipient of the IEEE PES Walter Fee Outstanding Young Engineer Award in 1993, the IEEE PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award in 2011, and participated in the August 14th 2003 DOE/NERC Blackout investigation.
Up to top
Photo of Burton Richter

Burton Richter
Stanford University
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Burton Richter received the Nobel Prize in Physics (1976) and the E.O. Lawrence Medal of the Department of Energy (1976). He received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Philip Hauge Abelson Prize (2007) for his world-class contributions to research, his successful management of a leading scientific laboratory, and his unrelenting efforts to advance science and to promote its responsible use in shaping public policy. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society; a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Past-President of the American Physical Society (1994); and Past-President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (1999-2002).

Richter chaired the APS Energy Efficiency Study in 2008 that published "Energy Future, Think Efficiency, How America can look within to achieve energy security and reduce global warming." He is a member of the Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee and its Energy Research Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Visiting Group of the Commissaire a l'Energie Atomique (CEA – the French equivalent of the US Department of Energy), the Jason Group, and the Board of Directors for Litel Instruments. He is on the advisory boards of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Precourt Institute for Energy, and Precourt Energy Efficiency Center. He has served on the Department of Energy's Secretary of Energy Advisory Board and Laboratory Operations Board; and was Chairman of the National Research Council's Board on Physics and Astronomy.

He has been interested in industry and its use of science and technology and has been a member of the General Motors Science Advisory Committee, chairman of the technology advisory board of an artificial intelligence company, and a member of the Board of Directors of Varian Associates, Varian Medical Systems, and Areva Enterprises, Inc.

Dr. Richter serves as Senior Fellow of Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies, Woods Institute on the Environment, and Precourt Institute for Energy.  He is the Paul Pigott Professor in the Physical Sciences Emeritus, Stanford University, and Director Emeritus, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (formerly Stanford Linear Accelerator Center).

Up to top
Photo of Bill Ritter Jr.
Bill Ritter Jr.
Colorado State University

Bill Ritter Jr. is currently the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University. The Center started February 1, 2011 with Ritter as the founding Director.

Ritter was elected as Colorado's 41st governor in 2006 the first Colorado-born governor in more than 35 years. Ritter lead Colorado forward by bringing people together to tackle some of the state's biggest challenges. During his 4-year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in renewable energy by building a New Energy Economy that is creating thousands of new jobs and establishing hundreds of new companies; enacted an aggressive business-development and job-creation agenda that is focused on knowledge-based industries of the future, such as energy, aerospace, biosciences, information technology and tourism; initiated sweeping K-12 education reforms to give Colorado children the skills and knowledge they need to compete and succeed in a 21st century global economy; and, improved access to quality and affordable health care for many of the 800,000 Coloradans who lack health coverage.

Ritter served as Denver's District Attorney from 1993 to January 2005. He earned a national reputation as one of the country's most effective and innovative prosecutors, and several of his programs continue to serve as state and national models

The sixth of 12 children, Ritter was raised on a small farm in Arapahoe County. He was a member of the first graduating class of Gateway High School (1974), and he earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado State University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981).

Ritter is married to Jeannie, and before his serving as District Attorney, he and Jeannie operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia. They have four children; August, Abe, Sam, and Tally.

Up to top
Photo of Alan Sellinger
Alan Sellinger
Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics
Stanford University

Alan Sellinger received his B.S. in Chemistry from Eastern Michigan University in 1989. After 2 years as a Research Associate at Gelman Sciences, Inc., he obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1997 from the University of Michigan in Macromolecular Science & Engineering under the guidance of Prof. Richard M. Laine. He then moved to Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM for postdoctoral work with Prof. C. Jeffrey Brinker. From 1998 to 2003, he worked as a Research Scientist in the industrial R&D laboratories of Canon Research Center Americas, Palo Alto, CA and Opsys US Corporation, Fremont, CA. From 2003-2008, he held the position of Senior Scientist at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Republic of Singapore. In 2008 he moved to Stanford University as both Consulting Associate Professor in Materials Science & Engineering, and Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (CAMP). His research interests are in the synthesis of new materials for application in organic electronics such as light emitting diodes (OLED), photovoltaics (OPV), and thin film transistors (OTFT).
Up to top
Photo of George Shultz
George Shultz
Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution
Chair, Hoover Energy Policy Task Force
Former U.S. Secretary of State

A native of New York, George P. Shultz graduated from Princeton University in 1942. After serving in the Marine Corps (1942-45), he earned a Ph.D. in industrial economics at MIT. Shultz taught at MIT and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where he was named dean in 1962. He was appointed Secretary of Labor in 1969, Director of the Office of Management and Budget in 1970, and Secretary of the Treasury in 1972. From 1974 to 1982, he was President of Bechtel Group, Inc. Shultz served as Chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981-82) and Secretary of State (1982-89). In 1989, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He is Advisory Council Chairman of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University, Chairman of the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board, and Chairman of the Task Force on Energy Policy at the Hoover Institution. Since 1989, he has been a Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Up to top
Photo of Alfred Spormann
Alfred Spormann
Stanford University

Alfred Spormann is a microbial physiologist and biochemist. He received his Ph.D. from the Philipps-University, Marburg, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Departments of Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and at Stanford University. He and his research group are members of the Bio-X initiative in the James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Science, as well of the Stanford Biofilm Research Center, the Microbial Biology Program and the Environmental Biotechnology program at Stanford.

Spormann is currently the principal investigator for the GCEP effort “Synthesis of Biofuels on Bioelectrodes.”  He was also a principal investigator for the GCEP program “Biohydrogen Generation,” which was completed in 2006.

In 1995, he received a Terman Award and in 1998, he received the NSF CAREER award. In 2000, he received the Charles Lee Powell Research Award. He is a member of the editorial board of Archives of Microbiology and Biodegradation. Currently, he is also the co-director, together with Caroline Harwood, of the Microbial Diversity Course at the Marine Biological Laboratoy in Woods Hole, MA. He is also the director of the Stanford Biofilm Research Center. Spormann is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Up to top
Photo of Thomas Stephenson
Thomas Stephenson
Sequoia Capital

Thomas F. Stephenson is a longtime partner of Sequoia Capital. Prior to joining Sequoia in 1988, he spent 22 years at Fidelity Investments in Boston where he helped found Fidelity Ventures and later ran that very successful operation. Most recently, he served a 19-month stint as U.S. ambassador to Portugal, during the Bush and Obama administrations.

Since returning from Portugal, Stephenson has reengaged as a member of the board of overseers and executive committee of the Hoover Institution, as a board member of Conservation International, and as an advisory board member of SIEPR. At Hoover, he helped form the Shultz-Stephenson Energy Task Force, which is working on a series of comprehensive and coherent energy policy recommendations for our country.

He is also currently a member of the Precourt Institute Energy Advisory Council at Stanford University, the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security, and the Council of American Ambassadors. He recently stepped down as a member of the board of overseers of Harvard University where he has held a number of leadership roles over the years.

Up to top
Photo of David Victor
David Victor
University of California at San Diego

David Victor is a professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California—San Diego. He is director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation, which studies why some international laws are highly effective and others flounder.

Prior to U.C. San Diego he served as director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University, where he was also a professor at Stanford Law School. He has also directed the science and technology program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York, where he led the council's task force on energy security.

Victor's research has covered a wide array of topics related to international environmental regulation, energy markets, and international law.

His books include: Global Warming Gridlock (Cambridge University Press, April 2011), Natural Gas and Geopolitics (Cambridge University Press, July 2006), The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming (Princeton University Press, April 2001; second edition July 2004); and Technological Innovation and Economic Performance (Princeton University Press, January 2002).

Victor is author of more than 150 essays and articles in scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers, such as Climatic Change, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Nature, The New York Times, Science, and Scientific American, and The Washington Post.

Up to top
Photo of Jen Wilcox
Jen Wilcox
Stanford University

Jen Wilcox received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Wellesley College and received a Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona.  Currently, she is an assistant professor in the Energy Resources Engineering Department at Stanford University, and her research focuses on trace metal and carbon capture. 

Professor Wilcox carries out both molecular-level simulations and bench-scale combustion experiments in her research. She has received the NSF Career award for her work in trace element speciation in combustion flue gases and has received the Army Young Investigator award for her work in hydrogen separation with Pd-based membranes. Wilcox is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford.

Up to top
Photo of Mark Zoback
Mark Zoback
Stanford University

Mark Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. He is also co-director of the Stanford Rock Physics and Borehole Geophysics industrial consortium.

Professor Zoback conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics. He was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth.  Zoback was also the principal investigator on two GCEP efforts, “Geologic Storage of CO2 in Coal Beds” and “Seal Capacity of Potential CO2 Sequestration Sites.”

He is the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. He is the author/co-author of 300 technical papers and holds five patents.  Zoback has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2006 Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society and the 2008 Walter H. Bucher Medal from the American Geophysical Union.

In 2011, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was the co-founder of GeoMechanics International in 1996, where he was Chairman of the Board until 2008. He currently serves as a Senior Executive Adviser to Baker Hughes, Inc. Zoback currently serves on the National Academy of Energy committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection.  Zoback is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford.

Up to top


© Copyright 2017-18 Stanford University: Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP)

Restricted Use of Materials from GCEP Site: User may download materials from GCEP site only for User's own personal, non-commercial use. User may not otherwise copy, reproduce, retransmit, distribute, publish, commercially exploit or otherwise transfer any material without obtaining prior GCEP or author approval.