Arun Majumdar, Stanford University, USA
Bio: Dr. Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, which integrates and coordinates research and education activities across all seven Schools and the Hoover Institution at Stanford.
Dr. Majumdar's research in the past has involved the science and engineering of nanoscale materials and devices, especially in the areas of energy conversion, transport and storage as well as biomolecular analysis. His current research focuses on electrochemical storage, power generation and refrigeration; storing carbon-free energy in renewable fuels; and a new effort to re-engineer the electricity grid using modern sensing, computing and control as well as data science.
In October 2009, Dr. Majumdar was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to become the Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), where he served till June 2012 and helped ARPA-E become a model of excellence for the government with bipartisan support from Congress and other stakeholders. Between March 2011 and June 2012, he also served as the Acting Under Secretary of Energy, enabling the portfolio that reported to him: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Reliability, Office of Nuclear Energy and the Office of Fossil Energy, as well as multiple cross-cutting efforts (e.g. Sunshot, Grid Tech Team, etc) that he initiated.
After leaving Washington, DC and before joining Stanford, Dr. Majumdar was the Vice President for Energy at Google, where he created several energy technology initiatives, especially at the intersection of data, computing and electricity grid, and advised the company on its broader energy strategy. Dr. Majumdar 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.
Massimo Morbidelli, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Bio: Massimo Morbidelli received his Laurea in Chemical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano in 1977, and his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 1986. After his first appointments as professor at the University of Cagliari (Italy) and then at the Politecnico di Milano, he is, since 1997, Professor of Chemical Reaction Engineering at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
His group currently focusses on two main research topics. The first is aimed at developing integrated continuous up and downstream processes for the purification of therapeutic proteins, their PEGylation reactions and other processes of interest in the pharmaceutical industry. The second area concerns chemical reaction engineering, with particular emphasis on polymer reactions and colloidal engineering. This has evolved over the years in developing new processes for the production of polymer particles, ranging from the micro to the nano scale, exhibiting various types of functionalities and physico-chemical characteristics, including bio compatibility and degradation kinetics. Applications in various areas are considered including drug delivery, composite materials and treatment of oil reservoirs.
Massimo Morbidelli is co-author of more than 600 papers, 11 international patents and four books. He serves as an associate editor of the ACS journal of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, and is a member of the scientific board of several international scientific journals. He is the recipient of the 2005 R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and of the 2014 Gerhard Damköhler-Medaille of DECHEMA and VDI-GVC. He is a cofounder of ChromaCon Ltd., a spin-off company from his research group. Since 2007, ChromaCon Ltd. brings new chromatographic processes (MCSGP-technology) for the purification of proteins and peptides to the market.