A Berkeley-trained engineer, Arun Majumdar Ph.D. ’89, is President Barack Obama’s nominee to serve as U.S. Under Secretary of Energy.
Majumdar, a longtime member of the College of Engineering faculty, is already working with a familiar colleague, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (Ph.D. ’76), under whom he served as an associate director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which Chu headed from 2004 to 2009. Chu brought Majumdar to the nation’s capital to be the founding director of a new agency, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which funds energy technology projects that translate scientific discoveries and cutting-edge inventions into technological innovations, and accelerate technological advances in high-risk areas that industry is not likely to pursue independently.
A leading scientist is the fields of thermoelectric materials, heat and mass transfer, thermal management and waste heat recovery, Majumdar studied under thermal science expert Chang-Lin Tien, who later served as chancellor of the Berkeley campus. After teaching at two other institutions, Majumdar returned to Berkeley as a faculty member in mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering. His research career has focused on the science and engineering of energy conversion, transport, and storage, ranging from the molecular and nanoscale level to large energy systems.