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SGSI 2019: Energy@Stanford & SLAC: Energy Research for the 21st Century

Jumpstart your energy education at Stanford! Build your personal energy network and hear about current research from over 30 distinguished Stanford energy faculty and expert speakers. Develop a broad perspective on energy and meet Silicon Valley energy entrepreneurs. Participate in an experiential group activity with your peers. Visit Stanford’s state of the art Central Energy Facility and take an optional half-day tour of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. This four-and-a-half-day course will allow you to build an interdisciplinary cross-campus community with fellow new students who share an interest in energy. An energy background is not required; incoming graduate and professional students from all schools and departments are encouraged to apply.

Monday, Sept. 9 – Thursday, Sept. 12, 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM; (optional) Friday, Sept. 13, 8:30 AM – 2 PM

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)


  • Sally Benson, PhD, co-director, Precourt Institute for Energy; professor, Energy Resources Engineering
  • Arun Majumdar, PhD, co-director, Precourt Institute for Energy; professor, Mechanical Engineering and Photon Science
  • Tom Devereaux, PhD, director, Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES); professor, Photon Science, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Audience & Capacity

Open to all incoming graduate students in any discipline. Space is limited to 130. Because the early start of the Law School and the School of Medicine prevents new students' participation, continuing students from those schools are welcome.


By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Learn about the breadth and depth of energy research from over 30 Stanford faculty and researchers
  • Develop an interdisciplinary perspective on energy at Stanford
  • Build a personal cross-campus network of incoming graduate students
  • Network with Silicon Valley energy entrepreneurs
  • Attend in-depth, interactive elective discussions with Stanford faculty and researchers of your choice
  • Compete in the Energy & Carbon Market team challenge
  • Take an optional half-day tour of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory


The Energy@Stanford & SLAC conference will be a four-and-a-half-day course held on campus from Monday, Sept. 9 through Friday, Sept. 13. Friday will be an optional, half-day tour of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Energy@ is a collaboration among The Precourt Institute for Energy, the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and other campus energy groups. We offer a program designed to build an interdisciplinary cohort and to help incoming Stanford graduate and professional students jumpstart their first academic year through:

Big Picture Talks: Stanford faculty will give 2-3 big picture talks throughout the week.

15-min. Faculty Briefings: Over a dozen Stanford faculty will give 15-min. briefings on their current energy research throughout the week.

Panel Discussions: We will hold 2-3 panel discussions featuring current students, alumni working in energy, and distinguished guests.

Elective Classes: We will hold two sessions containing up to six elective classes each, for a total of 10-12 different elective opportunities. Within each session, classes will be held simultaneously, spanning roughly one hour, and including 18-25 students each. This offers a chance for small interdisciplinary groups of students to engage one another while participating in interactive discussion with the faculty/researcher on a topic of their choice.

Tours: The course will include a docent led tour of Stanford’s Central Energy Facility and an optional half-day tour on Friday, Sept. 13 of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Lunches and Dinners: This is a time for enrichment and building long-lasting cross-campus connections among the students and faculty.  Mealtimes will include special speakers and activities. Dinners will rotate to different Stanford locations to orient students about places at Stanford with strong energy curriculum and research. By the time students begin school, it is our objective that they already know how to navigate around campus and engage with other energy students, faculty, staff, and communities.

Past participants who took this course said the following about their experience:

“There was a great variety of presentations, panels, and activities. It was fantastic to get to know students across disciplines and builder the foundation of ongoing relationships.” -SGSI 2018 Participant

“The spaced out sessions and the diversity of the class really helped us to connect with people who had very different perspectives and ideas. I was amazed by the diversity of topics covered by the speakers.” -SGSI 2018 Participant

Guest Speakers

The Energy@Stanford & SLAC course will feature a diverse line-up of Stanford faculty undertaking exciting research in the field of energy. One goal is to showcase the breadth and depth of energy expertise at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, while providing students a broad perspective on the topic of energy. We will have about 30 speakers over the course of four days.

For additional information about Energy@, including a student testimonial video, past agendas, and past participant lists, please visit the Energy@Stanford & SLAC conference website. Additional information will be added periodically.

Additional Course Expectations

  • Students will complete approximately two (2) hours of pre-reading in advance of the conference week.
  • During SGSI, no work is required outside of class.
  • Full attendance is expected.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.

Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
New Students
Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: