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Engineering and Climate Change



This seminar series equips students and professionals with tools to apply the engineering mindset to problems that stem from climate change, so that they may consider and evaluate possible interventional, remedial and adaptive approaches. This is not a crash course on climate change (established climate experts are better equipped for that), nor is it a crash course in policy; instead the series focuses on discovering and exploring climate problems that seem most likely to benefit from adding the engineering mindset as solutions are considered.

Each week, Dr. Leslie Field and/or an expert guest speaker will deliver an introductory lecture in his/her area of expertise to set the framework in terms of climate, energy, resource, policy and public opinion, and explore some of the problems that seem most amenable to engineering input. Class members are asked to read up on each week’s lecture topic before class, to submit questions before each lecture, and to submit at brief summary of some key points on the topic following each lecture.

Guest Speakers, Autumn 2013:

  • Professor Terry Root and Jon Koomey. Biology and Climate Change Impacts; Energy Policy and Finance. Potential impacts from climate change and potential solutions.
  • Doug Stoup. Arctic & Antarctic adventurer/explorer. First-hand observations of climate change in polar regions.
  • Satish Chetty. EE and Software guru; expert in harsh environment sensing. Beyond 66. Ice911 Research.Smart Grid and harsh environment sensing to monitor climate change.
  • Professor Dick Luthy. Civil and Environmental Engineering. Environmental engineering and water quality.
  • Dr. Nasreen Chopra. Solar and Startup Veteran, Physicist, Nanotechnologist and Entrepreneur. The solar industry from the inside.
  • Ann Edminster. Architect and Green Guru. Green Building and LEED for homes.
  • Kimberly Wiefling. Physicist, Entrepreneur, Author, Consultant. Engineering approaches for complex and daunting problems.
  • Dave Duff. Senior Mechanical Engineer at Google working on the self-driving car.Self-driving vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities.
  • TBD (Additional guest speaker- or- Leslie Field, MEMS in Climate Change apps)
  • Professor Leslie Field. Consulting Professor in EE; Ice911 Research Corp; SmallTech Consulting. Engineering and Climate:Ice911 case study and course wrap-up.


Leslie Field, Consulting Professor, Electrical Engineering


Individuals who wish to view the seminar at no charge are asked to create a my stanford connection account. Once you have created an account, you will be able to access videos via my stanford connection. Make sure you have Silverlight 1.0 or Windows Media Player 9+ installed to view videos. Seminars are available two hours after the lecture occurs on campus and on-demand for the remainder of the quarter. All seminars can be found in the "Current Courses" section of my stanford connection.



Graduate seminars may be viewed online at no charge. Students seeking credit for a 1-unit seminar need to enroll in another course in order to meet the 3-credit unit enrollment requirement.

Course Preview

We highly recommend watching the course preview to ensure you have the requisite background and understand the scope of material covered.

Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may notify you when enrollment opens.