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Ken Goodson named new chair of Stanford mechanical engineering

First new department chair in 10 years is an expert in heat transfer in electronic nanostructures.

Ken Goodson named new chair of Stanford mechanical engineering

March 14, 2013
Ken Goodson

Professor Ken Goodson, incoming chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. | Photo by Joel Simon

Professor Kenneth Goodson, a heat transfer specialist with interests ranging from smartphones to vehicle waste heat recovery, has been tapped as the next chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford, the School of Engineering announced today. 

“We’re delighted that Ken has agreed to take on this responsibility. Ken has a distinguished research and teaching record and has contributed in a major way to the department. Ken cares very deeply about the department, and we believe he will be a very effective chair going forward,” said Jim Plummer, dean of the School of Engineering.

Goodson’s lab studies thermal phenomena in electronic nanostructures, energy conversion devices, and microfluidic heat sinks. Goodson has guided 38 students to their doctorates, 13 of whom are professors at Stanford and other leading engineering programs. 

“I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work with my colleagues and contribute to the department. Given our existing faculty and our very successful hiring efforts over the past several years, we are well positioned to extend our international leadership in key mechanical engineering disciplines and in teaching. This is an exciting time to be a mechanical engineer at Stanford,” said Goodson.

Goodson is a Fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and IEEE. He has received the ASME Kraus Medal and the 2013 THERMI Award.

Beyond his teaching and research, Goodson is an entrepreneur. He co-founded Cooligy, which builds microfluidic cooling systems for computers. Goodson earned his BS in 1989 and his PhD in 1993, both at MIT.

In addition to welcoming Goodson to the new role, Dean Plummer also acknowledged the leadership provided by outgoing chair, Fritz Prinz

“Please join me in thanking Fritz for his decade of service as ME chair. The external stature of the department, the quality of its faculty, the students it attracts, the new programs that have been launched during his tenure all reflect the many contributions Fritz has made,” said Plummer.