Ken Goodson chairs the Mechanical Engineering Department and holds the Davies Family Provostial Professorship. As ME Chair and Vice Chair since 2008, Goodson led two strategic plans and launched hiring actions for 15 new faculty who are transforming the department's scholarship and diversity.
Goodson is a heat transfer researcher specializing in electronics cooling and energy harvesting. His lab pioneered phonon free path measurements using silicon nanolayers and has highly-cited papers on conduction physics, novel heat conducting materials, and microfluidic heat sinks. Current "hot" projects address hybrid vehicles, smartphones, and thermally-powered wireless sensors. Nearly half of Goodson's 40 PhD alumni are professors at MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and other schools. Goodson is a Fellow with ASME, IEEE, APS, & AAAS. Recognition includes the Kern Award (AIChE), the Kraus Medal (ASME), the InterPACK Achievement Award (ASME & IEEE), the THERMI Award (IEEE), the SRC Technical Excellence Award, the Heat Transfer Memorial Award (ASME), the Richards Award (Pi Tau Sigma) and recent named lectureships at MIT, Purdue, and UIUC. Goodson co-founded Cooligy, which developed heat sinks for the Apple G5 and was acquired by Emerson in 2006.
Goodson appears as a baritone oratorio soloist with Stanford ensembles including the Symphonic Chorus and the University Singers, as well as with the San Francisco Choral Society and Masterworks Chorale. Goodson held voice fellowships at Tanglewood and studied for a year in Berlin with legendary baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Goodson’s wife, Laura Dahl, is a member of the Stanford piano faculty.